In order to avoid rejection, my strategy seems to be that I will decide that the person who I was considering sharing my writing with will hate it, so there’s no reason to share it in the first place. Thus, I save myself the pain of rejection! Brilliant! Then nobody ever, anywhere, will read a word that I have written.
Have you ever done that? Decided what people will think of you or your work before they even have a chance to look at it? I think most of us probably have, and after much reflection, I’ve decided that is the epitome of arrogance . . . and I don’t particularly care for arrogant people . . . but if I presume to know what people think, I’m arrogant.
Does this make sense?
The best way to get over this arrogance is to a) share my writing with people, and b) ask them what they think of it. Then, I can improve!
Stephen King writes, “By the time I was fourteen (and shaving twice a week whether I needed to or not) the nail in my wall would no longer support the weight of the rejection slips impaled upon it. I replaced the nail with a spike and went on writing” (On Writing, 41).
If you are getting rejected, that also means you are taking the risk of putting your writing out there. I think its safe to say that despite many rejections, Stephen King found success as a writer. Rejection is just something we all need to face and get over which is easier said than done sometimes.
When I get my first rejection slip, I promise to share it here. I actually look forward to getting it. It means I’ve put myself and my writing out there! I hope you’ll share yours as well. In fact, if you’ve gotten one already, share it in the comments below!