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 But you will not be published if you don’t submit, if you don’t keep writing, if you give up.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” 🙂