Well I said yesterday that today I would work on sketching or outlining my scenes, and I did. I didn’t use my Crayolas because I got home unexpectedly late, but I did start outlining in my new notebook with its newly water-warped cover while I was waiting to get my allergy shots. And I realized I couldn’t remember a lot of my scenes. This tells me I have more outlining to do. Tomorrow.
It’s interesting how many people think that being a writer is all, and only, about writing. It’s so much more than that – or at least it is if you want to get published. Now don’t get me wrong, some people get very lucky and get their MS (manuscript) picked up as soon as they write it and don’t have to do any publicity, speaking engagements, or social media, but are able to just stay in their own little world and keep writing. For most people though, I’ve gathered it isn’t quite that straight-forward and definitely isn’t that easy.
So one of the things I’ve been working on is getting myself ready for rejection. Because I’m gonna get it. Actually I already have, in the form of a lack of response to my MS from an editor. The trick is not taking it personally. For me anyway. And to have a sense of humor about it. For instance, I plan to save every rejection letter until I’m published and then burn the lot of them. Maybe save any that particularly stand out. And I’m gonna try to see each letter as a stepping stone to getting published.
But while these are good coping techniques, the rejections and criticisms will still get to me. No matter how much I joke about or reframe my rejections, they are just that: a rejection of all the effort, time, and love I’ve put into my work. I’ll never develop a thick skin – I’m just not built that way – and that’s ok.
Rachelle Gardner, a literary agent for Books and Such Literary Agency, wrote an article about this called “Do You Have a Thick Skin?” It’s a nice piece, especially perfect for anyone who worries about how they’ll handle rejection.
I guess that’s all for tonight. Until tomorrow’s drafting session, write, write, write. Or just sleep deep.