As an author, rejection is part of life. If there is one thing I have learned so far in my journey, it is that thick skin is essential to survival. For authors, the hard fact is that your submissions will be rejected more than they are accepted. No matter how many times it happens, though, it is tough to take.
This past week was a rough one for me. I have submitted three of my children’s stories to many, many publishers and literary agents for children’s books. By many, I mean over fifty. While I have not heard back from most of them as of yet, last week I received five rejections. That is a lot to take in one week. Even though I know that my work is bound to be rejected many times, it is hard when I receive that email that tells me it has been. There’s always that hope that this is the submission where the magic will happen. There’s always that belief that this submission will be the one where it just “clicks” with the publisher or agent. So far, that hasn’t happened with my children’s books.
Authors prepare themselves for rejection, but when it actually happens we find ourselves second-guessing our abilities. Perhaps we aren’t “good enough” to become successful. Maybe all of those people who encouraged us to turn our passion into a career were simply being kind. Perhaps we aren’t really that talented at all. The real question for us as authors is how do we continue towards a goal that seems more and more unattainable?
I know for me, not writing is not an option. It is something that I have to do, regardless of the payoff. It is in me, and I must let it out. I remind myself when the rejections come that it is all part of the process. It is part of my journey to becoming the author that I fully believe I can be. My faith and belief that it will all work out is what keeps me going. Sometimes I feel that success is so close that I can almost taste it. I just have to keep going a little further, trying a little harder, submitting my work a little more. Eventually, the perfect combination of events will happen and my goal will be reached. However, if I never become a successful author, I can console myself with the fact that it certainly wasn’t for lack of trying.