Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Rejections: Serenity, Courage, and Wisdom / IWSG



It’s the first Wednesday of the month when all the IWSGers post on their blogs about their writing insecurities or offer some encouragement to others. If you are new to the IWSG, please check out our IWSG Sign-up tab hereA big thank you to our November co-hosts: Joylene Nowell Butler, Jen Chandler, Mary Aalgaard, Lisa Buie Collard, Tamara Narayan, Tyrean Martinson, and Christine Rains!

We’re revving up IWSG Day to make it more fun and interactive! Every month, we'll announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG Day post.

November's Question: What is your favorite aspect of being a writer?

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I'm going to deviate from the assigned question to actually talk about the thing we could all probably agree is our least favorite aspect of being a writer...rejections. The IWSG anthology contest is now closed, and I know those of you who submitted a story are anxiously waiting for January 4th when Alex will announce the winners. Because of that, I wanted to provide a motivational post for those who may fall just a hair short. It's okay! Rejections happen but please don't let them stop you.


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Muse, grant me the serenity to accept the rejections I receive...

No writer is immune to rejections. When I say we all get them, I mean we ALL get them. Authors we love have received more rejections than they can count. Writers just like us are getting rejected left and right. Even best-sellers are rejected. It’s true. Their agent could reject their newest finished book. Their publisher could reject a proposal for a new idea. Their editor could reject a specific story for whatever reason.

The courage to put myself out there...

Although rejection never goes away, you shouldn't give up. Knowing that everyone is rejected should give you the courage to submit; you’re not the only one out there going through this. Sure, being rejected hurts. It’s not fun. But it’s part of the process.

You have to be rejected to be accepted.

And the wisdom to know I am a great writer...

Rejections can make us feel as though we’re not good writers. But what one hundred agents hate, one could love. You just have to find that one, and the only way you can do that is by submitting.

Or we could read books by best-sellers and think, “Gosh, I don’t write like that!” I used to say this until I realized that was a good thing. I write like me, and there is no replacement or equivalent for that.

Sometimes we know we're good writers, but our writing just sucks at the moment. And that’s okay, too. We all go through these ruts. We all suck from time to time. Every book has to have some amount of suckage during the first draft...or third. That’s what editing and revising is for. What makes us great writers is our ability to rewrite, revise, and edit.


Now all together:
Muse, grant me the serenity to accept the rejections I receive;
The courage to put myself out there;
And the wisdom to know I am a great writer.



December's Question: In terms of your writing career, where do you see yourself five years from now, and what’s your plan to get there?

*Add this question and your answer to your December 7th IWSG post.




Chrys Fey is the author of the Disaster Crimes Series30 Seconds, 30 Seconds Before, Ghost of Death, and Witch of Death.

Blogger. Reader. Auntie. Vegetarian. Cat Lover.




43 comments:

Nicola said...

Great inspirational post, Chrys. THANK YOU!! I've written it on my whiteboard above my desk. Thanks for posting December's question early - it's a biggy that needs some thought, as well as remind me to be a better planner :)

Gail M Baugniet - Author said...

Wow, thanks for the heads-up on next month's question.

Rejection is less difficult for me to swallow than a negative review with no redeeming comments. Stressing that everyone must be rejected in order to be accepted is heartening, though. Thanks!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Chrys - yes ... what a wonderful post ... and oh don't we need the support sometimes ... yet we know everyone has been through rejections - all of us someway or another ... yet here we are still up and running and writing ... lovely - thank you - Hilary

Angela Wooldridge said...

Excellent post Chrys, thank you for that reminder :)

Pat Hatt said...

Great supportive post indeed. Just because a rejection comes, doesn't mean one should stop or it isn't good for sure. All it takes is the right person.

L.G. Keltner said...

My pile of rejections is longer than my list of successes, but that's okay. Rejection always hurts, but each rejection I get means I've done something to get my writing out there. The only way to avoid it would be to give up on my dream, and that simply isn't happening.

Thanks for the inspirational post!

Jen Chandler said...

I love this writers take on the Serenity Prayer. It needs a permanent place on the wall above my writing desk! Rejection does hurt but I've read time and time again that authors all have enough rejection slips to wallpaper the walls of several rooms in their homes. Not that any of us want that many but at least we can know we aren't alone. Besides, rejections mean you're getting your work out there and THAT'S the only way you're ever going to get published :). Thanks for this inspiration!

~ Jen

Christine Rains said...

Fantastic post! I've stopped counting the rejections. They come and they'll always come. A few are harder than others, but they only give me a push to carry on now.

Sandee said...

I love it. The serenity prayer for writers. Very clever.

Have a fabulous day. ☺

Pat Garcia said...

Thank you Chrys for an outstanding post and may I also add here an excellent newsletter. I enjoy reading it.
Shalom aleichem,
Pat

The Cynical Sailor said...

Great post and wonderful encouragement. Thanks for sharing.

Chrys Fey said...

@Nicola and Gail, you're welcome for next month's question. I like to share it now so everyone can prepare.

@Hilary, and we must keep running and writing. :)

@Angela, thanks!

@Pat, just one indeed.

@LG, rejection usually is longer than our success, especially when it comes to writing. It's so easy to get a rejection. Great attitude!

@Jen, far from alone. I have paper rejections from ten years ago and email rejections clogging up an email folder. I keep them...for some strange reason. lol

@Christine, I've lost count, too.

@Sandee, I'm glad you like it!

@Pat, thank you! :D

@Sailor, you're welcome!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

A perfect post for today, Chrys. Rejections always hurt but writers are tough. They keep going.

Diane Burton said...

Great post, Chrys. I have LOTS of rejection letters. That's part of a writer's life. When I was a newbie, I didn't realize that anything more than a form rejection (not even signed) was great. If the editor/agent took the time to write a personal letter, be encouraged. If they ask for something else, they aren't just being polite. Send something else. Rejections hurt. But hang in there. Keep writing.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Rejections are a part of life. It's what we do after we get one that matters most.

Deb R.H. said...

They do hit the self-esteem pretty hard. Just have to keep pushing through! :D

Jennifer Williams-Fields said...

Rejection definitely sucks. But, I realize now that just because one person rejects it doesn't mean the next person won't love it. Just keep writing is what it's all about.

Valerie Capps said...

Thanks! I needed that today.

Chrys Fey said...

@Susan, writers are tough!

@Diane, personal rejection letters are good. It shows they actually took the time to really read and consider your query.

@Alex, exactly.

@Deb, I still get discouraged by rejections, but we have to keep on going.

@Jennifer, even a hundred people could reject it, but when you find that one, your book could become a best-seller. ;)

@Valerie, you're welcome!

Lisa said...

I love your take on these words! We all need to hear them even on the days when we feel like super people...

Patricia Lynne said...

I'm going to have to remember to answer December's question because I'm sure my answer will be interesting to read. LOL

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

You're so right, everyone receives rejections. The biggies got em. What's weird is knowing that makes me feel better. LOL. Thanks for this timely post, Chrys.

Michelle Wallace said...

I love that prayer...and you've done a good job adapting it to formulate a writer's creed.
Thanks, Chrys.

Sandra Hoover said...

Thanks for the motivation, Chrys! A good reminder to keep doing what we do. I celebrate the fact that we're all different & so are readers, editors, & publishers.

Meka James said...

Wonderful motivational post. I only attempted the query thing twice and stopped. Maybe I need to add learning the art of query letters to my to-do list and try again for 2017..

Chrys Fey said...

@Lisa, I'm glad you liked it. :)

@Patricia, I can't wait to read your answer!

@Joylene, it's supposed to make us feel better. :)

@Michelle, thanks! It's a lot of fun tweaking it for writers.

@Sandra, as we all should celebrate that.

@Meka, querying is difficult. Getting a query letter right is even harder. All we can do is try. I hope you get back on the query train.

Ryan Carty said...

Quit trying to make me feel better. I want to wallow in my rejection misery!

https://ryanscarty.wordpress.com/

Olga Godim said...

Love your refrain, Chrys. Great post!

Shannon Lawrence said...

Ha, I love it! I'm currently sitting at 148 total rejections for short stories. More to come!

Chrys Fey said...

@Ryan, feel free to wallow.

@Olga, thanks for commenting!

@Shannon, keep it up! The more rejections you get, you'll increase your odds of acceptances. I believe that. :)

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

I love your version of the Serenity Prayer. That's exactly the kind of inspiration and reassurance we all need from time to time.

Zan Marie said...

Chrys, that's perfect! Lovely thoughts to inspire us to keep on going. Thank you!

Kim Lajevardi said...

Well said, Chrys!

Sher A. Hart said...

Thanks for the peace of mind. I will need it for next month's post.

dolorah said...

An encouraging serenity- er, rejection - prayer :)

Lexa Cain said...

Great post! I don't think you're a "real" author unless you can paper at least one wall with rejections! lol

Bish Denham said...

I decided to self-publish due to all the rejections and/or no responses at all... As for were I see myself in five years? I don't think I can look/plan that far ahead. At my age, I'm happy to wake up every morning!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

All together now! We all need to tell ourselves that daily.

Chrys Fey said...

@Susan, we sure do!

@Zan, you're welcome.

@Kim, thanks!

@Sher, good luck with your December post.

@Dolorah, Serenity Rejection Prayer is right. :D

@Lexa, then I'm a really REAL author. ;)

@Bish, self-publishing does take care of the rejection issue. And we should all be happy to wake up each and every morning. <3

@Diane, I really think this prayer could lead to a Kumbaya moment for writers. :)

diedre Knight said...

Your words of encouragement are well taken ;-) Rejection isn't the end of the road - let alone the world - but it can feel that way. We just need to remember that every writer will have readers as long as we don't give up.

farawayeyes said...

Thank you so much. That is exactly what I needed to hear today.

for me, having the courage to even submit to the Anthology Contest was a really big step. Now, a few days later, I start to berate myself with, 'what was I thinking, I'm no where near as good as most of these people who will submit'. Yeah, I know that will get be absolutely nowhere.

Rejection is in fact a part of life and learning to handle it and move forward another great big step. I just need to be reminded...often.

Liesbet said...

Sigh! Rejections... They are part of life and they are - indirectly (or directly) - what keep us going as well. Thanks for the motivation, Chrys! I'm looking forward to next month and answer the newest IWSG question! And, thanks for coming up with these great topics. It is interesting to read other writers' answers and fun to join the conversation.

Diane Weidenbenner said...

I love that you took the serenity prayer and geared it towards writers/writing. That is awesome! So much of writing is having confidence to put yourself and your ideas "out there", and sometimes without getting any feedback. I have enjoyed belonging to the IWSG because it provides that feedback and a lifeline to other writers who experience similar happenings. Awesome! www.dianeweidenbenner.com