Me and my rejection letters
Two days to deadline–I should be editing instead of blogging, but I wanted to share this.
Many of you know that my publishing journey has been filled with ups and downs, many rejections, and times I nearly quit believing in myself and the possibility of a dream I held in my heart for so many years.
This video makes me cry (in the good way) because Jacob captured so much of that in these images. *
I still recall the sting of rejection, and the way every failed opportunity bruised my heart a little–but MORE than that, I remember the people who cheered me past it–who believed in me even when I only felt doubt.
I’ve held on to my rejection letters (literally hundreds of them) for years. Even on days of discouragement, I imagined myself one day holding up that stack and saying, “This happened, BUT . . .”
Rejection doesn’t have to define us. The desire to create art or tell stories doesn’t end with the evaluation of other people. We do it because we love it. That’s really what got me to this point. I decided I was going to keep writing, whether I ever published or not.
It’s funny, but that’s when I wrote FLASHFALL. I had an agent interested in another manuscript, but I felt compelled to work on this new book. It was personal for me, and it poured out in cathartic ways–the story of a girl who got knocked down again and again, but didn’t give up because she believed there was a way past a terrifying, impassable wall.
“This happened, BUT . . .”
If that’s you–a dreamer coming up against barriers–try to see them instead as steps along the way, motivation to push creative boundaries and work harder. If you can carve out time to do what you love–what feeds your soul–than you are already winning. You’ve succeeded. And yes–we want an audience, people who will experience and feel moved by what we’ve created. So find that friend, or critique partner or writing group.
Give voice to the things your heart is saying.
*thank you to my amazing husband and the team at Luminary, for your creative talents, and for helping me share my publishing story in ways more powerful than words.