keep going2After the longest two months of my entire life; waiting to hear the news in regard to a book pitch I made, I learned on Friday that it was rejected. Leaving the rest of my weekend and my mood…well, blah.

I found myself completely focused on the negative. Hearing only ‘you’re not good enough’ and ‘your writing sucks.’ When my awesome, motivational writing coach, Rebecca T. Dickson chimed in and forced me to take note of the positive, pointing out key comments that were made in my rejection letter as follows:

  • “You’re clearly a very talented writer, though I think short form poetry remains your strongest suit at this stage in your career.”
  • “You have talent in spades for these brief, poetic images.”

Then of course, she finishes me off with this little reminder:

“Maybe you should take a look at this list of famous books, followed by the number of times they were rejected:
Carrie, Stephen King (30)
Chicken Soup for the Soul, Jack Canfeld and Mark Victor Hansen (140)
Dr. Seuss books (15)
Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell (38)
Harry Potter book one, J. K. Rowling (9)
The Prncess Diaries, Meg Cabot (17)
Watership Down, Richard Adams (26)
A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L’Engle, (26)”

the best

Although I agreed with her, and told myself I would not allow this fall to get me down. I, being a fragile and easily affected human being, could not let it go. I reached out to you guys via Twitter and Facebook and asked the question: “How do you create motivation from rejection? Or do you just allow yourself to wallow in the heartbreak?” And because you all know me so well, sensing that something was ‘up’, the replies I received were truly moving. Here are some of those highlights…

  • “…you should keep going!”
  • “Walls aren’t there to stop you, they’re there to see how much you want it… Go get ’em girl xx”
  • “Experience the pains of this life, cast them aside, then load up and keep on truckin’! Never give up!”
  • “Wish I could give you a hug and tell you it’ll be fine. Nothing’s certain, though. Just know there are TONS of people who love you, your spirit, and your special voice, that resonates beyond your poetry. And we want to see you meet your success…whatever the heck that “success” is.”

I’d like to take this time to say thank you all for always supporting me. Through the highs and lows, the good and bad…through this entire journey you have been my backbone. Your encouragement and love means so very much to me. KNOW THAT. All of you, this writing community, poets…you all are so wonderful and I am proud to be a part of it. Love you guys! And not to devalue anyone’s sweet comments telling me to push forward, I must say that there was one person who ultimately made me decide to keep going…

While wallowing in self pity, I was approached by someone and the conversation went like this:

‘so what are you going to do’?tumblr_m59gdnGSj51rxey4io1_500

‘nothing. I guess I will just keep writing poetry.’

‘you’re just going to give up?’

‘yep. I’m done.’

‘No! You cannot give up after one small failure. I think you should try again.’

and in the eyes of my son, sitting beside me and throwing words at me that I have said to him. I had an epiphany. How can I give up so easily and expect him to be strong and fight for and pursue his dreams? Something I consistently preach. How that sometimes it will get hard, but he has to keep going to achieve what he wants in life. This was not acceptable. I owe it to him to set an example. So when his time comes, when he is out in the world and comes face to face with a stumbling block that tells him ‘you can’t’…I can remind him of this moment, tell him to punch it in the face and say ‘I can.’

So today, I am writing, editing, polishing and moving forward…because I can.

Follow my writing journey toward my first novel…

keep going3

…and before you give up…here are some more famous authors who got rejected, and rejected, and rejected…

George Orwell: One publisher rejected Animal Farm by declaring “It is impossible to sell animal stories in the USA.” Time magazine went on to name the book one of the 100 best English-language novels of all time.

Jack Kerouac: One publisher had the following comments about On the Road: “Kerouac does have enormous talent of a very special kind. But this is not a well made novel, nor a saleable one nor even, I think, a good one. His frenetic and scrambling prose perfectly expresses the feverish travels, geographically and mentally, of the Beat Generation. But is that enough? I don’t think so.” Sterling Lord, Kerouac’s literary agent, shopped the manuscript around for four years before finally securing a deal.

Robert Pirsig: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance was rejected 121 times. The publisher who finally approved the manuscript said, “It forced me to decide what I was in publishing for.”

Anne Frank: her diary was rejected by Alfred A. Knopf Inc. in 1950, after one reader called it “a dreary record of typical family bickering, petty annoyances and adolescent emotions” … and was then rejected by 15 other publishers–one of whom said, “The girl doesn’t, it seems to me, have a special perception or feeling which would lift that book above the ‘curiosity’ level.”–before Doubleday pub’d it in 1952.

Paulo Coehlo: The Alchemist sold around 800 copies in its first release and was dropped by its first publisher. It has now been translated into 60+ languages, and has sold 75+ million copies… and is one of the best selling books in history. 

Stephanie Meyer: sent out fifteen agent queries about her girl-who-falls-in-love-with-a-vampire saga. All but one of the agents either rejected or ignored her. One rejection arrived after she’d received a three-book deal from Little, Brown. We’re guessing this Twilight author no longer worries about queries.

*source: Danielle Laporte