At first I thought a child was injured or protesting having to leave the petting zoo. This loud mouth Billy goat (below) reminded me of some of the blowhards I have encountered in my writing life. From family members to agents expressing opinions about my work, I have heard it and seen it all. Bleating, I call it! Disturbing if you focus on it, but learn to tune it out and believe in your capabilities. All of us are smarter, stronger and more resilient than we think. We may not know it yet.
NY Agent: "Why would I even WANT to read your novel about the 70s? I lived it!"
Family member: My daughter and I read this on a camping trip and we can't believe how unlikable your main character is! This is the 20th century; people don't haul their own water any more!"
Editor #1: "Well I've seen everything! You killed off your protagonist! Automatic rejection."
Editor #2: I disagree, and like the way she did it and added the twist.
Literary magazine editor: "Holy shit! We were neighbors in Alaska, but I was just a kid attending the school there. Can't use your work, but remember...?"
I received a rejection yesterday, one like I have never received before, and it made me chuckle. Instead of the editor tearing my piece apart, the response was, "We read your work and we enjoyed it very much, and that is no bullshit! It's just not what we need for this particular issue."
I was encouraged to submit again in the future.
That person, while maybe a bit crass, spoke from the heart, and I appreciated that rejection. That's what I mean by breaking the rules. When I was very young and dumb, instead of sending a resume to a school board, I sent a heartfelt, handwritten letter telling this small school district about my willingness to do whatever it took. They called me in for an interview. HIRED!
Whether you are a rejected writer, a grieving widow, mom, dad, divorcee, or pet owner; or if you have just lost your job, don't curl into a ball and give up. Deal with it your way, in your own time. Each of us is different and it takes some of us a little longer to get back up on our feet. Ultimately it is up to you though, to stay down or make the attempt to stand up, to step out in faith, to address your pain, lick your wounds but not wallow in the coulda-shoulda-woulda muddy pool of despair.
I firmly believe everything happens for a reason, even if we don't like or understand it. In my personal life, I try to put myself ahead of any negative situation and imagine healing and positive change. Easy? Not at all, but it is a survival technique that works for me. I wish you peace and healing if you are hurting, despondent, sad, ill, uncertain, afraid.
Look at those dirty piggies. They are all the same age. Now, look at the next picture.