Sometimes this blog is a difficult thing. When I started it, I thought I’d just do random posts about how the writing was going and also – because I spent 10 years as a librarian and I’m firmly of the belief that knowledge is power – I wanted to share what I’d learned from the editor. From the blogs I’d already seen, not many people shared the info they got on their rejection letters so I thought I would, since the information in them was so helpful. I didn’t quote the letters direct since I’m not in the business of quoting others without their permission, but I did post the gist of it.
At first this was easy. When I started submitting, I knew I would make mistakes and get rejected, and I had no problem admitting my mistakes and sharing them with people so that others might find it useful. Of course, that was then. Sharing the rejection on my revised full was pretty hard. And sharing the rejections subsequent to that has been harder still. Mainly because with all this editorial support, aren’t I supposed to be getting better? Am I not learning anything?
Anyway, this is just to say that it’s a very public journey I’ve chosen to take. And yes, it’s my choice. And you should know that sometimes I hate posting my failures or mistakes up here. But I do because that’s how I started and that’s how I should continue. I have learned a lot and I know I still have a lot to learn, and I’m still a librarian inside, I still want to share my knowledge with those who might find it useful.
But the other thing is that I also share about how I feel about my mistakes and rejections. I know some people don’t like this. It’s uncomfortable. Hey, it’s uncomfortable for me too. But I do it because I want people to know it’s normal to feel angry, to feel sad, to feel disappointed when you get rejected or when you don’t place in a contest. It’s normal to cry. It’s normal to want to give up. It’s normal to feel jealous of those who have made it. It’s normal to yell ‘it’s not fair’.
I have felt all of those things and probably will continue to do so. But you’re allowed to feel that way, don’t let anyone tell you can’t. If you care about something, then you will feel crap when it doesn’t happen.
I have had some lovely emails lately from people, telling me how much they appreciate my honesty on this blog. So I thought I should say that I shall continue as I have started, posting my failures and mistakes. And I’ll continue to whine when I feel I’m not getting anywhere. And no doubt, I’ll continue to say ‘I give up’ at least once a month. And if you find this uncomfortable, that’s okay. You don’t have to read. I’m doing it for those who feel they can’t say it publically, or don’t want to share, who think they’re alone when they get that rejection and they feel like someone’s cut out their heart with a spoon. Well, you’re not alone. We ALL feel that way, no matter how many people pretend otherwise.
The truth? This blog, the people who read it, the commenters and the lurkers, and my CPs are the reason I’m still here. Yes, last week I wanted to give up. I was angry. I was disappointed. I felt ignored and I indulged myself with all those feelings. But I thought of all the people who have followed me on this journey and who are on their own roads, and I know I can’t give up. I’ve got to keep going. So, having indulged my feelings thoroughly because that’s how I deal with it, I’m putting them aside and getting on with it.
This may sound like a wah-wah, whatever post for all the battle hardened submitters and authors who have been doing this for years. Fair enough. Maybe after another few years I’ll have developed the same attitude and got my hard shell. But until then, this post is really for the people who haven’t been at this long and are struggling.
I pledge to you that I will continue to be honest with how I’m getting on. This will be hard for me but I’ll do it. I won’t criticise people or organisations, this is all about me, the drama queen writer. It’s a hard, hard journey but I am not a hard person and sometimes, it’s okay to admit that.