Today I’ll be at an area elementary school. The coordinator asked that I talk about my background in writing (basically we didn’t have cable, video games, or a computer in my house…but we did have a kazillion books and a nice sized backyard…imagination was my favorite toy). She also asked that I talk about the hard work that goes into it.
Thinking about my writing life, I got to contemplating the rejections.
Why would I want to focus on that? Some of the rejections have been painful, some of them were unexpected or rude or just plain mean.
I focus on the rejection because it’s part of my writing. Each rejection has played a part in who I am as a novelist.
I went to where I keep special papers and pulled out a letter I received from an agent. “You have flashes of good writing but overall it (Paint Chips) still needs work.” I opened my email file with all the rejections. “Don’t give up.” “Your story is important.” “I have faith you’ll find a home for it.”
And then the rejection that makes me giggle a little…”Um…I’m going to have to pass.” (I’m not kidding, that was the whole email. Funny.)
I look back at those rejections and see how I didn’t quit. I pressed on. I cried a little, ate a little chocolate, and went back to work.
And I see where God has put me. The opportunities He’s given me to write my stories. And along the way, I’ve learned that rejection isn’t the end. It’s a chance to try again.
And that is a beautiful thing.