I don’t like the places my mind has been going to lately.
There are days when I am completely sure of who I am, and I love this woman. Then, there are days when I say things like, What the heck am I doing? I don’t just ponder this question in regards to my career, but also in regards to my personal life. I wonder if I’ll ever meet a man who wants the things I want. I wonder if I’m being foolish for believing some of the things I believe now. Then, I tell myself not to worry. Things will fall into place all on their own. I’m just here for the ride, so to speak.
When I speak to my friends, it’s clear that I’m not alone. Others have doubts, too. Doubts are normal. Doubts are a sign that we have feelings, that we care about our dreams and others. Doubts are a sign that we are alive. Maybe doubts exist to keep us humble. Still, I’m not a big fan of doubts. I’m not sure anyone is.
Just the other day, I found myself wondering if anyone was even looking at the novel pitches I’d been sending. I kept reciting the same prayer, God, please let someone see in my work what I see in it.
But there are days when I doubt my work. I doubt my voice, the story, the characters, everything. A few days ago, I mentioned joining NaNoWriMo and on Sunday, after receiving my first rejection letter, I thought to myself, Maybe I should stop writing novels, period. Maybe I should focus on other kinds of writing, more along the lines of freelancing. Then, as quickly as those thoughts rushed in, a response followed, My dream is to be an author, and I am not giving up on that dream despite how hard it gets. It will all be worth it.
I’ve noted that my first rejection isn’t a bad thing. That rejection means someone read my pitch and part of my story. Sure, she didn’t think she’d be the right agent for it, but someone read it, and if she did, so will others. Now, I just have to be patient. While that’s easier said than done, I know that keeping busy helps. So, in the meantime, I’m working on other goals. I’ve started pitching magazines again, but this time, with the article pasted on the email. (Go hard or go home!)
I’m no stranger to rejection. I’ve experienced it various times in the workplace, but this is different. This is leading to something greater. This is my greatest dream.
My first literary rejection took me back to J.K. Rowling and the likes. She didn’t give up even after multiple rejections, and look where she is now! I can’t see this novel not getting picked up, but if it doesn’t, I will do what many authors before me have done when they don’t get published right away – I’ll keep writing. And I’ll also recite my favorite J.K. Rowling quote, “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you fail by default.”
How do you work your way out of a funk when you’re in one?