Brutally Honest Confession – A Writer’s Fear of Rejection
(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 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
and Ashley Taylor over at 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!!