Romance Writing is Not for Sissies

Okay, as someone told me on the RWNZ email loop today, congratulations on my rejection because it means I’m a writer. And she’s right. I can no longer pretend that it’s a little something I do in my spare time, that it’s a sideline to my real life, that it’s my hobby, that it doesn’t matter. Because it does matter. I was gutted yesterday, really and truly gutted. I told myself I may as well give up. But you know what? Even as I was telling myself that, I was thinking about the story I’m currently writing and how I needed to adjust the internal conflict a bit more now!

A rejection stinks. It’s not easy and it won’t get any easier. There will, no doubt, be more rejections to come. You can’t control the rejections but, to paraphrase Michelle Styles’ wise words, what you can control is your response to them. Yesterday I wallowed completely and utterly, allowed myself to think about giving up, allowed myself to feel I was hopeless and I’d never do it. But now I am done with wallowing. Time for my professional response which is: keep writing. Work on that next submission. Make it the best. Take the hurt and turn it into determination.

I want to say though that part of dealing with rejection is also sharing the pain of it with others who understand and you all who have read this blog do understand. And the support and faith you have given me is amazing. I am so lucky to be part of this community. So huge thanks for all the comments and encouragement from yesterday – it really got me through the worst of it.

And, since I am a writer, I have advice for other writers who want to do this, who are lurking and thinking of submitting: to paraphrase my old boss, romance writing is not for sissies. It’s a hard road and a long one. You may take a step forward, only to fall back again. But if you love writing, if you can’t NOT write, then don’t let the fear of rejection hold you back. Yes, you will get rejected. Yes, it will hurt. But you will not be published if you don’t submit, if you don’t keep writing, if you give up.

Right, since I am very good at NOT taking my own advice when it comes to my writing, I need to sit down and take a good look at my next submission!

Oh and Aideen? No, you didn’t see the words ‘give up’ on my blog. They weren’t there. You must have mistaken them for “NOT giving up” ๐Ÿ™‚

15 thoughts on “Romance Writing is Not for Sissies”

  1. That’s the spirit! You are spot on Jackie – it aint for sissies and I think I remember complaining to you once how hard it all was and why do we put ourselves through this torture and you’re response was so true – we do it because we love it.

    Love hurts and it takes work…In this love/hate relationship we have with our writing, we can only move forward when we learn and learing is all part of the process. It sucks, but you pull yourself up and carry on. And that’s exactly what you’re doing. Well done.

  2. Sigh of relief!

    I cheered you on last night and in my own way relived my own Rs. Yes, circumstances differ, but it’s encouraging to see how we do bounce back, better, stronger, wiser and more determined than ever.

    It’s a huge advantage to know a bit more about what works and what doesn’t.

    As for sharing your experiences… the replies on your blog are a reflection of how much we value and appreciate your opinions, insights and generosity.


  3. Janette – yep, you’re not wrong about it being hard. But just ’cause it’s hard doesn’t mean we can give up. Bloody love! lol.

    Veronica – thanks for the cheers! Yes, even though the R was hard, there were detailed reasons given and it’s all good. I may share some of it on the blog but I’m actually feeling a bit embarrassed by some of it because it’s stuff I should have known. Stuff I do know. And I have to say, not reflective of what I’ve written since. It was a wake-up call and now I’m really and truly awake!

  4. You go girl!! you’ll get there!!!

    And you’re right – wrting aint for sissie!!

    BTW – I’m a bit late with the news, I’m so sorry to read about your R. Sending you a massive box of cyber chocs and Tim Tams (mmmm!)

  5. Oh, right, sorry about that mix up Jackie. Jeez, clearly I hadn’t had my usual four coffees before I read your post yesterday!

    When I clicked on your blog this morning and saw your post it brought a smile to my face. It’s good to have you back and I’m sure I speak for everyone when I say we’ll all be here for the next sub. And we’ll all be here to break out the bubbly (or choc martinis in your case) when that day arrives too.

    I’m all out of quotes and wisdom so I’ll just finish up by saying that at least you’ve gotten some fabulous footwear throughout this ordeal. And that’s got to count for something, right??


  6. Hi Jax,

    Sorry I’m so late. I just got internet in our new house and I was really saddened to read about your R. But I see that you’ve dusted yourself off and are ready to dive back in with everything you’ve learnt.

    You go, girl!I have every confidence that you’ll put everything you’ve learned into your next sub and wow them with it.


  7. Joanne, thanks for the Timtams. Yummy. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Aideen – Lol! Yep, can’t wallow for too long. Love doing this too much and plus, can’t let my blog peeps down eh? Thanks for being here for me. And yeah, the footwear is all good. No doubt there’ll be more where that came from!

    Suzanne – cheers!

    Sri – indeed, doing some dusting of myself as I’m writing this. Have to keep going though eh?

  8. Oh Jackie, i’m so sorry about your rejection but so glad you are going to keep writing! That is the true spirit of a writer. Nothing will put you down and snuff out that precious gift that compells you to write every day, even if you don’t want to!
    Good luck for the future. Perhaps you have time to enter the HM&B comp??

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