Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Don't give up!

A writing colleague at an online writing group posted that after 14 acceptances of articles he had written, he had received two rejections and was giving up.


I told him all writers experience rejection. (Actually, several of us did.) It’s sometimes (often?) a matter of getting hooked up with the right market, the right editor. In doing our homework we should check the writer’s guidelines to see what they are looking for and how we can adapt our work to fit their market.

My husband is fond of saying, “Writing comes easy to you.”

Well, yes. Yes, it does. The words tumble from somewhere inside of me, flow through the pen in my hand to fill the blanks on the writing pad in front of me. BUT (and there is a but) the hard work is making those words into what a potential editor wants to read.

Sometimes I get very discouraged as I try to focus on one WIP (“work in progress,” for newbies who don’t know what that term means) because something causes me to have a sort of epiphany about another WIP that must be written right then or be forgotten forever. It is usually a crucial scene.

Sometimes I think I will never complete a novel. Other times I think there will be several novels released in rapid succession as I complete them close together.

One of my projects is a novella. It will be for a specific market, designated as eBook and will be 10,000 to 15,000 words. I believe it’s a new market by a long-time publisher. Several years ago I was selling 8,000 word romance stories to True Romance magazine. (Editor Pat Vitullo, where are you?) If I could write 8K word stories for True Romance, I can write 10K to 15K novellas for this eBook market that just happens to be within my reading and writing interests. It feels like the perfect fit! So, I am encouraged, motivated and enthusiastic. AND writing. :D

I’m pretty sure Stephen King, in his book On Writing, mentioned the spike in his office on which he impaled all of his rejections…maybe enough to paper a room? That point is irrelevant. The point is, all writers receive rejection letters. But we shouldn’t take it too hard. Get the piece back in the mail. Maybe re-read it and see if there are any changes you’d like to make, but don’t hold onto it too long. Send it out anyway, and get to work on the next story, whether it is a novel, novella or short story or a non-fiction article or book.

Someone, a local businessman, once told me, the person who fails is the one who gave up too soon.

DON’T GIVE UP!!! Even if nobody else believes in you, YOU need to believe in YOU! Persistence and determination are the key.

Now, what are you writing today?


Sara Thompson said...

Your post came just when I needed it. I am feeling a little discouraged. I have 3 completed novels but I am not feeling confident that they are publishable - keep at it right?

CBrownfield said...

Keep at it, Sara! You know there are a whole slew of MWs behind you to give you support and encouragement when you need it. Don't be shy about reaching out. We might need your encouragement, too!