Alive with Rejections

If you google rejections of writers, you’ll find some inspiring stories. Margaret Mitchell, for instance, was rejected 38 times for her book, “Gone with the Wind.” This book went on to, well, you recognize the title, right? So enough said.

I think this quote about being alive is important because we don’t all write epic novels that turn into major motion pictures. I’m guessing Margaret herself didn’t realize the impact her words would have in the literary world. She just wrote. Tirelessly, fiercely, devotedly, because she was a writer. And even if no one else knew it….she did.

I have my own stories about my stories being rejected time and time again. Seriously, a lot of rejections. But I’ve also been blessed to have received the call saying, “yep, let’s do this thing,” from an honest to goodness publisher. It’s a pretty remarkable moment. It can be described as feeling, “Alive.”

But those rejections…those times when you open your computer and have another email saying, “Thank you for contacting us. We regret to inform you that we do not feel your story…” that fires up maybe a deeper feeling of aliveness. When you’re sitting in your pjs at 5 am after meditating and drinking tea, staring at the computer. Alone. Hours alone with words pouring out or getting stuck before they hit the screen…it doesn’t matter. Because you’re sitting there and at the same time you are typing this amazing one liner the email pops in that says another publisher thinks you aren’t good enough.

And then you have a choice. You can listen to them. Or you can listen to you. And it’s that moment–that’s the critical moment. So you hit the key to minimize the rejection letter and move back to the screen to continue writing. It’s that moment when you become conscious of your treasure.
That’s the moment of feeling alive.

A friend of mine gave me a journal. It says, “If you are a writer…write.”

Recognizing our treasures. And believing in yourself even when 38 well known publishers don’t…

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