Monday, September 9, 2013 | By: Angela Brown

Falling Down to Get Back Up Again...and Again (Persistence)

Resist and Persist, for it is NOT futile.
Falling down isn't exactly something I call a "must do" in life. I much prefer standing tall on my two feet - maybe dancing a jig in a pair of four inch platform heels (don't get it twisted, a big girl can get down and bust a move in a pair of heels lol!!!) - or sitting casually reading a book.

Nowhere in there is falling down. Sometimes, that's what rejection feels like. It's something most - okay, ALL - writers know a little bit about.

Imagine approaching a door. Beyond the threshold is an expansive floor, freshly mopped with plenty of "Caution: Wet floor" signs all around. You know the danger. You know the risk. But on the other side of that ridiculous room is something you must obtain. And so you tread along, stepping smartly (i.e., writing your MS, sharing it with others for beta reading and critiques) but then you fall on your bum (i.e., feedback returns from CPs and beta readers and your story's not perfect, which you were sure it was, right?) You could slither back out the way you came or you could pick yourself up and keep going.

If you persist, falls occur again (i.e., you go the trad pub/small press route and begin collecting rejections like others collect stamps, or you can self-pub and find that the reviews coming in aren't all 5* glowing testaments to your writing perfection.) Maybe a fall comes in the form of sales (i.e.,  you check your sales rank and discover that you're so low that you wish the number was your annual income lol!!!)

But the important part is the second part, the decision to get up and keep going.

As writers, rejection is part of the game. Maybe not as much for one writer compared to another, but then, we each have our own back stories and comparisons may be out of order. As writers, we approach that door, look out at that wet floor with all it's warning signs...and we step out on faith, passion, word-love, whatever. And through persistence, we make it to that must-have objective on the other side, sore elbows, bum, uh, bum (lol!!), and all.

For those times that you do fall, what's a comfort thing you do to ease things in the process? For me, I enjoy chocolate, lots of it. Recently, I've taken to the occasional sherbet moment. Then again, I enjoy chocolate and sherbet when I'm happy lol!

28 comments:

Maria Zannini said...

I don't see my failures so much as falling but more like stumbles.

Short of making a scene/scandal with a reviewer or outright plagiarism, there are no fatal falls.

When I do stumble, I like to distract myself for the evening, usually with a movie or a trip to the city.

Angela Brown said...

Movies are so enjoyable and a great way to distract the mind :-)

Natalie Aguirre said...

So true we have to keep going. And there are so many stumbles in a writer's career. It really is one of those labors of the heart.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

If we don't get up, we just sit there, and that's no fun.
I play my guitar for comfort.

SA Larsenッ said...

Rejection can surely appear like a 'fall.' However, mostly, I try to see those as stepping stones to something bigger that I yet understand. Is it always easy to have that mindset. Heck no!

Angela Brown said...

So true, Natalie.

Angela Brown said...

Playing your guitar sounds like it would be such a soothing release, especially since you'd be engaging in something else you enjoy so much.

Angela Brown said...

That is a very cool perspective to have :-)

Julie Dao said...

I read an interview by a published author recently, and when they asked her how she got to where she is now, she said: "I don't take rejections personally." She looked at them as agents giving her a chance to find someone who felt more strongly/was better suited for the project.

Angela Brown said...

That's a very good point to bear in mind along the road to publication. It is certainly a better idea to have an agent that is as passionate about the story as you are.

J.L. Campbell said...

When I think about how many rejections some of the big authors have received before being published, I have to admire them. I'd have quit long before getting to the big time. Writers are big on courage and persistence.

Angela Brown said...

Ref: Writers are big on courage and persistence.

No doubt. Would have to be to make it in this industry.

EvalinaMaria said...

Statistics show that for every 'yes' there is so many 'nos'. If you collect every 'No' faster there is a higher possibility of getting 'Yes' faster. Stephen King start collecting 'NOs' very early, like almost in the childhood - look at him now!

Angela Brown said...

You make an excellent point :-)

Anonymous said...

Feedback is always a chance to make a story better. Sometimes it can be painful, but mostly it's useful.

Angela Brown said...

Very true. I can certainly say I'm truly thankful for all the feedback I've received. It's been so helpful in moving forward with my publishing dream.

Steven said...

Failure is part of mastering any difficult skill, and learning to write well is most definitely a difficult skill. I find getting out in nature or listening to music recharges my batteries quickly when I need it. The best way to guard against feeling drained is undertaking "regular maintenance" of engaging in inspiring activities. I find I have less down-time if any at all when I run into setbacks if I just engage in daily regular maintenance.

Angela Brown said...

Ref: engage in daily regular maintenance.

That sounds like an excellent way to always keep the batteries rolling and the ideas flowing.

Julie Flanders said...

I had to laugh at wishing your sales rank was your annual income. If only LOL.

Angela Brown said...

LOL! Right with you, Julie :-)

Angela Orlowski-Peart said...

Being strong especially when our creations are critiqued and rejected is not easy. But that's what makes us, authors so special - we cry, then we get up, dust off our pants, and keep on going. Big hugs to you, Angela. Stay strong.

Angela Brown said...

That is the wonder of being an author. The passion keeps driving even through the difficulties :-)

Christy Farmer said...

There is something bigger on the horizon. Hang in there, Angela. Sending you virtual boxes of chocolate. ;-)

Leslie S. Rose said...

Sometimes that floor is pretty darn slick! Nothing a little chocolate peanut butter ice cream won't cure.

Anonymous said...

What an amazing image you painted Angela. Falls aren't failure. Falls are part of the process of mastering a new skill, or improving an old. All you can do is pick yourself up and try again. Or crawl under a rock and cry. And you're right, chocolate usually helps :)

Michael Di Gesu said...

Boy do I know about falling ... in more ways than I can to think about especially the real fall I had a few weeks ago after a cyclist knocked me unconscious...

But writing has the same pitfalls and hurts just as much as a physical injury... But we must pick up our broken bodies and spirits and move on...

Candilynn Fite said...

Oh boy. I fell last week. Skinned both knees. Ice cream helped, as did chocolate. And I must not forget the wine, too. But I think what helped the most was getting my butt back in the chair and writing. It's truly one of my salvations.

Hugs!!

Cecilia Robert said...

Oh, falling hurts!!! I usually grab a DVD--the more action the movie has, the better. Jason Stratham Kind of Action..hahah--and wine. After that, I go back and reread the Feedback. It always looks much kinder after that.

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