#1 How many compliments does it take to erase the effects of negative comments and rejections?
"You're a gifted writer!" "I loved this story!" "What a fabulous idea!" "I wish I could write like you!" "Amazing job!" "It was fantastic! I couldn't put it down!" "Thank you! It made me feel so good!"
"your manuscript does not fit our needs" "contains too many problems to be worth fixing" "rarely do we accept unsolicited manuscripts" "too unrealistic and hard to believe" "we receive thousands of manuscripts each year and select only a few brilliant ones; yours was not one of them...."
The life of a writer contains many praises (mainly from friends and family) and many rejections (usually from strangers who have an uncanny ability to devastate our fragile egos). Sometimes those rejections and criticisms can take their toll on us and we stop writing.
So what magical math formula is there? Two positives cancel out one negative? Five positives to one negative?
Unfortunately, there is NO magical math formula. So what are the options? Quit writing? Never submit anything again? You wouldn't be the first writer to follow that plan. You also wouldn't be the first writer to feel frustrated.
Writing and sharing it with the world is like living life standing up tall and straight in a shooting range-- it makes it so much easier to get hit! But it's also easier to see the world around you. And seeing the world and writing about it is what we writers do best-- it's what makes our hearts flourish.
So what can you do to help minimize the criticism and magnify the praise? Here are a few suggestions:
-make the rejections into a joke and laugh about them. Write your own rejection letter using humor and no "politely worded complaints."
-see how many rejections you can collect in a year. Put a sticker on a chart for each one and when you fill the chart, take yourself out for a treat.
-write the compliments you get (even if they are only from your mother) on large pieces of paper and hang them around your work area. Focus on the positives!
-share the criticisms and rejections with a trusted friend; feel the pain and then willfully choose to move on.
-read about the rejections of famous writers. You are definitely NOT alone in being rejected and criticized.
What else? What do you do when you are feeling too much rejection and too little praise?