Guys, I’ve been doing a lot of querying and contesting lately.
It is exhausting.
Rejections aren’t personal, but they feel personal. Bits of me die every time. It feels like someone telling you that you aren’t worthy. What you do isn’t good enough. Your best isn’t enough.
And then I think of Stephen King.
No, not his horror stuff. On Writing. It’s fascinating. Okay, I didn’t connect with some of the actual writing advice as much (he’s big on first drafts and going with your gut and I’m a re-writer, just ask my Pitch Wars mentor Rae), but I loved how he told the story of his life. He is unflinchingly honest, even in the face of not-pretty things. He is a storyteller. He’s amazing. I’m sure a lot of you have heard the story of the nail. As a young teen, he began submitting short stories to magazines. When he got his first rejection, he stuck it on a nail on the wall of his bedroom.
“By the time I was fourteen … the nail in my wall would no longer support the weight of the rejection slips impaled upon it. I replaced the nail with a spike and kept on writing.”
A freaking spike, guys, and he kept on writing. So there’s no reason for me to be such a whiny pansy. If you’re a writer, you keep on writing.
Also, you’re allowed to impale your rejections on a spike. I bet Stephen King would approve.