Wednesday, July 05, 2017

IWSG: Valuable Lessons

It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means hundreds of us will be posting about our insecurities. If you haven't yet, join in. You'll be glad you did!



Each month we have a question. This month's question is:

What is one valuable lesson you've learned since you started writing?

When I think back to the moment I had the brilliant idea of writing a novel, I realize I've learned so much. But some of the best lessons I've learned have been through the very thing that might have led me to give up.



After a while, you get used to rejection, as strange as that sounds. Sure, it's hard. It's always hard. But it's also a good thing. The more you're being rejected, the more you're putting yourself out there.



Even after you've landed an agent and sold your first, second, third, and fourth books, rejection will be here to stay. Maybe Stephen King doesn't get rejected (not sure about that), but almost every other author does. It's not a rejection of us--it never was. It's a rejection of the particular book we're sending at that exact moment.



As a full-time freelance writer, rejection is part of my day job, too. I put myself out there for opportunities all the time, only to get radio silence in response. Eventually, you start to think of it as playing the odds. If you put yourself out there 50 times and one pays off, it's worth it, right?



Even with all the rejections, we wouldn't be doing anything else. What other career gives you the possibility on any given day that amazing things could happen? Life-changing things? It kind of makes the rollercoaster worth it.




What are you insecure about this month?

40 comments:

  1. You can't play the odds and lose every single time, right?

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    1. That is true...unless you give up!

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  2. You are so right about rejection. It is simply a part of the process, a part of the journey. And it's key to separate out the fact that it's the product that's being rejected, not us.

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    1. We do tend to get emotionally attached to our work. It's hard to avoid it.

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  3. Stephanie, good post and right on! Even after all these years rejection still hurts, but like you said, I've become accustomed to it. That roller coaster describes it perfectly.

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    1. And you never stop being rejected. Unless you're Stephen King. I have a feeling they just let him do whatever he wants!

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  4. Thank you for your uplifting post today Stephanie. When you find something your heart and soul are really into, it is worth it :)

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    1. I think as long as we focus on the writing (the only part we can control), it isn't quite as difficult.

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  5. Yes, you're right rejection is part of the process of being a writer no matter how many books you have or haven't published. I agree with you on focusing on the parts we can control.

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    1. That is definitely true. I always try to remember that the writing is where our attention needs to stay.

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  6. I still haven't finished writing, but already I know to expect rejection.

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    1. It's all about never quitting even after numerous rejections.

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  7. Kudos, Steph. Putting yourself out there has really paid off for you. You make us proud:)
    I doubt if Steven King gets any rejections now, but he sure did in the beginning. From what I read, they had to call the school where he was teaching to offer him a contract because he couldn't afford a phone at home. I have so much respect for him. He is truly the American dream.

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    1. Aww, thank you! I have a feeling once you get to Stephen King's level, your rejection comes from the fans and critics. Since you can put whatever you want out there, it's all about waiting for readers to speak up. And readers can be BRUTAL. I'm sure every day, he deals with, "Stephen King isn't as good as he used to be" comments, which isn't true. His writing has just evolved over the years. Some love it, some don't.

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  8. Who'd of guessed you still face rejection. Funny, I thought every author that's found success stopped facing rejection. Well, I opened my eyes today. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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    1. Yeah, I was pretty disappointed the day I learned that. And even though I was told it, I never quite processed the uncertainty that comes with being a published writer. It's really no different. Most of the time, you have NO IDEA if you'll ever sell a book again!

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  9. I'm worried this summer will be a bust as far as writing goes, so I'm going to have to spend my free time wisely to make sure something gets done.

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    1. I've had trouble with productivity this summer, too. Too many distractions!

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  10. JK Rowling was rejected a lot, but somehow, she kept plugging along to being a very rich writer with her creation of Harry Potter. Like Emaginette, it surprises me that you get rejections on occasion, with so much success. That's crazy! Haven't these editors seen your work?

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    1. I have a feeling she isn't rejected so much now. Although she does seem to have trouble getting out from under the Harry Potter shadow.

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  11. And if you're Michael Crichton, people will dig through your drawer ten years after you're dead in order to find more stuff to put out!

    Man, maybe dying is the boost my career needs. :-/

    http://www.cdgallantking.ca/2017/07/strangely-funny-iv-release-iwsg-july.html

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  12. Rejection hurts but I have learned it's not the end.

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  13. Your posts are always so down to earth and that's a good thing. You and your books are proof of living through rejection, learning, growing, and persevering. Excellent job

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  14. Rejection is a part of life and having it happens teaches us to get back up, brush ourselves off, and keep going. So it's an important thing to have in your life.

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  15. I agree with your other readers, Stephanie. If we don't ever take the risks, we don't ever achieve what lies before us.

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  16. Hi Steph - love the Peanuts cartoon - two at once, one for the future ... had to laugh - we're rejected all the time ... but we get on with our lives - and we will continue to write ... cheers Hilary

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  17. Rejection is always hard, but that shouldn't get you down. Thanks for sharing this!


    www.ficklemillennial.com

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  18. Rejection is just a part of our journey. Some are harder than others, but we must persevere! Love that comic. :)

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  19. You're right, Stephanie. In spite of the rejections we keep on. And, eventually our hard work pays off. If we give up, we'll never have the joy of that contract, that book or magazine article.

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  20. That's a good attitude to have. You also increase your odds of succeeding if you're writing something amazing and perfect for what the market is looking for. You just need good old stick-to-it-tiveness.

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  21. The Peanuts cartoon is great! I think I've gotten that bonus rejection slip myself.

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  22. You have to put yourself out there. No question. If you read Stephen King's book On Writing, he used to tap his rejections to his wall. It happens to us all.

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  23. You are so right about rejection...it can be difficult to persevere at times.

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  24. I agree. Rejections just mean that I put my work out there to be read. Sometimes, I get crickets chirping, sometimes I get form letters, sometimes I get positive rejections (send us other work), and sometimes ... I get an acceptance letter. :) I'm sure it's the same for writers everywhere and it's worth riding the roller coaster.

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  25. I think I need to grow a far thicker skin. I'm not looking for a publisher but when reaching out to potential companies to work with my hands sweat. I should likely read your article daily. :)

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  26. I think that the tough things we writers have to deal with help us build resilience and better appreciate the rewards later on.

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  27. That comic though. LOL.
    I haven't submitted a work to a publisher but I've tried joining blogging contests and my heart breaks a little if I don't get it. So I feel this.

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  28. Hope your weekend has been pleasant and productive:)

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  29. Excellent, wise words! Thank you!

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  30. Gretzky and Snoopy in the same post - well done.

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