I was just pondering rejection. When I decided to try and publish my story I knew it was part of the process. I didn’t have a grand illusion that I would break into writing without some negative feedback. Honestly this is one of two times in my life I have felt competitive. Once was in college when a professor encouragingly told us the first day of class that half of us would drop the class and half of the remaining students would fail. I thought “Wanna bet?” and I got a ‘B’ in that class (which led to C’s in two other classes, but it was totally worth it.)
Writing has been pretty much the same. I hit the days (weeks, months) of discouragement thought, “Why the heck am I doing this?” then remembered, because I love it. I love stories about people. I love stories that encourage people to exceed their previous benchmarks, and push passed their limits. I love stories where people, despite their discouragement, move forward, with hope that they will succeed against the odds.
The rejection doesn’t stop once the book is published either. I don’t remember thinking about that before. Publishing, before I was published, seemed like an end, but it is actually a short begging to a very long journey. Rejection isn’t just letters from publishers and agents. It can be amazon, goodreads, and other reviews (or no reviews). It’s venues saying “Sorry we’re not interested.” It’s the voice inside my head saying “It’s not enough.” But after the rejection there is another voice (I’m also a little crazy…), it reminds me of a young college girl, it says “Wanna bet?” I’d be happy with a ‘B’. Because again I am not delusional enough to think that my book is a masterpiece that will transcend the ages and cause world peace (LOL!), but I love it. I love the characters and the people who inspired them, and the journey I have had up to this point.
So five wonderful people who may read this blog, in the face of rejection dare to say “Wanna bet?” and chase the dreams that you really really love that bring you joy whether they bring you success, money or not.
One of my characters faced rejection several times in the story. I never really cared for this particular character. He is frivolous and silly, but as I thought about this topic, I realized that (even though I didn’t write this intentionally) he doesn’t get discouraged, he lets the disappointment roll right on by.This character is an eternal optimist. That’s not always a bad thing. Because like I said before when people reject my story they aren’t really rejecting me. A part of me, but not all of who I am, so I can let it roll right on by.
Call it what you will “tolerance” “agreeing to disagree” “different tastes” “different worldviews” we can reject other’s ideas and stories without rejecting the person. Actually rejection is sometimes the very thing that pushes us and our world forward.