The other day, my friend and fellow novelist Bob Evenhouse wrote about his novel fearing rejection. Go on over and give him a gander. I remember those days. The shaking hand before hitting “send”. The way my tummy stirred and flopped and dropped to my toes at the thought of the words “No! You stink! You should NEVER write again!”.
Yeah. That’s pretty scary.
Until it happens. And you cry your make-up off (I don’t think Bob wears make-up, though). You get furiously angry with the entire world for about a week. You throw away all your pens. Burn all your paper…or at least threaten to. Wish terrible things to happen to the one who rejected you…until the guilt sets in and you hope they’re okay and that they never ever know that you were so off the wall crazy to think such a thing.
But then, you get over the hurt. Realize that it wasn’t so much of a rejection. That it was more of a “no thank you”. Remember that it’s a big sea. And that the fish aren’t all looking for the same worm.
And you learn that if they say something hurtful and rude and insulting that they are the LAST person on the planet you want to work with. (True story, I had someone reject my work by saying that I’d never make it as a writer. Eh. Whatever, you know?)
You realize that the rejection, the no thank you, wasn’t the worst thing in the world. Being trampled by a herd of rabid buffalos would be worse. Being the main course for a great white shark is WAY worse. Getting salsa in your paper cut is even worse.
Because the rejection makes you better. Stronger. More aware of what needs work in your manuscript. And it’s just another chance to find the best home for your work.
Now, success. That’s scary. Really, really scary.
So, tell me…do you fear rejection? Not just with writing. But in life. How do you deal with that? I love to hear from you…even if it’s completely off topic. I just like you!