Tuesday, August 21, 2012Posted by Jannie at 3:39 PM
Sometimes things don't go as you'd expected. Often it's little things like a trip to the grocery store or the way your hair looks, other times it's big things such as careers or marriages. Many disappointments later, many of us are still not one hundred percent convinced that the grass isn't greener on the other side, either. It sure looks green. And it smells heavenly in the summer rain. It's called hope. Such a beautiful thing, yet hurts so much when it comes crashing down. We all know it, but even though we remember the pain, we're always looking for something new to hope for.
As a writer, you do a lot of hoping. You hope that your story turns out good, you hope that deadlines, stubborn characters, and lack of inspiration won't make you go insane, you hope that the story will be published, and you hope that people will like it. I hope this all the time. However, experience has taught me that sometimes hoping is in vain. Sometimes your story is crap, you go insane, and end up with nothing but a stack of rejection letters. And that's okay. It's all part of the experience. And let's face it. It should be. You'll never grow as a person or as a writer if you don't accept that the bad comes with the good. A failure will make you work harder next time. And be proud of those rejection letters, too! They prove that you're not taking the easy route. Easy routes are boring.
So some disappointments are healthy. Others are not. Rejection from an editor is one thing. It's to be expected and it's not personal. Yes, yes, I know that there are a lot of personal elements in your story and having it rejected can hurt the first few times. But there are also personal elements in the story that was picked instead of yours. Try again. The other kind of rejection hurts more. The one from the people you know. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and although praise is wonderful, honesty is better and more useful. That's not the problem. The problem is when your author friend shows interest in your work and you don't return the kindness. You think it's "cool" to be an author? It's a job. It's hard work. And it's as hurtful to have your writing work ignored as it is when your promotion or praise from your boss is ignored.
I have never tried to hide that I'm not taking the easy route - not even within the business. I don't do it for any other reason than my conscience won't allow me to do differently. I stay clear of publishers who are low on morals. I write a story for what it is and don't change it so it becomes something else. I wasn't born with the annoying, yet sometimes useful, look-at-me gene that often results in too many tweets about the same thing. (read: book) It's not me. And good on you if it's you.
So what's my point with this blog post? Yes, there is one. I'm venting. Simple as that. It's been over four years since I got my first letter saying that someone thought my story was good enough to publish. And in that time, I can count on one hand the times people have told me that they liked what I'd had published. Don't you have friends? I hear you asking. Yes, I do. And what about family? Yes, that too. I've worked hard to get to where I am today, but unfortunately I've received a lot of gifts. The greatest gifts of all.
And yes. There is no doubt I'll regret this blog post. And finally - yes. I am feeling sorry for myself today. I'm allowed.