We’re all quite expert at creating our own realities. Some of us realize this, others do not. The self fulfilled prophesy is as old as humanity itself. It’s amazing the power we really have over our lives.
Some of us are brought up to believe that life is something that happens TO US. Or that we have no control over our situation. This is absolute crap.
I first realized the power of our own minds to make things a reality when my seventeen-year-old self declared loudly, “I’m going to have my own column by the time I’m 30.” At that point I knew I wanted to be a writer, but figured journalism was the practical route to that goal. I was actually only 25-years-old when I was able to check that goal (having my own column) off my goal list.
So how did I do it? First, I made a declaration of what I wanted. Second, I followed through and worked hard and as a result, ended up with a column in a national trade magazine. I can think of a hundred things in my life (both writing related and not) that I did the same thing with.
Ah, but it’s a double edged sword, this self-fulfilled-prophesy thing. You can also destroy your own reality. Obsessing on the past or something negative can just as easily destruct your reality as obsessing on the future and working toward a goal can create a more positive reality. I don’t care what it is whether it be relationships, education, career, or whatever.
So lately I’ve run across a few people in a writing group to which I belong who are constantly lamenting about their rejections. Believe it or not – as writers – we can choose to be rejected or we can choose not to be.
No matter how badly you hate and obsess over the editor who rejected your manuscript – it’s not going to change the fact that your MS is still sitting in the drawer un-sold. Rejection is one of those things you have to get over. Life is full of rejection. Perhaps we’ve been rejected by old friends or we’ve been rejected by ex-lovers. And yes, that manuscript in your drawer, the one you’ve labored over for months or even years will also be rejected. Or will it?
If one editor rejects your work, that doesn’t mean others will. MOVE ON! Take the MS and send it to another editor. Don’t sit and obsess about the one, or two, or five editors before that who rejected it. Meanwhile – with one MS done, start writing the next one. Hey – it’s a good possibility you may not sell that rejected manuscript (now). It may be the next one (but you can’t find out if you don’t write it).
People who do well in life, and their writing careers, are the ones who take rejection in stride. They revise their goals as they go, constantly reshaping their reality with the way they approach life. They don’t stop and obsess over the lives of others. They don’t obsess about critics or editors. They don’t spend all their time minding someone else’s business. They mind their own. If you approach rejection with, “Oh well, their loss. Next!” you have a higher probability of success (because you move on from it) than if you sit there and cuss the editor who rejected you to anyone who will listen. Not all editors are going to like what you write just like you’re not going to like everyone you meet or every person you date. Even the publishing company who wanted your MS before may not want your future MS. Sometimes it’s best for the author and publisher to sever ties and go their separate ways. You can’t even let something like the latter stop you from shaping your own reality.
We ALL have our spirits broken via rejection. We ALL feel someone else has fucked us over whether it be a bad publisher, friend, or ex-lover. You’re not special or different. So get off the cross already and join the rest of us in the adult world and learn to move forward from your rejection letters. If you allow rejection, in any form, to hold you back – the only person you hurt is YOU and you just set yourself up for *more* rejection.
Not to mention if you run around badmouthing all the editors who reject you, eventually people are going to reject you just because you have a bad reputation for whining and being a pain in the arse to begin with. No one likes a whiner. Just like when you run around crying about your ex, eventually your friends are going to tell you they’re tired of listening to you whine about it. At some point you have to let it go or you’re just digging a deeper hole for yourself.
Don’t believe me? Try it. Try creating your own reality. Quit living life with the expectation that your MS will experience nothing but rejection and start living with the expectation of acceptance. Then, when rejected, shrug it off and move on. I’m willing to bet you’re going to get more acceptances and that acceptance will filter into other parts of your life as well. Just a thought.
I could just be full of shit, too. ::shrug:: All I know is I’m a successful author and I didn’t get where I am by dwelling on rejection letters.