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Brutally Honest Confession – A Writer’s Fear of Rejection

March 12, 2013

(This started out as a Facebook status update, but quickly spiraled out of control.)

There’s this new book.  This awesome book that is funny, and honest, and real, and filled with fantastic writing by great women.  And I am insanely jealous over it.

I Just Want To Pee AloneI am jealous because I am not in it.  Before you think my ego has inflated to the point of blowing up my head, taking my brain and all good sense with it, let me explain.

I am not in it, not because I submitted something that wasn’t chosen and the rejection from that still stings.  No, I am not it because I didn’t even try.

This is my single biggest hangup as a writer, and probably my greatest hurdle personally in life.  I have a major fear of rejection.  Not the best attribute for someone who considers herself a writer.

Sure, I put stuff out there all the time.  I post stuff here on my blog, do guest posts, freelance writing, etc.  But when it comes to the stuff that matters, like my three finished children’s books that have never been sent to any agency or publisher, or my list of written-but-never-posted articles and blog posts that are too raw, and too personal to share, I’m a chicken.

I saw the call for mom bloggers to submit a humor piece for this book.  I saw it.  I considered it. And then I chickened-out and didn’t even make an attempt.  My excuses ranged from “I’m not a humor writer,” to “I’m just not inspired, and who can write well when they’re not inspired?” to “No one has done anything funny lately,” to “Yeah right, out of a bazillion mom bloggers out there, like I’d ever get chosen.”  The list of reasons not to try was endless. And then the deadline had passed and I blew it off like I do so many other things for the same reason.

“Stacey,” goes my doubting inner monologue, “you’re a person who can write fairly well.  But you’re not original, you’re not special, and you are one out of more than a million people who do the same thing, probably better than you.  Being a person who writes does not make you a writer.”

And so I did not try.

About a week ago, the first of my friends who is in this phenomenal book posted something about it on Facebook.  I was (and still am) so happy for her.  It stung at first, but she’s an excellent writer who has been at this much longer than I have.  I honestly thought, “Good for her! That’s so amazing!” and told her so on her post.

Then another friend posted the same thing. Then another blogger who I follow, then another, then another. That’s when it hit me.

The sting of rejection is nothing compared to the regret from not trying.

I have no idea if I even would have written something to make it past the first round of cuts for this book.  It’s very possible that I would have tried and failed and felt that sting. But I’ll never know.  And that regret just sucks.

Maybe this will give me the kick in the pants I need to write my query letters and send my writing out to be judged.  Maybe it won’t.  All I know is that I wish I had tried on this one.

To my friends and excellent writers, Amy Bozza who writes the blog My Real Life

My Real Life

 

 

 

 

 

 

and Ashley Taylor over at The Dose of Reality

The Dose of Reality

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

who both are in this book, I am so so happy for you ladies.  You each deserve it and I can’t wait to read this book! Enjoy absolutely every minute of every accolade you receive.  They are well-earned!!

To everyone else, go find this book and read it.  It’s not everyday that a book by real people beats out Tina Fey on the Amazon humor list!!

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14 Comments leave one →
  1. March 12, 2013 11:31 AM

    Stacey, Let me be the first to say that I love your writing and you are a standard that I hold myself against when I write something. Thank you for the promotion of our book and I can’t wait to read YOUR first publication because I know it will be something special!

    • March 12, 2013 12:21 PM

      You are very sweet to say that, Amy. Thank you for the encouragement. I am just beyond tickled for you and your co-authors of this book!

  2. March 12, 2013 11:38 AM

    It’s official. You are my long lost twin and I love you.
    I literally had to force myself to hit “send” for my submission. I walked around, sucked down 8 cups of coffee and with shaky fingers, hit the dreaded button.

    • March 12, 2013 12:22 PM

      A long lost relative! How exciting! Good for you for getting up the nerve to hit Send! Sounds crazy, but that is inspiring!

  3. March 12, 2013 11:40 AM

    This post is beautiful and deeply personal, which shows a lot of growth since you say that is hard for you. I am glad that our book is bringing the community of moms and bloggers closer together, that was our goal from the beginning. There is always Volume 2. 🙂

    • March 12, 2013 12:27 PM

      Not only bringing moms together, but helping us laugh along the way, too. Congratulations on your success!

  4. March 12, 2013 12:48 PM

    Thank you so much Stace for this shout-out!! You are SO SWEET!! Honestly, when we were approached by Jen and asked for an essay, we both felt like we were totally not worthy. And then promptly lost all of our funny. 😉
    I do totally agree with you, though about the regret of not trying being worse than the rejection. Put yourself out there girl, you will be glad you did!! 🙂

    • March 12, 2013 1:00 PM

      Thanks, Ashley. Congrats again!

  5. March 12, 2013 1:23 PM

    Man, do I get it! Writing leaves your insides open. No one likes to feel so vulnerable. But you’ve got this because you’re a writer and a mom; vulnerability comes with the territory. And I hope that when these talented women are ready for the sequel, Can I Just Sit Down for a Second? or something like that, you’ll be ready to make a submission. Thank you for your honesty!

    • March 12, 2013 1:34 PM

      The vulnerability of motherhood is definitely enough to make us all tough cookies, that’s for sure! Thanks for the encouragement and support!

  6. March 12, 2013 1:36 PM

    You can’t get better if you don’t fail, if you don’t get told “No,” if you don’t let people tell who what you need to work on. Please try next time. You deserve it.

    • March 12, 2013 2:01 PM

      I know you are right. Thank you.

  7. March 12, 2013 2:04 PM

    I have to admit my embarrassment, ladies. This began as a pity party for myself and has turned into an incredible outpouring of support and encouragement from fellow writers. I sincerely appreciate all of your kind words and I am taking them to heart. This is what I love about motherhood, and what I’m discovering about the fellowship of writers, as well. Shared experiences form bonds and a sense of community like nothing else. I am humbled by everyone’s comments. Thanks to all of you.

  8. April 5, 2013 10:06 AM

    I used to have a similar reaction to my college plays. If I auditioned and didn’t get in, I could enjoy the show just fine. If I didn’t audition, I’d watch the show thinking that I could’ve been in it, if I’d only auditioned. The fact that I was only cast in one show in four years made no difference – I always assumed that the only reason I wasn’t in was because I didn’t try.

    One freelance writer I know put it this way: Don’t Reject Yourself.

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