I know I’ve said this before, but it’s something I firmly believe in. If you are querying, or are out on submission, or doing anything where you’re receiving rejections, celebrate them. Want to know why? You are actively DOING something. You decided to go for your dreams, you didn’t just talk about it – you sat down and wrote and revised and then you bravely put yourself out there. You are incredible!
Seriously, you are. How many people do you know that are brave enough to wear their heart so openly on their sleeves?
I wrote five books and queried them for over two years, before I signed with my agent on my SIXTH novel. As you can imagine, I racked up A LOT of rejections. Some were form letters, others were personalized, and a decent amount were encouraging enough for me to keep going.
Sure there are days where you feel like giving up, or question your sanity, but that stuff will pass. Really. It will.
If you’re feeling particularly down, allow yourself a day or two to regroup. Do something – ANYTHING – other than writing or querying. Go for a walk. Make a fancy dessert. Rent a bunch of movies and laugh until you cry. Watch a baseball game. But whatever you do, stay away from your computer.
Do not check your email.
Do not touch your project for 24 solid hours.
Read that book you keep putting off.
By the end of the day you’ll start to feel something. You know what that is? It’s hope blossoming in the pit of your stomach. That’s also passion for your work. An entire day away from it is hard. You miss it. How can you even think of giving it up now, after you’ve come so far?
Now take that query letter back out and see what you can do to improve it. Do the same with your manuscript. Then get back out there and try all over again.
You know why I used to celebrate my rejections? Because I always believed that better things were in store for me. I just couldn’t always see it at the time, but I had faith it would all work out. I am a firm believer in the saying, when one door closes a better one opens.
Keep knocking and your door will open.
What’s even more impressive is this: you are learning so much about yourself. Look at how strong you are. You fell down, but you got back up again. I bet you didn’t know you had that kind of inner strength before.
Thank you for being incredible.