A recent post on Mewie’s blog got me to thinking about fear and specifically how it pertains to the writing journey. There are a lot of things to be afraid of when embarking on this path, but I suspect that the most pervasive among writers is the fear of rejection.
In order to be a published writer, we have to face the facts: we will receive rejections. Probably a lot. Like, dozens. Writers get rejected. That’s just the way of it. Stephen King received over 30 rejections before Carrie was picked up. James Patterson collected more than 25 rejections before finally being published in 1976. The first Harry Potter book was passed around for a year amongst different publishers before Bloomsbury Publishing took a chance on it.Knowing all this, however, doesn’t make reading that rejection letter easy. And it doesn’t make sending out that next submission seem very appealing. But we still need to send it out. We can’t let the fear override the ambition we have and the desire to be published.
How to deal with that fear and get the submissions into the mail? For me, I just keep in mind that I only really have to make one decision that will take about 5 seconds and that’s it. The only decision I have to wrestle with is putting that envelope into the mailbox or clicking ‘Send’ on that e-mail. Once I’ve done either of those two things, it’s done. It’s over, I have no more control and I have to just accept whatever happens. It’s like skydiving. Once you’re all rigged up and in the plane, the only decision you have to make is to take that step out. Once you’ve done it, you’re committed. 😉
So that’s how I get over the fear of submitting my work. And how do I deal with the rejections? Well, really it’s just rationalization to make me feel better, but it works, so I use it! My belief is that there’s a certain, finite number of rejections between me and the acceptance that’s waiting for me. Each rejection I receive is one more that’s out of the way!
Do you experience fear of submitting your work? Are you afraid of rejection? How do you cope with that, as an aspiring (or published) writer?