When I started working on my manuscript last year, I bought a book at a bargain store called, Reject me I love it. Admittedly cheesy, I thought, "Why not? I may need this someday." And I was right. It is the best little book, especially for aspiring authors. It deals with all the usual self-criticism that keeps us from ever even trying to reach our goals, and the defeatism that comes with rejection. We're so afraid of being turned away that we won't even try. In the book, author John Fuhrman stresses to embrace rejection, because it is a healthy part of growth and not something to be afraid of as we are usually taught. In fact, no success can ever come without a small amount of rejection. Those who learn from it are the winners. Those who try, and fail, and then try again will eventually succeed.
The next time someone rejects your project, say to yourself, "This is good, because now I will fix what is wrong and then the next time there will be less to reject."
Another book I had close at hand was The Secret, which many of you might have heard of already via Oprahworld. It is realized thought in action. If you dream it, it will come. Well, that hasn't been my experience. I think hard work brings success, and maybe not the exact kind you want, but the kind you need. Success doesn't have to be owning an expensive yacht and living on your own private island. Success should be you being able to do the things you love. Consider this: most authors whose books you see at the bookstore have day jobs. So, you either do this and love it, or don't do it at all. I appreciated The Secret but thought it was just a romantic bit of idealism that preempted actual work. Yes, it is good to have a dream to work towards, but you have to get your hands dirty or it simply will not happen.
My last point comes, again, from Reject me I love it. Fuhrman writes about audience. There is a small portion of people that are going to hate you and the work you produce, although dislike is a better word I guess. There is nothing you can do to make them like you. Period. Don't waste your time. Now, there is another small portion of people who will absolutely love you. You could have flaming cold sores and listen to Barry Manilow all day and they would adore you. This is a good thing and you should appreciate it. Moving on. There is a big portion of people who are undecided. These are the people you want to concentrate on. These are the people who could buy a copy of Paul Blart: Mall Cop next to the register if it looked pretty and the sun was setting right. It's your job to promote your work to these folks and hope for the best. You got the good, forget the bad.
Life isn't perfect. But you can make it okay. Good even. Thank all those bullies in school, and the teachers who gave you an F, and your older brother who said you were an idiot. They did it to help you. At least, I think they did . . .