|Source: Wikimedia Commons|
And for as long as I can remember I've had issues with rejection.
We all have them, really. But my issue is more pronounced since I was abandoned at birth, and for other reasons I'd rather not share, I feel rejection to the core.
Of all the occupations to long for, I managed to pick the one where rejection is more the norm than the exception. Especially when starting out.
If you want to be a writer, you're going to have to grow a thick hide. You're going to want to be a writer more than you hate the feeling of rejection.
I started submitting stories back in the 1970s (you know, when the ice was just beginning to thaw from the ice age). I received more rejection letters than acceptances. In fact, I'm not sure I received any acceptance letters from any magazines of major importance. But I continued to write. I enrolled in writing courses. I kept practicing the craft. The passion was still there. The rejections hurt, but my unction to write was stronger than that hurt.
I truly believe that it's not the most talented that get published but those that are the most persistent. It's the ones who refuse to give up and who are open to criticism and willing to learn how to master
their craft that make it.
Get yourself in a critique group that will filet you, and you'll learn to write well. It will do you no good to surround yourself with people who pat you on the back. Iron sharpens iron. Pens sharpen pens. Create an environment for yourself that stretches you and demands more from you.
Recently I was asked by a major magazine to do an article. I had longed to be published in such a magazine during the 1990s but my submissions were consistently rejected.
Now the magazine has come to me, not me to them.
I do not boast in myself. I only share this to say that it has nothing to do with my brilliance, but it does have to do with my work ethic and my willingness to learn all I can and to work like a dog. When I'm not doing something else, I'm writing. I'm not kidding. When I'm not writing, I'm usually researching or learning about writing. (I'm also a full-time college student, pastor's wife, Mama, caregiver of a mother-in-law with Alzheimer's...) But when I'm not doing those other things in my "other life," I'm working on my craft. I sacrifice personal free time to do so. (Naturally, in balance with keeping God my God and not putting the writing before Him.)
My point is this: Work Hard. Learn to take it on the chin. Grow a thick hide.
And never, never quit.
This post is cross-posted from Karla's Blog.
Karla Akins is the award-winning author of The Pastor's Wife Wears Biker Books due out August 9, 2013. Her ebook, Jacques Cartier went #1 in its category on Amazon and one of her columns was featured on the CNN homepage.