Today’s guest post comes from Pam Parker a writer, blogger, and all around interesting woman. Her blog Finding Meaning With Words is best described with her own tagline: “writing, life, and the writing life.” From there you can check out her impressive list of publications and awards. On to her article!
Rejections Can’t Kill You: Fear something that can
Dear Women Writers, whether you own the title or not,
So, the literary web-buzz is atwittering about women not submitting as much as men, thus the disparity in male/female authorship. True? Who knows, but be sure the literary journal world will be letting us know….. and we are left to wonder, if there is a significant difference in the numbers of female writer submits vs. male, why is that? Could it be we’re a bunch of chickens???
I’ve written before that I used to fear submitting. In fact, here’s what it took to shake me out of that fear:
“But, then life taught me to banish the fear of rejections.
Many of you know I had cancer in 2008. There’s nothing quite like hearing your doctor say, ‘I’m sorry to have to tell you, you have breast cancer,’ to shake up everything you’ve ever thought about fear. Cancer is a word that deserves some of the fear that accompanies it. Rejection is not. Even though you may think rejections will kill you, they won’t. They only have whatever power you give them. Now when I get them, I seize the opportunity to either rework the piece, or, if I still believe it’s publishable but hasn’t yet found a home, I send it off to someone else.”
And, sad to say, I know many female writer friends who stay stuck in that fear and never move on. Are you one of them? Would you please, please think about rejections as necessary steps in the road to publication? They’re NOT personal attacks — they’re NOT a condemnation of your ability or your work — they’re NOT a DEATH SENTENCE!!! GET OVER IT.
Getting Rejected is Better than…..
***getting a crappy diagnosis (oh, say, cancer)
***not having tried. (true, trite, but true)
***peeling a bandaid off a blister.
***waking up to 20 below windchills outside.
***that repetitive nightmare about not showing up for a class in college and losing your degree.
How about you? What do you think getting rejected is better than????
Hope you’ll get off the Fear Block and onto the Submission Train.
With only good wishes,
The Submit-It Nag
Pam Parker writes and coaches other writers at RedBird RedOak Writing in Milwaukee. Her stories, including excerpts from her novel in progress, have appeared in THE POTOMAC REVIEW, THE MACGUFFIN, THE BINNACLE, GREY SPARROW PRESS, elimae and other print and electronic journals. She blogs about writing and reading at pamparker.wordpress.com. Watch for updates, and a visual representation/cartoon :-), of the Submit-Nag soon.
A big thanks to Pam for sharing her thoughts here at My Literary Quest! As always, you are welcome to leave questions, comments, and hearty cheers for Pam in the comments.