Author: mikeywrites14

There and Back Again: Dealing with Rejection in a Writer’s World

Did I ever tell you the definition of insanity?

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Being a professional writer is, to me, all about rejection. There’s a lot of it. A metric shit ton, cubed and delivered. Pardon my French. Oh, I’m not alone with this. My twitter feed is filled with advice from the writing community, posting every day.

“Don’t give up!”

“Rejection does NOT define you.”

They’re fantastic, by the way. The support I’ve gotten from complete strangers has been staggering. And yet, I’m sure the old writer adage holds up still, to this day. “The difference between a published writer and an unpublished one is that the published writer does not give up.”

But can we talk for a second about how hard that is? You try not to let it bother you. But it does. You see, I’m a positive person. I try to look at the positives of a situation and make the most out of a bad one. For me there’s no point in looking towards the negativity because it doesn’t help me at all, you know?

Doesn’t help anyone for that matter, but I think you get what I’m trying to say here. You can let the negatives weigh you down, or you can look towards the positives and pick yourself back up.

Down the rabbit hole

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I think that’s why this Writer’s Rejection is getting to me so much. So many factors weigh against you that it’s impossible not to feel down at least a little bit. Where’s the light at the end of the tunnel? Where’s the green grass on the other side? Why is this damn industry so rooted in old tradition that doesn’t work anymore?

I have been officially rejected by agents whom I’ve queried thirty-two times. Unofficially the number is higher since I’m only counting the official form rejection emails which I’ve received back from my queries.

I keep each one, putting them in their own folder in my mailbox. Then I continue the search.

Did I ever tell you the definition of insanity?

Par for the course

It sometimes feels like I’m spinning the tires in the dirt. I’m making a big mess, and I’m not moving anywhere. But the thing is, that’s how you get out of the hole. Look up any of the great writers of our time. Stephen King, George R.R. Martin. Basically, pick a book and look at the author. With few exceptions, they all have a stack of rejection slips somewhere.

“It’s good, but it’s not for us.”

A few successes change that “not for us” part in a BIG hurry. So I’m told, anyway.

The decision to publish my upcoming novel Far from Ordinary on Amazon was a tough one, at first. But why not! The goal for me was to publish a book. And, soon enough, that dream will be a reality.

I’m pushing through the wall of rejection, little by little. It’s not always easy, but anything worthwhile rarely is. It’s not going to define me as a writer, or as a person. It is not going to bring me down. Not anymore. 

I get to live my dream – my best life – every day. What could be better than that?

Far from Ordinary will be available on Amazon in November 2018. 

Writing, or something like it

It wasn’t all about the writing for me. Not at first, anyway. The Blank Page was daunting, and I was (am) far too scatterbrained to link more than a few coherent sentences together. I thought I needed a muse or some other kind of inspiration.

Writers were these larger-than-life figures, how could I ever live up to that? Tolkien created an entire language for his books for chrissakes. How could I ever compete with that? I never even mastered basic French verb tenses.

Books on the other hand, well, books were exciting. They were entire worlds that you could hold in the palm of your hand. And, even more than that, they were magic. I mean, how else could someone who I never met so effortlessly put such vivid pictures into my head?

It was my grandfather who bought me the first books I’d ever owned. He was insistent that I read the classics. A Tale of Two Cities, Great Expectations, Robinson Crusoe. Whenever I’d finish one, I’d get the next. It was nice. Most importantly, it got me reading at a very young age, which is something that I’m grateful for.

But somewhere along the lines, a switch flipped. I started thinking: I could do this too. I mean, above and beyond the first couple of attempts. I used to watch cartoons and then write my own stories. They were no more than a page (the rest is just filler, right?) and maybe a little plagiarized (I admit to nothing!).

I wish I could say that there was a light bulb moment. That would be so poetic, wouldn’t it? Then I could tell the story about how I was brushing my teeth in the morning and BAM, writer.  But it doesn’t work that way. It’s having a story inside and knowing that I had to get it out.

It’s been an exciting journey, and there’s a tough road ahead, but more than ever I’m excited about it. I’ve written two books. Two books! First one hits in 2019.

It’s going to be one helluva year.