Who’s Still Afraid of Rejection? Oh Yeah, That Would Be Me

“Believe in yourself and in your own voice, because there will be times in this business when you will be the only one who does. Take heart from the knowledge that an author with a strong voice will often have trouble at the start of his or her career because strong, distinctive voices sometimes make editors nervous. But in the end, only the strong survive.”

~Jayne Ann Krentz 

Yes, I said it.  As much as I try to convince others not to be afraid to go after what they want for their dreams and to not always be afraid that someone is going to say no, I have not yet been able to take my own advice.  But isn’t that how it always goes?  You tell someone to go for it, don’t be afraid, go big or go home, and all of those other motivating and encouraging things you say to your friends, that you whole heartedly mean when you’re saying them, yet somehow you still can’t apply that rule of thumb to you and your life’s dreams.  

I can’t seem to move out of my own damn way.  I keep putting it on my to do lists that I have to get these query letters to these national magazines that I’ve been dying to see my writing in, or the query letters to this list of agents that I want to possibly represent me, and yet when I go to type up the letters, or even just a simple letter of introduction, I get so caught up in trying to make them perfect.  I’ll get the letters done but then when I go over them it just doesn’t scream perfection and I get worried about a rejection that hasn’t happened, and one that can’t if I don’t ever send the damn letters anywhere.  

I can’t figure out why I always do this to myself.  I know I’m not perfect and while you hear people always talking about pitching the perfect pitch and not sending imperfect query letters out, I know that all of them couldn’t have gotten it right all the time.  Their letters couldn’t have always got them a guaranteed acceptance from the publication or agent of their choice.  So why is it that I can’t get the notion of perfection out of my head?  

It’s seriously holding me back and the truth of the matter is that the most imperfect query letter is the one that never gets seen by anyone.  Next week I am going to make it my mission to get up the courage with being okay that I’m not perfect and that my letters most likely won’t be perfect, but at least they will be sent out, and at least, if they do get rejected by everyone I send them to, they were still seen. 

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

https://write-2-be.com/

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

http://www.facebook.com/people/Jimmetta-Carpenter/1069480310

http://www.passionatewriterpublishing.com/thediary.htm

www.lulu.com/ladybugpress

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A Chance Meeting With a Message for Me About Rejection

“A rejection is nothing more than a necessary step in the pursuit of success.”

~Bo Bennett 

I met someone at the Starbucks today as I sat down to the blank page of my computer screen wondering what I was going to write this post about today.  She is a fellow author and I saw her come in with her box of books of her debut novel, Murder by Ice.  She walked right up to the cashier at the counter and after ordering her coffee asked if she could sell her books here.  I thought to myself ‘she’s not even afraid that they’ll say no, why aren’t I like that.’  She sat at the table where I was sitting as she waited for the cashier to talk to the manager and get a response back to her and we began talking.  

I asked her how she gets up the nerve to do that.  I promptly began to explain how hard it was for me to just get out and talk to people to get them to buy my book as I handed her the postcard for my novel, The Diary: Succession of Lies.  I know funny right.  I’m talking about how hard it is for me to promote myself and my book as I am whipping out the postcard for my book (I didn’t even realize what I was doing while I was doing it).  She asked where my book was but it just so happened that I left the box of books at home and she immediately got on me.  I explained that sometimes I just don’t feel like anyone’s going to buy it so I just don’t bring it with me.    

We talked for over an hour about many different things and she asked me why I found it so easy to show my card about my book to her but can’t go out and do the same with other people.  I told her that it was easy to do that with people who I knew were writers as well.  Writers know the painstaking efforts we each go through, not just to write the book but to get it edited and published and selling.  I told her that with other writers I feel less of a chance of getting rejected.  

She said to me in essence that rejection comes with the territory of being a writer (which I am all too familiar with) but also that just because someone doesn’t buy my book right then and there that it is not necessarily rejection.  Sometimes just their knowing about your book and the story it tells may make them think about it and go buy it later.  However, if I never tell anyone then no one ever goes back to buy it later.  

Rejection is just so scary and it, at times, makes you feel like you are not good enough.  It can make you doubt yourself.  I mean obviously I know that everyone is not going to always like what I write or publish it but it still stings a little (a lot actually).  Well as it turns out this lady that I ran into, I already knew her.  There we were talking like strangers and then realizing that I used to hang out with her daughter and that I already knew her.  It was wonderful to run into her because I hadn’t seen her in so long (since I was still a teenager).  

We both realized that there was a reason for both of us coming to this particular Starbucks on this particular day because I started not to go there today but in many ways something was drawing me there.  Now I know that it was to run into this wonderfully, courageous, woman, who at the age of 50 (hope she wouldn’t mind me saying her age) has the nerve and fearlessness of getting out there and promoting herself and her book (her baby as she called it) and for me to be inspired by her actions.    

In just the short time that I talked to her today she reminded me that rejection is nothing to be afraid of and that that fear could even make me better and work harder to accomplish what I want (and need) to get done.  She said to me that we writers are pioneers of inspiration and reminded me that our stories and experiences are meant to be shared with others.  

Even if everyone doesn’t get something out of your shared experiences, there’s always that one person that will.  That one person will be inspired, or motivated, and take your words as lessons and advice for the steps that they take moving forward.  You will be their chance meeting with a message that they never knew they were going to receive.               

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

https://write-2-be.com/

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

http://www.facebook.com/people/Jimmetta-Carpenter/1069480310

http://www.passionatewriterpublishing.com/thediary.htm

www.lulu.com/ladybugpress

Where There’s A No There’s a Yes Right Around The Corner

Rejection is a part of the process of becoming a successful writer.  I mean unless you have a lot of connections and you know all of the people you need to know to be placed right where you want to be in your career then you are pretty much starting at the bottom of the barrel.  That means that you will more than likely be rejected more times than you would care to count.  Now if you have nerves of steel and can stare adversity in the eye with a straight face then you will have no problem forging ahead right out of the pile of rejection letters that you are likely to receive before you become that top selling author you desire to be.  

However, if you are anything like me, where being rejected makes you rethink every decision you ever made and has you constantly second guessing yourself, then this business (writing) is going to take some getting used to and quite frankly a lot more of a backbone.  I’m not talking about having the talent for writing, that’s only about 20% of being a successful writer.  It’s the other 80% that takes diligence and determination to really make it as a writer.  Now I’ve always been afraid of the rejection, and with writing it’s so much of it, but I know that I can’t give up on my dream.  

I was watching an up and coming author who was on the Anderson show yesterday (Amanda Hocking) and she spoke of how she had been rejected at least a thousand times before she went the route of self publishing in which she sold over a million copies on her own and then was eventually picked up by a major publishing house.  At first I was taken aback by the amount of rejection she endured but then I was just in awe of how she powered through it and moved her own career forward and look where she is now, on a nationally broadcasted talk show talking about her books.  

So from now on I am not going to be discouraged by my rejection letters (I have a small stack growing on my desk) and I am not going to doubt myself every time someone decides to pass on an article.  I am not going to stop at one rejection, but rather power through and press on until someone gives me the yes that I know I deserve to hear.  Of course when I get my media company up and running I may not even need someone’s yes, I’ll just create my own.  Until tomorrow…Don’t let rejection stop you when there’s a yes right around the corner!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

https://writetobe.wordpress.com/

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

http://www.facebook.com/people/Jimmetta-Carpenter/1069480310

http://www.passionatewriterpublishing.com/thediary.htm

www.lulu.com/ladybugpress