A Pep Talk For When You Feel Like Quitting

This weeks post is a little different than my others. I think everybody can use a pep talk from time to time. Life isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. A dark cloud will come through and dampen your spirits. I have a lot of those days, so does everybody else, but the important thing is that you push through.

For anybody who has chosen a career that requires others to purchase something from you or like you enough to take a chance, those dark days can come along quite a lot. As writers, artists, or entertainers, we don’t get a regular check for the hours we work every day.

Somebody has to pay for the work we have already done if they like it. We are judged for what we do more so than any other professional. If not enough people like what we do, we will be eating ramen. This is a tough reality we have to face, but we do it because we love it.

It’s a little easier (I hope) once you have amassed a decent following of people who buy what you do. So when you are starting out, like I still consider myself, and like most people probably do, it’s a bit harder to pump yourself up.

I’m right there with you. The rough days sometimes seem more frequent than the good days. But if we support each other, we will make it through and see the light at the end of the tunnel. To help with those tough days, especially when it has to do with rejection, here are some fun facts about other professionals who weren’t “overnight success”. (Like those even exist)

  1. William Golding’s book Lord of the Flies was rejected 20 times before it was ever published.
  2. Claude Monet, a founder of French Impressionism, was ridiculed for his most famous work “Impression, Sunrise.” He and his family lived in abject poverty until his paintings begin to sell in the 1880s.
  3. Margeret Mitchells’ Gone with the Wind was rejected 38 times before it was ever published.
  4. Walt Disney was fired from a job because he “lacked imagination and no good ideas.”
  5. Vincent Van Gogh only sold one painting while he was alive.
  6. JK Rowling was fired from Amnesty International because she spent the day writing stories.
  7. Gertrude Stein spent 22 years submitting poems before any of them were published.
  8. Beatrix Potter had to self-publish The Tale of Peter Rabbit.
  9. Stephen King’s book Carrie was rejected 30 times before being published.
  10. Madonna was fired from Dunkin’ Donuts for squirting jelly filling on a customer.
  11. Robert Frost had Truman Capote fired from his job at the New Yorker because Capote left in the middle of one of his readings. To be fair, Capote was sick.
  12. Louise May Alcott, the author of Little Women, was told to stick to teaching.
  13. George Orwell was told that is book Animal Farm wouldn’t sell because “there is no market for animal stories in the USA.”
  14. Lucille Ball’s drama instructors tried to get her to follow another profession.
  15. Rudyard Kipling was told he didn’t know how to use the English language.

So there you have it. No matter how down you feel, you are not alone. Every profession has had some tough times. The success you will have will be all the better.

“A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.” – Richard Bach

FYI:

Grab your copy of Loved by Death on Amazon. Make sure you keep an eye on Loved by Death: Book One of The Wolfsbane Chronicles. You never know what kind of sale you might find.

These 5 Tips Will Help you Work Through Rejection

As a writer, you will have to face rejection at some point. This is especially true if you want a literary agent, and to have your book professionally published. What you write isn’t going to be everybody’s cup of tea. I may still be fairly new to the rejection game (I’ve spent most of my writing career writing, so far) but I have already gotten a few rejection letters.

Rejection isn’t something that people want to face, but it’s a fact of life. The best thing you can do is to learn how to handle it. Don’t let it destroy your life, and don’t take it personally. You’ll find somebody that likes your work. Let’s look at a few ways to handle rejection.

Learn From It

You won’t always get a personalized letter of rejection. A lot of them are generic “Thanks for querying, but blah, blah, blah.” There are a few that will give you their thoughts. Instead of throwing the letters out, or deleting the email, listen to what they have to say. There may be something in their letter that can help you improve your chances of finding representation. Now, if you receive criticism like, “You write like a child,” or a blanket statement like, “There is no potential audience for your book,” then, by all means, throw that away. Those statements aren’t helpful.

Remember Why You Write

Rejection will get you down, especially if you have heard no over and over again. Take some time to remind yourself why you started writing. Write yourself a letter that states why you write.

For me, I write because I like creating a new world that I can escape into. It’s a way to get out my feelings and plan things out the way I want them. It’s a situation that I can have complete control over.

Find Empowerment with Self-Publishing

A lot of people have worked through their rejections by self-publishing their books. If you think you have a best seller on your hands, then publish it on kindle or nook. There are lots of ways to get your book out there. Before you do that, make sure that your manuscript is clean. Sending it to an editor would be a good idea.

Take a Break

When you are working through rejection, you probably won’t feel motivated to write so don’t. Take some time for yourself and reconnect with the world. Then you can come back to your writing.

Be Friend with Writers

Having people who you can relate to will help you out. If you don’t have friends that write, join some online writing communities. Talking is a great way to work through feelings.

In the end, acceptance or rejection shouldn’t influence you as a writer. If you have a story that you want to tell the world, then tell it. It shouldn’t matter if people love it or hate; you shared your story, and that’s what matters.

“Was I bitter? Absolutely. Hurt? You bet your sweet ass I was hurt. Who doesn’t feel a part of their heart break at rejection. You ask yourself every question you can think of, what, why, how come, and then your sadness turns to anger. That’s my favorite part. It drives me, feeds me, and makes one hell of a story.” Jennifer Salaiz