Do you remember that SNL skit where Al Franken (Hey, that's SENATOR Al Franken to you!) would done a blond wig and a cardigan sweat and look in the mirror and pretend to be a loveable dork known as Stuart Smalley? He'd start out talking about some situation that was supposed to lead us all to a higher opinion of ourselves, and it always backfired into some self loathing rant. But always, always the skit ended with a daily affirmation. Stuart would look into the mirror and say, "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough and gosh darn it, people like me."
Being a writer is something like being Stuart Smalley. We all start out each day with a huge smile on our faces. TODAY IS THE DAY. Today I finish or sell the Great American novel. TODAY I get the big book deal. TODAY I hear back from that newspaper/magazine/blog and yes, they do want to hire me as a columnist!
Then, about noon, maybe we get an email or a rejection letter. Or we screw our courage to the sticking place and call that newspaper or magazine and find out that 1) They've gone out of business or 2) They found what you wrote so awful, they posted it on the office dartboard. (I have visions of several of my short stories still lingering in the local newspaper offices.
Well my friends, if this is you, the it's time for your daily affirmation! No, you don't need a cardigan, unless you're chilly in which case, go ahead. We'll wait...
Now, look at yourself. Even if you don't have a mirror, pick up your cell phone and look at your reflection. Tell yourself, "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and gosh darn it, people like me!"
If you don't want to do that, think of it this way, "Writing is an art. Publishing is a business. This rejection is not personal, it's business."
Now, if you're lucky enough to get a constructive rejection, then do your affirmation this way, "It's not my writing...it's my characters. My characters suck. Kill my characters and then they will love me!
Oh...wait...sorry. That's my personal affirmation!
So if you're writing, waiting, or wailing, don't forget to take a deep breath. Writing is an art. Publishing is a business. Everything in between is equal parts courage, persitence, and luck.
Remember, getting a rejection has nothing to do with you personally. YOU are good enough. YOU are smart enough. And gosh darn it, people do like YOU.
It's just your writing they're not so fond of! LOL
Now, my friends, go forth and WRITE!