Every writer goes through the same feelings of self-doubt at one time or another. Am I good enough to do this professionally? Am I sure this is the best my manuscript can be? Is my query letter an accurate snippet of what my book is about? Is my storyline clear? Is there enough conflict?
We beat ourselves up with a barrage of negativity that serves no purpose. But what about how stressful it is, you ask? Anything that’s worth doing is going to be stressful at some point. That’s unfortunately the way it is. We do have a choice however, on how we handle that stress.
If you want to look at it as insurmountable, that’s your prerogative. In case you’re feeling brave and want to step out of the dark-side for a moment, I’ve compiled a top ten list of things to be proud of. At first glance some may appear to be negative, but trust me anything can be positive if you allow it to be.
10. You received a personalized rejection on your query.
9. You received a partial request.
8. You got a few form rejections
7. You got a full request!
6. You’ve made new friends in the writing community.
5. You wrote a kick-ass query letter.
4. You didn’t drop-dead on the spot from more rejection.
3. You sent out more query letters. (Take that rejection!)
2. You COMPLETED A BOOK!!!! (Then edited it, revised it, & pulled your hair out.)
1. You pick yourself up and do it all again.
You sound pretty darn amazing don’t you? So stop with the self-doubt already. You’re one of the bravest people I know. You put yourself out there every single day. Sometimes you get good news, sometimes you get bad. But you take it all in stride, handle it with grace and that’s something to be proud of.
You see that personalized rejection as a good sign. Heck someone took the time to write it and it’s not a form letter. Go ahead and smile over that. You deserve it. But you’re still saying, ‘I’ve got a bunch of form rejections too.’ If you never feel the sting of a form rejection, how can you taste how sweet a full request is?
I’ll leave you with an amazing quote by Shel Silverstein to fight those doubts away.
“Listen to the mustn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me… Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”
What are YOU most proud of? Let me know in the comment section or on Twitter.