This week I did something I’ve been putting off for at least a month, probably more. I started submitting again. Not that I ever stopped, but after another round of revisions, it almost feels like a whole new adventure.
Once again, I needed a bunch of people to tell me I could do it. Elana, Heather, Rachelle, Keith, Danyelle—they all rallied around me to tell me that yes, I can do it. And they’re right. I can.
When I really think about it, sending submissions—and consequently getting rejections—isn’t any harder than ninety percent of the other things I do in life. It’s not harder than that thing I did last week, or last summer, or two years ago or four.
I’ve lived through a lot of stuff I’ll never talk about here. But I’m not unique in that. We’re all human. We all have to deal with difficult things. And for the most part, we do. Something comes at us and we take it, deal with it and react in our own distinct way. Hopefully, we’re then able to grow and learn and become better people. Or different people. Whatever.
The point is, as stupid as it sounds, whenever I get ready to send more submissions, I have to psych myself up. I remind myself that this process is really only as hard as I allow it to be. Some submissions are harder than others because I’ve pinned more hope on them. But in the end, even if I only ever get rejections on this book, I am still a writer. I’ll write other books. I’ll keep submitting, and eventually, I’ll find someone who loves my stuff enough to represent it, and then someone else who wants to publish it. I believe in myself enough to know that.
I would be lying if I said rejection isn’t hard to take. It is. Very, very hard. But as my good friends remind me over and over again, I can do hard things.
Then I look around, see my family and friends and know they’ll still be here even after a thousand rejections. And I remember all the harder, more life-altering things I’ve lived through, and I think, meh. Agent / publisher rejections aren’t as bad as I like to pretend.
Then I click send, and laugh when I get my first rejection an hour later—even though it’s eight o’clock on a Saturday night.
I do not curl up and die. My life isn’t forever ruined or destroyed, or even altered in the least. One down, a hundred more to go. No worries. You know why? I can handle it. I can do hard things. And so can you.