Another rejection. The email glares at me. The words of the magazine editor are a thousand pinpricks. “Doesn’t meet the theme of our issue.”
This came right after an agent responded to a query with “not interested.”
Which came after several no responses at all from other agents and a publisher all of whom requested submissions.
Why bother? What’s the point?
Ever been there? Ever applied for a job and was told “we’ll get back to you” and no one ever does? Ever had the boss reject your idea without even looking at it?
So why bother?
Because we have to. There is something inside that drives us to want to be successful. For me, it’s the call to be a writer. Writing is more than a job. It’s a ministry, one God has called me to.
If we don’t do what we’re called to do, how will we ever succeed? Jack London was rejected hundreds of times before he published his first story. In his early childhood, people thought Einstein was mentally handicapped. Stephen King had several novels rejected before being published.
These and many other men and women like them didn’t stop. They pursued their dreams and their calling. And they continued to fail. But with each failure they learned.
Failure is the opportunity to discover more about ourselves and our dreams; to examine ourselves to see where we can improve; to overcome our fears (of both failing and succeeding); to accept responsibility and to be accountable.
Someone once said, they only time we fail is when we give up. Quitting can never be an option. As McNair Wilson once said, “If you don’t do you, God’s creation goes unfinished.”
“Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” – Denis Waitley
Another great philosopher said, “Try not. Do. Or do not. There is no try.”
I haven’t failed at writing. I’m simply learning more and more ways to do it better.
How about you? What do you do when failure seems to be staring you in the face?
Getting those rejection emails is difficult. Heart-breaking. I have my moments of self-pity, stomp my feet (well, maybe not literally!), and then pick myself up and move on. Each rejection takes me one step closer to the “one.” Don’t get me wrong, I go through times of wanting to give up, but then my stubborn side doesn’t let that happen. ha! Thanks for your post, Henry!
Thank you, Darlene. I appreciate your encouraging comment. Persistence and diligence are keys to overcoming rejection.