Keeping the romance alive~
Despite the rejection(s)
I want to be a writer. And yet, it has been a daunting uphill battle faced with much heartache, rejection and even the loss of every word I’d written to a house fire. But still, I really want to see my name on the cover of book. So I trudge on. I read somewhere that the apprenticeship before one could expect to sell is 10,000 hours of writing, learning the craft and developing the techniques. So, in my case, writing one hour a day, seven days a week that would be twenty-seven years. Do I have what it takes to wait that long? You can see why the romance of writing evaporates. Maybe I should try gardening.
I’m always happy when I read some lucky pre-published author whose manuscript gets picked from the slush pile, read over the weekend and notified by a very excited editor screaming “I loooove this book.” Or, the rare occurrence of a manuscript creating a NY buzz in an auction, going for six or seven figures and launching a star search for filming. These wonderful antidotes help to keep me going during the lull.
Halfway through my apprenticeship I deciphered the best way for me to keep the romance for writing alive, to find the courage to submit, and face the possibility it may never happen. And here’s what I discovered:
- I love writing. No matter how many rejections the mailman brings, or the email letdowns I find early a.m. (I’ve learned that’s when editors send rejections) I usually put those in a file to be re-evaluated later, when I’m calm and am more likely to absorb and possibly agree with the editor’s reason and comments for the rejection.
- Despite how disheartening all these setbacks are, it’s important to remember the reasons you chose to write at all. What propelled you to sit down, pen in hand and put your thoughts on paper? Remember the excitement discovering how much you loved the process.
- Surround yourself in writing luxury. I’m not talking millions of dollars here, but the simple tools you need to work with. Things that tickle your muse or stimulate the urge to jot stuff down, freeing up and wrestling writers block. Pens and journals, crisp paper with a smooth flowing felt-tip pen. Susan Wiggs is said to write all of her first drafts with purple ink in a spiral notebook. I received a letter from her once and I swear it smelled just like grapes! How fun is that!
Use whatever stimulus that trigger an emotional level. Since writing demands emotions, you want all the advantages, right?
- I read someone’s response on a blog as to why they chose to write. I only have her user name, Smartygirl. Her explanation. ‘I started writing as a kid, not to be a great author. I just wanted to be inside the pages of Anne of Green Gables. So I wrote myself there.’ I love that. Remember when you were small and the motto was I can do anything. Go for it!