DIARY POST 14: WHICH IS SCARIER, SUCCESS OR FAILURE?

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Last Friday I wrote a post about querying literary agents. As I usually do, I read a number of posts similar to my topic. Many of these posts were about rejection. Rejection is a reality that any writer has to face. The first time I got a critique that did not pamper my ego, I was a mess. I could not separate my feelings from the words I had written.

Writing is personal. It is an extension of a subject matter you have made sense of; hence the reason writers and other artist are commonly emotionally attached to their work. But when you have done all you can do to write your best post, article, letter or novel, and you don’t submit it, are you afraid of success or failure?

When no one knows your work, you can live each day with the hope that if you were to submit that piece, everyone would love it. Some people rather that, like the store owner in The Alchemist who chose to dream of Mecca rather than to visit it. If your dream is safe in your heart, you can never fail or be disappointed. Failure is only possible when you attempt.

fearOn the other hand, if you send out your piece, you are exposing yourself to a chance to be ridiculed. A ‘No thank you’ is understandable, but not everyone can withstand a ‘This makes no sense. You have too many mistakes. That story would never sell.’

In submitting your work, you also open yourself to a Stephenie Meyer or J.K. Rowling victory. Granted their level of victory is rare. It could happen. I read so many posts about authors whose manuscripts had been rejected 20-80-100 times before that one ‘yes.’ If you never get in the game, or you give up too soon, you take away your chances, and that’s an opportunity only you can give yourself.

The pressure of success is tremendous for a person who has a dream. When it comes, people expect stuff from you. They will judge you more closely. You have to be perfect or you’ll lose everything, right?

Whichever response you get, it is a response. We have no control over people, and just like you have written your thoughts they have given you theirs. Some people can be unnecessarily harsh, but if you believe in your work, you should be able to move on and to know the difference between constructive criticism and the rants of a miserable person.

We all want something, at least I do. Each day I wake, I thank God for putting a dream in my heart that I believe in. If no one else does I do. That does not say I don’t run through a million ‘what ifs’ or I don’t get my feelings hurt. However, it’s only so much time I’ll give myself to pout. One full day of being angry and not talking to anyone is quite enough. After that it is time to move on. Time is wasting. Girl

Of course, that mindset did not come after one disappointing interaction. Now that I am so far into my work, I realize that I’ve wasted too much time being scared. However, I am a firm believer that nothing happens before its time. Don’t waste your time and energy worrying about the value someone else puts on you or your work. You should always be your own biggest supporter. Trust that others would follow suit and the right ones will.

This article is like a therapy session for me. As soon as my manuscript has been edited (I should get it back in about three weeks) I’ll have no excuse. Confidence has to be a virtue for me. And really, after almost two years of writing, and spending money I don’t have, I would be a damn fool if I didn’t query it to the max. I know my ‘yes’ is soon to come. My deterrent is not a ‘No’ it could only be me, and I’m not going to do myself that wickedness.

4 Comments

  1. kiel says:

    The only time success becomes scarier, is when you become a victim of it. For example, I considered Buju Banton to be the biggest victim of his own success, also local business Royal Castle and Willies Ice cream as well, they are only shadows of their former selves with no sense of resolve or direction in the corporate environment. You keep up with the writing and working out, never mind those literary agents on reject. Regards.

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  2. I’m not going to lie. I’ve cried over rejection letters. It’s tough to feel rejected, or to feel like your work isn’t good enough. Even when you try not to take it personally, it’s hard not to. Nobody gets anywhere by NOT trying. Great post and good luck with your queries. All it takes is one ‘yes.’

    Like

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