Thursday, February 5, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Life Lessons from Rejection

Looking through the old archives of my blog, I came across this little gem originally post in January of 2012.

From Striatic via Flickr
So I just received my first rejection on what I consider to be the pretty much polished, finished version of my first book. No, I am not going to be someone who posts all my rejections and fusses and complains and all that stuff because I think that's pretty tasteless. I'm not even going to say who this rejection was from or when I received it. I intend to wait a while before actually posting this.

Why? Because the rejection itself is not the point.

The point is that encouragement can be found in the midst of rejection. My interpretation of the letter was basically, "I like your writing, but I didn't like your book." It went on to list a couple of reasons, and they are perfectly valid and possibly true, BUT she liked my writing. And that, my friends, made me thoroughly giddy. Someone who matters in the literary world (as opposed to my mom, my friends, and my husband whose opinions matter immensely only to me) said I had strong writing. I did a little dance.

In writing, and everything else in life, you can't progress without taking any risk. Every rejection is a sign that you took a step forward. That's a good thing, because you can't get any closer to your goal without taking a step.

Would I have been over the moon ecstatic if she'd taken my book? Absolutely! Would it have made this whole writing thing look a little easier than it really is? Probably. Am I disappointed that I still have a lot of work to do in order to overcome that hurdle from unpublished to published? Not really. After all, she liked my writing.

Now there's some really interesting things about this article that made me smile.

1. How much I thought I knew then.
2. How polished I thought the book was. (After many iterations, that book is now A Lady of Esteem, a novella releasing in Fall of 2015.)
3. That I'm now contracted with the publisher this rejection came from. I guess they really did like my writing.

I guess it's true that rejection can be the building block that makes you greater or the stumbling block that makes you fall. Do you have a story of rejection spurring you on to greatness? Leave it in the comments.

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