Today, author Traci McDonald shares her thoughts on rejection and inspiration.
I can’t stop reading the letter over and over. "We appreciate your submission; unfortunately it does not meet our current publishing needs.” But when the words become branded across my mind, I no longer need to read the rejection again.
I must be crazy. I am not a writer. I’m a hack, an amateur, a dreamer. What was I thinking? All these thoughts plague my heart and mind as I wipe away bitter tears to hold my manuscript’s wake.
In the backlash of rejection, there is no room for inspiration. I drown in the desperate need to understand what went wrong. I’ve read that lots of published work should have been in the rejection pile. Why did others get published and not me? What can I do if I want to be a writer? Do I possess the talent to write?
The things that once inspired me now remind me that I am not good enough. I am tired—tired of feeling like a failure, tired of being beaten down, tired of my defeatist attitude. Eyes drying and pity party complete, I have two choices. I can believe the doubt and fear and give in to despair, failure, and comfort food, or I can fight back. I can let rejection become my inspiration to work harder, learn more, and try again. I can find out what the publisher’s ‘needs’ are. I can find another home for my work. I can laminate the letter and keep it as a trophy for when I am a published author.
Walt Disney went bankrupt eight times trying to build Disney Land. Babe Ruth struck out more times than he hit home runs. If we believe the nay-Sayers are correct, then they are. If we take rejection and turn it to inspiration, then we are truly authors.
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