Dealing with disappointment

As a writer it’s fair to say that you need to expect disappointments.  There will be doors closed in your face, countless No’s before you get that miracle yes and of course the lovely reviews of your fans that simply didn’t fall in love with your book.  I was told from the beginning that I needed to grow thick skin to make it in the writing world.  Oh how true that is!

I’ve always been one of those people that takes things too personally.  Not that I meant to…it’s just always been that way.  I can get my feelings hurt or get my dander up easily…so starting out on the writing journey has been an adventure. 

Agents will turn you down with an impersonal email stating that you are not a right fit for their agency.  Publishers will simply not want to read your unsolicited manuscript because you can’t get an agent.  It’s a terrible cycle of unfairness…but that’s the business.

And what about competitions?  Oh my.  I’m there right now.  I entered a writing competition a couple months ago, made it to the second round and realized that my book simply wasn’t ready to be judged.  Of course by that time it’s too late.  You can’t do any editing so you sit and wait for the inevitable…the announcement that you are out of the running.  You tell yourself that you’re prepared…and yet when the time comes you still feel that sharp pang of disappointment.

If you want to make it as a writer you need to be your own cheerleader.  When you get shoved, relentlessly, off the horse you brush yourself off and get back on.  Sure having others surrounding you to give you a high five along the way is great…but you have to learn to do that for yourself.  I’m convinced that too many great writers gave up before they found their big break.

So…the next time something doesn’t pan out for you remember why you wanted to be a writer in the first place.  Write down your goals…your dreams.  You can even leave Post It’s of encouragement around you house…of course if you don’t live alone this might be bothersome to the other occupants!

You are not defined by your failures but by the way you get back up.  The largest leaps of growth that you will ever experience are in times of trial.  Enjoy the journey, get past the failures and embrace the successes no matter how small they might be!  As long as you are growing you are succeeding!

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