Monday, March 5, 2007

Rejection and Validation:

Right now I'm in a yahoo group called Write_Workshop and a workshop is going on called “Rejection Hell” on how to cope with rejection. There is also a sister list for chatting called: Write_WorkshopChat.

We're up to day 3 of the workshop and it's about not losing your self-esteem due to rejection. (actually on Wed. 2/28 we're up to day 3 because I'm writing blogs ahead as the mood strikes me.)

I don't have "novel rejection" yet to go by. Because I just
haven't submitted any novels yet. If I know something isn't ready,
why send it out there? I've tried to determine if it's a "fear of
rejection" but I really honestly don't think that's it. It is a "I
know that one wasn't the one."

And while I could have worked to make it publishable...I was still
learning and finding my voice. I really think a lot of people rush
out the door too soon to try to get published. There shouldn't be all
this imagined pressure to publish while you're still learning how to
even say what you have to say.

But I have experienced rejection at the short story and article level.
And it rarely upset me for very long. I'd
be bummed maybe for an hour or so, but then I just went back to
whatever I was working on.

I mean I knew it wasn't personal. And I really believe that. Having
run my own business before, choosing someone else's work or not
choosing it really is just business.

I learned very early on, from a very different set of circumstances
outside of writing that you can't look to others to validate you. You
have to validate yourself. And not everybody will like you, period.

So you may as well stop trying to be anyone but yourself, because if
you change for acceptance, you might be accepted by one group, but
another group with shun you. That's just life.

Everybody won't like you. No matter how nice, smart, talented,
whatever you are. Someone will say you are a suck up. Someone will
say you're a smart ass, someone will say you're a know-it-all. And
from their perspective, it's probably true.

So it's more useful in the grand scheme to just look to form
connections with those, both in your personal and professional life
who DO get, like, and appreciate you or what you have to offer and for
whom you can return the same like and appreciation.


Liz Kreger said...

I've never viewed rejection as personal. Its part of the game, IMO. Not everyone is gonna "get" you and not everyone is gonna love your writing. Everything is subjective.

I've probably sent out submissions too soon, but there is such a thing as sitting on them forever as well.

spyscribbler said...

Everyone's path to publication is different. Erica Orloff, on her blog, recently mentioned that she believes everyone's path to publication is the perfect one for them.

That said, I agree with you. I wouldn't want my first writings out there under my real name. However, I'm pleased that they're out there, and I wouldn't be the writer today without the experience of having published them.

So why not try the small press/pseudonym route, until you feel ready? Getting paid is a great motivator, and interacting with readers tends to make me write better.

Zoe Winters said...

True, Liz. You just gotta get it out there.

Hey Spy, I intend to ALWAYS write under a pen name. It's not a matter of shame,it's a matter of privacy. I truly believe I would self censor if I wrote under my real name. A pen name gives me the freedom to be absolutely honest to a level I know I could never be, even if I was only being dishonest subconsciously as a protective barrier.

I want to be able to be completely naked on the page and say what needs to be said in a story, especially in the erotica. So I intend to always publish with a pen name.

I feel like I'm ready now. I don't know if my writing is yet, but that's why I'll be submitting it. And I intend to try the agent route first.