A couple other writer-editors and I have formed a support group of sorts.
It’s like one of those groups you form when you want to make sure you get to the gym and actually exercise; it’s supposed to hold us accountable and keep us motivated.
Except ours is more fun. And less sweaty. And our muscles don’t ache afterward.
The purpose of the group is to push ourselves to write and publish more widely by sharing our contacts, experiences, and feedback.
We also talk shop about the writing life. Earlier today, we were talking about rejection and persistence.
One of us wrote:
“I feel extremely lucky to have made the strides I have this year, but something is holding me back to making the next step. I keep making excuses, but they’re just that.”
He figured that the “something” was fear of rejection, and I agreed. If I knew all the opportunities I’ve probably lost because I never pursued them since I was afraid I’d be rejected I’d spend a good week in bed with the covers over my head.
As an editor I do a lot of rejecting. There are writers who have submitted articles a dozen times or more and though I’ve rejected every piece they’ve sent in, they persist.* They clearly don’t sit around worrying what I’ll think of them if they submit another article and they’re not afraid of being rejected (again)… so why am I?
It was only recently I realized this, but it helps.
*It should be noted that this type of persistence is only good and useful if the writer is taking feedback, working on improving his or her skills, and taking a close look at whether his or her writing matches our publication. Otherwise, it’s not persistence: it’s a remarkable expression of one’s lack of self-awareness.