There is lots of talk this week about rejection and so forth in our writing group. Several of us entered the Highlights fiction contest, and are starting to hear back from them. So far, it's only been rejections. One of them stated that there had been 1100 entries this year. 1100??? That's enough to scare anyone off. I mean, how can you compete with that many entries? Unless yours is good, no -- better than the rest of them, what chance do you have? I'm anxious to see who won. I haven't gotten my return envelope yet...so I'm holding a little hope -- just a little.
One person commented, "Isn't it true that what doesn't hurt us makes us stronger?" I guess in one sense, the rejections we get give us a thicker skin to offense, and more able to pick out what will help us. Gradually our abilities overcome the rejections and we are more able and stronger.
In my crit group, it was a hard thing to sit and wait for their comments. I was afraid they were going to hate my book, tear it to shreds and ask how dared dare I think I was a writer?! It didn't happen. They had some very valid points that had not occurred to me, and have helped me evolve the story in a more believable way. It has been eye opening.
I think we need to weed out some of the rejections we get. If they are form letters from publishers, we can accept that perhaps they don't have time to give us an in depth look. If they are slashing comments from family and friends, we can take it with a grain of salt knowing that they are the harshest of critics. If they are positive comments from the marketed age group, we can be uplifted and gratified that we're on the right track.
In our worlds of story, plot and outline, there isn't much shelter from the harsh words of rejection. That's where the writing friend comes in, and we are fortunate to have many of them -- enough to set up a shelter and haven for those who are striving to better their craft.
Here's to all of us -- we will yet win the day.