Pickled Mango: Dealing With Rejection
Rejection is not failure. You might just not be someone's flavor. There are over 1,000 flavors of ice cream in the world. Baskin-Robbins alone has so many flavors that they can change 31 out every month. And things like pickled mango ice cream exist...someone must have wanted it!
My point is, each author is a flavor. If you write in your flavor and to the best of you, then your writing will be good. It will be fire. According to Donald Maass in his book The Fire in Fiction, "Originality can come only from what you bring of yourself to your story" and "Your take on the world is not only valid, it is necessary" (The Fire in Fiction, 233).
This does make rejection feel even worse for a hot minute: they are not rejecting the story, they are rejecting YOU. They do not want YOU. That does not mean that you are a bad writer. You can find well-known writers on line who do not like each others work, Tolkien was not fond of his best friend's Chronicles of Narnia. However, he also said that though Narnia was based on Lewis's personal testimony , that did not invalidate it. No one likes everything. The Hunger Games was revolutionary to a young, ignorant audience who had never read anything like it before simply because they had probably never read before. It's not a new concept. Nothing is. Originality isn't your issue (unless it is, but you can fix that easily).
Like I said in the opening line, rejection is not failure. Even after my debut novel came out I failed, but it didn't have to do with rejection! Do not confuse the two. Rejection is not wanting to eat pickled mango...It's ok. Pick up the story, mark it "submitted and rejected" and move on. I am preparing for a big rejection (and got 3 this morning). I need to remember that there are a LOT of reasons some individual could reject me. I am not every one's cup of pickled mango. My life has shown me that! But I also know that I am not a failure and that what I have to say is important.
Tomorrow: Why your writing probably isn't as good as you think!