Writers don't have a choke hold on rejection. That doesn't make it easier when we're rejected, unfortunately.
I'm watching an American Idol re-run of Hollywood (HELL) Week. In this episode the contestants are being pared down to the Top 24. They've made it really far. They know they're good because they've had a lot of successes and they've made it this far.
But they don't know if they're good enough to get through to the next round.
Those that get through to the Top 24 still face the possibility of more rejection. In fact, all but one will feel the sting.
Usually, there are more slots for writers. Most publishers publish four books a week which would be 208 annual slots. Multiply that by several publishers and there are a lot of possibilities for acceptance. Maybe that makes it worse.
With so much competition most writers will receive at least one rejection. Most will receive more than one.
So, how do you handle rejection? Where do you go from here?
Do you let one person's opinion, even one panel's decision, rule the rest of your life?
What if the Beatles had let Decca's rejection stop them? Not only would that have adversely affected their lives but all of ours. They weren't only rejected by Decca but by Columbia, Pye, Philips, and Oriole.
According to Wikipedia, Decca Records told the Beatles "guitar groups are on the way out" and "the Beatles have no future in show business".
Aaron Kelly, a young man still in high school who is one of Season 9's contestants just said, (I'm paraphrasing) "You have to have everything they're looking for and hopefully I have that."
That sounds accurate. Our work can have many good aspects, indeed many wonderful things going for it, but it may not have every element and so we get rejected.
The good news is that people can learn, we can grow, we can practice and work hard to improve. We can also audition and submit to different people. So what if Decca rejects us? Or American Idol? Or Harlequin?
Each a big batch of chocolate, take a European vacation, go to the movies, take a bubble bath... Do whatever it takes to feel better then keep going. American Idol allows people to try year after year and some make it through the second or third time.
Don't give up on yourself.
Sure, I get depressed. Sometimes I wonder why I'm working so hard and not achieving my goals as quickly as some of my fellow writers who began their careers after me.
I have to wonder, are they more talented? Were they in the right place at the right time? Did they work harder than I have?
It could be one or all three. Perhaps I'll never know. But does it matter?
What matters is where I go from here, how I handle my career. If I were to give up, I'd be a failure. If I keep working, keep trying, chances are I'll succeed BIG.
Maybe it was a good thing Decca and all those others rejected the Beatles. Maybe their career wouldn't have gone as well if they had found earlier acceptance.
The American Idol judges just explained to a very upset rejected contestant that one rejection isn't the end of the world nor even the end of her career. They told her to believe in herself, to keep going. Sounds like good advice to me.
I will not give up. I will keep trying. I will keep believing in myself.
What about you?
Recent posts you might like to read:
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You'll also want to see what Amarinda Jones, Anika Hamilton, Anny Cook, Barbara Huffert, Brynn Paulin, Bronwyn Green, Dakota Rebel, Kelly Kirch, Molly Daniels, Sandra Cox, Regina Carlysle, and Cindy Spencer Pape are up to, so make sure to visit them also. :)