I had my favorite kind of win this week, but it’s a strange one.
I submitted to #authormentormatch, provided my full MS and synopsis, *really* got my hopes up, and . . . wasn’t chosen. It happens. Usually, it’s no big deal.
I tried to hold my breath till I got feedback, but—this time—rejection slammed into me full force.
(Read: the emotional impact of “losing” hit me Hard from all different angles).
Luckily, I knew feedback would come, and it was time to let the months of rejection process through tears.
Plus this. Because self care.
I took time to recover, to open myself fully to what I could learn from losing. I wallowed and wept.
I troubled my poor husband way past his bed time.
The idea of quitting, or even taking a break, arose. Writing hurt so much, brought me so low.
But it was like that moment in Star Trek: First Contact, when Data is offered the choice to betray Starfleet to become human.
Lieutenant Commander Data: [about the Borg Queen] She brought me closer to humanity than I ever thought possible. And for a time, I was tempted by her offer.
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: How long a time?
Lieutenant Commander Data: 0.68 seconds sir. For an android, that is nearly an eternity.
I considered it for 0.68 seconds. I’m no Data, but that’s all that thought needed.
I love writing too much. Even if I tried to quit or take a break, it would hurt too, plus I’d fail, because . . .
I love it too much.
Lesson: I knew exactly how much it means to me that I make my story WORK.
So I turned my attention to another WIP, one I’m insanely excited about as well, and lost myself in the work.
When I received the feedback last night, it was a happy surprise. A full beta read+ a two-page critique/reader response. Something clicked. Then a lot of things clicked.
I learned something about my craft, not just my story. Because I was so open, so vulnerable, I was ready to see the bigger picture. And because this community is so wondrous and personal, with people giving and sharing with each other, I found my way forward.
Lightning struck; I built a plan, and today I’ll design the schedule to get it done.
I am so grateful to my newest reader, and to all the readers who’ve helped me grow as I have in the thing I love, as precious to me as air.
Y’all. Even the tears feel good in hindsight.
This is what 90% of “the writer’s life” will always be. We’ll write and share, edit and revise, listen and learn, because the rejections will mount forever. For every yes there may be a thousand nos.
Still, I love it.
I’d love to hear how other authors soldier on through rejection. What gets you through it?