I used to spend a lot of time stressing about whether or not people liked me.
It didn’t matter if I liked them. Even if I didn’t, I wanted them to like me, as if there was some secret score chart that would prove I was worthy.
Submitting your work to an agent or editor is kind of like that. As a writer, I pour so much of my heart and soul into my novels that it would be tempting to take each rejection as a personal attack.
But here’s why that doesn’t make sense.
There are millions of people in the world. To hope that everyone you meet will like you is kind of crazy. If you’re smart and sweet and popular, there are people who will hate you for that alone.
I’m an outspoken agnostic who swears like a truck driver and loves a cappella music. Obviously I’m not going to be to everyone’s taste.
My writing is dark and complex and will make you cry while it’s scaring the pants off you. That won’t be to everyone’s taste, either. If you’re looking for happy endings, I’m not your girl (most of the time). There’s a lot of great romance writers out there and I’d be thrilled to introduce you to them.
The trick in life–and in marketing your creative endeavours–is to find your people. The ones who will find your quirks and foibles intriguing. The ones who will love you and your work for all the reasons you’re different–not try to force you to conform.
They’re out there. Trust me.
I hate the expression, “Each rejection is one step closer to a yes” for several reasons.
- It’s not true. You might have over a hundred more to go.
- It’s maudlin as hell.
- It doesn’t make you feel better when you’ve just received one of those lovely “We regret to inform you that you suck” form letters.