One of my favourite quotes of all time comes from a movie called Stick It. It's about ja girl who's forced back in to gymnastics after she walked out of the worlds. If you haven't seen it, it's a fantastic movie. Anyway, here's the quote:
Gymnastics tells you no. All day long. It mocks you over and over again.
Telling you you're an idiot. That you're crazy. If you like running
full-speed towards a stationary object, vault's for you. If you like
pealing pieces of skin the size of quarters of your hands... bars is for
you. Because the only thing more fun then rips, is when your rips get
rips. It's super sexy. And floor, are you serious, I mean who doesn't
want to parade around in a leotard getting wedgies and doing dorky
choreography? It's delicious. If you like falling, then gymnastics is
thee sport for you! You get to fall on your face, your ass, your back,
your knees, and your pride! It's a good thing I didn't like falling... I
So, why am I telling you this quote? Quite simply because, in my eyes, I can equate it to writing.
Sure, as a writer we don't actually physically run toward a stationary object, but we do run toward the ending of a book, not knowing exactly how it's going to turn out. We may not have skin peeling off our hands, but we have wrist problems from writing so much, and headaches from listening to characters.
But, most of all, it's the falling that really got to me. We don't literally fall on our faces, our asses, our back or our knees. But when you don't know where to take the book, it feels a little like you were running full out and landed on your face. When you realize half way through a chapter that you don't need it, or the one before, it feels a little like the ground has fallen out beneath you and you find yourself on your ass not sure you want to do the work.
And out prides? The pride of a writer takes a beating unlike almost any other profession in the world. We work for ages on this book, something that we've poured our heart and soul in to, we fuss over it like it's our child, and worry about whether it's any good. Then we send it out in to the world and hope that we've done everything right.
As I learned this past week, more often than not that results in a fall. Our pride takes a beating as we get back rejection letters telling us that the work that we poured in to our manuscripts or short stories wasn't enough. That we did it wrong.
Being a writer isn't all fun and games. To be a writer, we have to (as the quote says) not just like falling, but love it!
We have to be able to get past those beatings and continue onward toward our ultimate goal.
With that in mind, I'm going to take that story and submit it somewhere else. After I lick my wounds for a couple of days. Because, no matter how bad of a beating my pride took, I know that this is what I want to do. And if I want a story published, I have to be persistent.
Now, I just have to find somewhere that I think is good enough for my story, and hope they think it's the right fit too.
Wish me luck!
Have you gotten any rejection letters yet? What do you do to keep yourself from thinking that you're not good enough?