Received this today. Friends I need to tell you that my rejection letters are in the triple digit range from the last few years. Literally.
“Perhaps this is because after all I am actually not a very good writer.”
Such was the thought that came to me when I received over ten rejection letters, but now I am in the triple digits, this thought can too easily looks more like this inside,
“YOU SUCK!! YOU ARE THE WORST WRITER EVER!! YOU SHOULD JUST GIVE UP!! STICK TO PERFORMING POETRY, THATS NOT REAL WRITING! The AUDACITY TO THINK YOU ARE CREATIVE AND THAT PEOPLE MIGHT ACTUALLY WANT YOUR WORK! RIDICULOUS!! YOU SUCK!!!!!’
Yep. This is my internal conversation. And I am an optimist with a really high self-esteem. I cannot imagine what it might be for many artists and writers out there who also risk their ego by sending out submissions to agents and publishers and journals and magazines.
So what do you do with rejections then. Well, I am learning to tell myself a different story. In my head it sounds like this,
‘Persist. You can persist. You must persist. Why? Because if there is one person out there who needs your words and you back down because of fear, because of ego, and they go through life and do not find the freedom that is theirs when they could of…That would be the the truest tragedy. Much more devastating than a few rejection letters, than a hundred rejections letters, than a thousand rejection letters. You have been given this thing and you owe it to the world to gift it to them.”
I then think of the many creative friends whose work I have been so moved by and changed by and what would have become of me had they given up in the face of rejections. People like Brooke Shaden and Joy Prouty and Anna McGahan and Ann Voskamp and so many many more.
See rejection is the name of the game when you are writer or an artist. It is reality. So it is time to tell a different story, to help push yourself past these rejections. You do not SUCK! You are becoming a better writer, a better person, with every rejection letter you recieve, if you allow yourself to become so by not becoming a victim in the face of them.
I think we should change the name then, from rejection letters to….Determination letters, Resolute letters, Take-Courage letters.
My rejected friends, take heart, stay strong, keep writing, keep creating, keep submitting. This is what we do. I see your back backbone. I see it there. Strong it is. So strong. Lets do this!