Monday, August 11, 2008

Fear of Rejection

I had an individual write to me the other day--she wants to pursue her dream of writing, but she was afraid of rejection. In her email, she asked me how I'd gotten over my fear of rejection.

Her note got me to thinking....you see, I've never gotten over my rejection fear. Every time that I finish another manuscript, I worry. Will my agent like my new proposal? Will my editor think my story is good enough? I never stop worrying, and, honestly, I don't think I ever will get over that fear.

I no longer haunt my mail box, looking for the dreaded rejection letters (because at this point, I communicate more via email and telephone than I do snail mail), but I easily remember those days--because they weren't that long ago!

I don't let the fear stop me from continuing my writing dream. I live with the fear. I deal with it, and I move on. Besides, I think a certain amount of fear is healthy. That fear, it keeps me on my toes. :-)

But what's your take on fear?

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Anonymous MON!CA said...

hey cynthia, monica here over from candy's blog...i'm very familiar with fear of rejection. i'm an artist and i've very private. when ever i have to present my work to my art professors i get very anxious about what they might say. most have a lot of possitive feed back on my art but they also have criticisms and that's when i find myself cringing and sweating. and you know what, i welcome those opinions because they give me a way to improve myself. i don't like, and like you i deal with it. but without it i don't thing i'd ever be able to improve my techniques for the better. fear is part of life and with out it i think life would just not have any balance.

August 11, 2008 at 10:15 AM  
Blogger Candy Ready said...

Hey, Cynthia! (hi, Mon!ca (waving).

I feel the same way. I'm scared to death that I'll get rejected. I have friends who tell me to wear my rejection letters like bling on my shirt (have you ever seen the movie Office Space? Jennifer Anniston had to wear all those buttons on her uniform). The more I get rejected, the better the chances that I'll get published. But, I just can't seem to do that. Too, they point out -- how can I get published if I don't even send stuff out? lol! I'm a mess!!!

I like your attitude, Mon!ca--that you won't improve your technique without feedback. And that there would be no balance without fear. Do you mean something like it wouldn't be challenging if you didn't have fear?

(Oh, and Mon, just the fact that you are going for an art degree is incredibly brave!!!)

(Does it count that my sister likes my work?)

I like your outlook, too, Cynthia -- to accept fear as a part of the process, and in fact welcome it because it pushes you to be a better writer.

Does it count that my cousin likes my stories? ;)

OK, once I get finished with this story I am sending it out. !!!

August 11, 2008 at 10:54 AM  
Blogger Brandy said...

I'm not a writer, but fear of rejection is still a strong issue with me. Part of being so shy, I think. I admire y'all (writers)for putting yourselves out there all the time!

August 11, 2008 at 12:49 PM  
Anonymous Mon!ca said...

Yup, that's eecatly what I mean Candy. Latez

August 11, 2008 at 1:01 PM  
Blogger Zoe Winters said...

Something I read in "The Magic of Thinking Big" (and it's not the only place with this idea) is that action defeats fear.

If you're afraid of sending a manuscript out because of rejection, send it out anyway. And then have the next place you're sending it lined up in case you do get a rejection.

August 11, 2008 at 1:35 PM  
Blogger Candy Ready said...

Hi, Brandy --

I'm not exactly shy--at least, I wouldn't describe myself as so. But I guess I am shy when it comes to creating things. I remember in high school art class I had to use modeling clay and I decided to make a dog. So when everyone in the class guessed that it was a duck, I sheepishly smiled and said, "How did you guess?"

It's ALWAYS hard to put something out there -- something a person created and let it be judged.

Great idea, Zoe. OK, I think I have a couple of places I want to target for this book. Thanks for the advice!


August 11, 2008 at 3:46 PM  
Blogger Cynthia Eden said...

Hi, Mon!ca! :-) I completely agree! I don't think I'd be able to improve my writing if I didn't have folks telling me my areas of weakness. And I do think fear balances us out--it's a necessary evil.

Hey, Candy! As soon as I read "bling on my shirt," I was totally picturing Jennifer Anniston. And, heck, yeah, it counts that your cousin likes your stories! Lady, you'd better send this story out when you finish--and keep me posted!!

Brandy, I can completely relate to the shyness--I'm that way, my husband is, my son is! It's easier out here in Cyberland, though; it's those face to face meetings that are harder for me.

Zoe, I love that line: Action defeats fear. I feel like I should print that up and sit it next to my desk.

August 11, 2008 at 4:49 PM  
Blogger Edie said...

I'm not afraid of rejection, but I don't like it. That's why I keep a bag of chocolate in my kitchen. Also, I'm usually working on a second book I hope will sell. That makes it easier. :)

I like Zoe's comment too. A former Hatha Yoga teacher used to tell us to imagine the worst thing that could happen. Her idea was that we could see the worst thing wasn't so horrible. Well, the worst thing about rejections is you tried and someone said no. You're still living, still writing, and maybe the next agent or editor will say yes! You still have hope. (Or Chocolate.)

August 11, 2008 at 5:13 PM  
Blogger Candy Ready said...

LOL, Cynthia!!! OK, I'll send it out, and in doing so I'm performing an action which will defeat my fear. Right Zoe? And I'll keep you posted, and hopefully my bling will read 'Published!' -- at least it will read -- 'I survived the slush pile!'

August 11, 2008 at 8:51 PM  
Blogger Zoe Winters said...

Right, Candy! :D

August 11, 2008 at 10:37 PM  
Blogger Cynthia Eden said...

Edie--you are hilarious! "That's why I keep a bag of chocolate in my kitchen." You've just given me a reason for my chocolate!!

Yes, Candy--send it out! Defeat that fear!! Come on, published bling!

August 12, 2008 at 8:01 AM  
Blogger :Candice: said...

Well fear can definitely put things in motion. I think fear is something that everyone has, but it is how they deal with it that makes a difference.

August 12, 2008 at 9:17 PM  

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