I’m a member of several different writers groups, including Garden State Speculative Fiction Writers, for whom I edit the quarterly newsletter.
Writer Jon Gibbs recently contributed a piece that I think is worth reading for any aspiring writer. He gave me permission to repost it here. And once you finish reading this post, be sure to check out his Website and his blog, both of which have a lot of informative and entertaining stuff.
So take it away Jon …
Give Yourself Permission to Fail
by Jon Gibbs
For many writers, rejections are a bit like a trips to the dentist. We’ll do almost anything to avoid them, rather than risk getting bad news.
You can understand someone being afraid of dentists (I know I am), but why fear rejection? What’s so terrible about someone passing up the chance to publish your work?
I think it’s partly because, no matter how much we like to pretend we don’t care, it hurts to have a story turned down.
And so it should. If you don’t care if your story gets accepted, why submit it there in the first place?
But I believe there’s more to it than worrying about the sting of being told ‘No thank you’ by someone you’ve probably never met.
A rejection, especially when we’re starting out, is a hammer blow to our self-confidence. The bad news for would-be writers is that you’re going to get rejected, probably quite a lot. If getting published is important to you, those rejections are going to hurt.
The good news is that it gets easier. The more knocks you take, the tougher you’ll get, and if you make the effort to improve your craft, if you’re willing to recognize your mistakes and learn from them there’s a good chance that you will get published.
So go on, give yourself permission to fail. Take a deep breath and pitch that story.
One day, your dream will thank you.
Born in England, Jon Gibbs now lives in New Jersey, where he is the founder of The New Jersey Authors’ Network (www.njauthorsnetwork.com) and FindAWritingGroup.com, Jon’s middle grade fantasy, “Fur-Face” (Echelon Press), was nominated for a Crystal Kite Award. The sequel, “Barnum’s Revenge,” is scheduled for release in February, 2013.
Jon has a website: www.acatofninetales.com and a blog: http://jongibbs.livejournal.com. When he’s not chasing around after his three children, he can usually be found hunched over the computer in his basement office. One day he hopes to figure out how to switch it on.