Loving your story through rejection

 

Hi all. So I’ve been querying for quite some time, and safe to say, it is not going well. I had one spark of optimism during PitMad when my dream agent liked my pitch… yeah, that didn’t go anywhere.

But I’m not going to lie, querying has been this long roller coaster of dread, doubt and despair. Yay, alliteration.

As the rejections keep piling up, it gets harder and harder to stay motivated to keep chasing this dream, or to even think that I’m even worth achieving the dream. Cue tears. So I’m trying desperately to keep writing, keep pushing forward, and most importantly, keep loving my stories.

Because here’s the thing: If you don’t love your stories, who else will? GUARDED (the book I’m querying) means the world to me. Writing that story made me feel like my PTSD had a purpose, like there was a reason I went through that trauma. The MC Kjersten took on my MH struggles and was able to learn how to cope with them to create meaningful relationships with people, something I can only dream of one day being able to accomplish.

Somewhere along the lines, I’d forgotten these things because the rejections convinced me that the story was worthless, which in a roundabout way, meant that my trauma was meaningless, which of course lead down a deep, dark rabbit hole of awful. Woo!

Luckily, I have a brilliant friend who entertains my rants regarding what the industry deems “sellable.” Because that’s legitimately what publishing comes down to. You could do everything right. You could go to the conferences, take the webinars, take part in critique groups, enlist beta readers, and revise, revise, revise. But at the end of it, if whomever you’re querying doesn’t believe your story is sellable, it’s a rejection. Plain and effin simple.

That’s not a reflection on your writing or your story. And as difficult as it is to accept that – because believe me, I know that struggle – you can’t let those rejections tarnish your love for that story or how important that story is to you.

Wishing you the best,
B

Overcoming Fear & Moving Forward

So I have one scene left to flesh out before printing out the new version of Guarded and buffing out the hard edges, but I am dragging my feet. Seriously I can’t tell if it’s the fact that NaNo starts in a few days or the undercurrent of fear for what comes next. Mind you, I WANT to query, I WANT to publish, I WANT to share this thing I love so much with the entire world.

But the impending, soul-crushing rejections.

I know that fear is the reason why I’m struggling with crossing the finish line of this draft. Because if I don’t finish, then it can’t be rejected.

This post may be more pity-party than I intended it because I recognize that I’ve already come quite far in terms of creating something that people may [hopefully] want to read. But that god-awful fear. I don’t consciously fear much, so when those pesky subconscious ones rise up, they can be quite the little devils.

I imagine fear as a Gremlin, and my MS is poor Gismo.

I imagine fear as a Gremlin, and my MS is poor Gismo.

Like Gismo, I know my MS will kick fear is its arse, but right now, in this moment, I’m looking at my notes, then at my computer screen, then at my notes, then I walk away.

So in an attempt to get my mojo back, I went to the YouTube’s. Ya’know, like ya do. I spend more time on YouTube than I should for entertainment anyway, but I do a lot of research on there as well (especially in terms of what dislocating an elbow looks like – spoiler alert: it’s vomit-worthy).

Anyhoo, last year, Under Armour launched its “Will What I Want” campaign, which IMO was one of the most positive and inspiring campaigns created by an athletic clothing’s company. But they did this brilliant thing by launching the campaign with Misty Copeland as its first spokeswoman. A ballerina. An artist. A black woman who defied the standards of her industry to become the first black female Principal Dancer with the American Ballet Theatre.

Here’s the ad.

She’s an inspiration to people across the world, and even though I have no way of properly empathizing with her struggles, her work ethic and determination motivate me to keep chasing my own dreams.

So here’s me mowing over my fears and willing what I want.


Featured image via Hard Body News via Under Armour.