Writers live in a constant state of rejection. You spend weeks or months or years working on a story, and sometimes you spend weeks or months or years receiving nothing but rejections from publishers and agents for that same story. This can be emotionally and mentally taxing, but it's also somewhat useful as a life skill. Remember The Secret from a couple years ago? You know, that DVD where an "expert" says that nobody understands the nature of electricity? Well, let's ignore that part. The part I'm interested in is the idea of positive thinking. Putting out into the world what you hope to get back. Focusing on the positive and cutting out the negative. This is the approach you have to take when sending work out. A rejection isn't a negation of your work. It isn't really even a commentary on the quality of your work. It's possible that the editor or agent or publisher rejecting your work kinda sorta even likes your work, but can't publish it because they've already accepted something similar. There's a multitude of reasons your work can get rejected, but all it takes is for one person to say yes one time and you are suddenly there. You've made it. Well, then, wouldn't it be nice to look back at all that time you spent getting rejections and think to yourself, "At least I didn't let all those rejections get to me." Easier said than done, I know. But important.
I'd be remiss if I didn't mention, however, that sometimes--just sometimes--those rejections could be related to the quality of your work. I know that might sound like it negates everything I just said, but I prefer to think of it as something like a syllogism: in an ideal world, all bad writing gets rejected, but not all rejected writing is bad. If your writing has been rejected, does that mean it must be bad? Nope. So keep going.
Every Wednesday, as I draft my second novel, I will be posting writing tips, advice, and tough love reminders for myself and anyone who may need it. Feel free to share your own.