Everyone likes to remind me that J.K. Rowling received 12 rejections prior to finding an agent to represent her and (the now juggernaut) Harry Potter series. It has become one of those things I smile and nod through. I know the intentions are good, the people are being supportive and encouraging, which is sweet and wonderful. But the longer I write and querying, the less I speak of my rejections. This silence make life easier, plus its a wonderful excuse to make brownies at 10 o’clock at night on a Tuesday.
But that doesn’t mean the rejection still don’t still. They do.
Above is an image of a rejection letter addressed to Andy Warhol, infamous artist and socialite. It is a letter like many others I have seen, read, and used to encourage myself on low days and my friends and family are right – one day I will find success. While the sane side of my brain understands and comprehends that it’s a lot of work, the emotional and artistic side is thrown into a tizzy of “woe is me” and “can’t they see my genius?” all of which morph into something I like to call the Karma Effect.
Obviously I’m being punished for some past indiscretion. Yes, that’s it. Blame the universe!
I’ve heard it all before: From “I must have done something wrong.” to “They don’t know what they’re talking about.” Massively bi-polar reactions to the same event, but I know it’s not karma and know they do know what they’re talking about. Maybe I’ll get more than 12 rejections (which is very, very, very, very common) and maybe I’ll have to write more than one book (which is also very, very, very common) but blaming the gods won’t get me any closer to the prize I want – only writing will.
In the end it is a process, like anything else, and you’re going to have to be willing to work REALLY hard to make it work. But the funny thing about passion and doing something you love, is that it never feels like work – it feels like love. That’s what it is, isn’t it?
It’s the process of expressing our love of writing. What are a few pesky rejection letters? They are the paving stones to the fabulous writing life you’ve wanted, allow them to lead the way – not block it.
Now… I have to go write.
Why do you write?
It’s a simple question asked to about every writer that lives. Curiously enough, people want to know what prompted the need to sit in front of a computer (or by hand) and hide away from friends, family and outdoor fun – for many hours at a time.
When asked, the same answer tends to arise, “Because I have too.”
I thought about this a lot the other night, as a stiff neck inhibited me from writing, and I have to agree with all those other writer’s out there. I write, in part, because I have too. That said, as I explored deeper I found an excess amount of other reasons, and I’m adding the following statement to clarify:
“I write because, buried deep inside my heart and brain, are the adventures I have always wanted to go on. I write because, while I find comfort in the words written by so many others (whom I adore) there are still a very large assortment of characters causing a ruckus in my head, and I have to release them to live among us. I write because words haunt me, whether I am sitting pen in hand, or showering, washing clothing, cooking, shopping, paying bills, or playing with my son, they wait to spring themselves on me.”
This is why I’m here, and I hope it goes to a place where I can share with the world all of those words that are lying in wait, but even if that never happens… I will write.
Because, as it would have it, all those other authors hit the nail on the head – because I have too.