The Road to 80 Rejections, vol. 2

I did it.

I severed the arm and mercilessly tossed it out to the ravaging dogs, whose teeth were bared as our eyes locked. I snarled, “Come and get it!”

That’s right. I submitted my manuscript for the first time ever. I thought I’d feel instant relief, like the first wave of this battle has been obliterated and now I can take a nap. Or work on the next novel. Instead, I’m in a panic. Now I remember all those little tweaks I wanted to do, the ones that were possibly numbers 211 and above on my list of things I needed to fix. Officially, I claim to have done 3 revisions. Unofficially, it’s more like 62.  I called it complete yesterday. I said I had done all that I could do.

Two minutes later, I couldn’t stop the worry from bubbling up again.

Here’s the thing about writing: it’s the most invigorating, freeing, and creative way you could ever give cause to dislike yourself very much.  It’s hard, creating this baby and then hoping that everyone else loves it as much as you do. There’s some real raw emotion involved in the process.  Red Smith said it best:

“You simply sit down at the typewriter, open your veins, and bleed.” 

Truer words have never been spoken. That really is what writing is like, regardless of genre or medium. It is pouring every part of your entire being out–all of these things you’ve done and crafted, every concept that has seeped through your every thought and captivated your imagination–for the world to see. And for them to judge as if these very things determine your worth.

I suspect that my challenge throughout the 80 rejections won’t just be handling those letters. For the wary perfectionist, stasis will be a struggle.

Submissions: 1 / Rejections: 0


3 thoughts on “The Road to 80 Rejections, vol. 2

  1. I can tell just from this post what a good writer you are! Good luck!
    It is very, very hard to pour your heart and soul into a book, only to have a reader (or agent) knock it down with a few sentences of dislike. As long as you have an audience that loves your books, all is well. If I only listened to bad reviews, (or rejection letters) I'd never write another word! The first lesson I learned: not everyone will like every book–and that's okay. (whether it's a reader or an agent–don't give up!)
    I am here:
    Stop by and visit some time!

  2. I still don't have a thick skin, but I'm learning. A bad review still has the power to devastate me. I concentrate on the five star reviews and re-read them when I'm feeling down.
    I constantly remind myself that not everyone will like every book and that's just the way it is in life with everything. Especially with the arts. So simple, but it took me awhile to realize that.
    Wishing you great success!

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