Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Upside and Downside of Rejection: One and the Same

Writer blogs, Twitter, Facebook and other social media have made it easier (and faster) for authors to get their work noticed by other writers, agents and publishing houses. One phenomenon to arise from this instant accessibility is the CONTEST!  Your first 250 words! Your query letter!  Your most suspenseful scene! Your best dialogue!

There are numerous schools of thought about contests. Let's look at two. One lauds contests as a means to land an agent. And success stories abound about how a writer found his/her agent in this way. Critics, though, say that contests (when entered too often) deluge the same agents and publishers with your work…that you appear ‘over-eager’ and ‘desperate.’

Duh. That’s how many writers feel. Excited to get their hard work noticed, desperate to find that one agent who’ll take a chance.

Regardless of how you feel about contests, the downside and upside are one in the same: you get to experience rejection. Lots of it. Some implied (no requests!) and some stated outright through harsh critiques and feedback.

It’s all valuable. We learn to trust our guts on what feedback to take to heart and what feedback to leave behind. We choose to develop a thicker skin and move forward, or we let rejection damage our self- worth and shatter dreams.

Don’t get me wrong -- rejection sucks. REALLY sucks. So find other writers with whom to commiserate and stock up on dark chocolate. (I’m set on both counts.)

1 comment:

  1. Durango Writer, thanks for your insight about contests. I'm still trying to get a handle on this writing game and I appreciate your comments. Some of us like to read what you write! :o)