Friday, December 28, 2012

What I learned in 2012

@Ressurrection Graves posed the question “What have you learned this year?” on her blog at

I was amazed to find my answer.

In 2012 I learned to embrace rejection.

Now I am aware no one loves rejection but the challenge is what you do with it. Throughout my life I primarily dealt with rejection by literally and metaphorically just going home. With a proper amount of therapy I am sure I could identify scores of places where this patterned ruled my life but let’s not go there. I am certain though that I never dated much because I couldn’t handle the rejection. I developed a patterned of just hanging out until a date was inevitable.

I sent my first piece of writing off to a publisher over twenty five years ago. When the rejection letter came back I put the piece and the letter in a file and put them away. I did not again submit anything for twenty five years. In both writing and in my personal life I never considered just forging ahead. Nor did I consider reflecting and improving. I am afraid I missed out on some things. Though I have been married to Pam thirty six years and I am thankful she never rejected me.

This year though I said to rejection bring it on. I submitted Henry on Fire to over seventy agents and publishers and to numerous critiques. The most typical rejection was much like my dating life, “it’s not you it’s us.”

I said to rejection bring it on. I kept submitting and I kept rewriting. The manuscript kept getting better and better. In fact it improved so much I thought about writing the first set of people I submitted to and saying thank you as well as apologizing.

In the end I self-published Henry on Fire and that might seem like I was trying to avoid more rejection but remember I decided to pass on the therapy approach to the issue. I self-published so that I could get on with other writing projects and so that I could expose myself to a whole other level of rejection, so far the feedback has been very positive.

I would love to embrace a publishing contract but in the meantime I am ready to embrace rejection and forge ahead.

1 comment:

  1. Steve, I am glad that you were inspired to write your own post here. You are welcome to click on the link, and add your link to the comments section of the article that inspired this post. Thank you for sharing. I think at some point in life, we are all dealing with accepting rejection, without rejecting ourselves in the process. I believe now that overcoming rejection and have the "They say No, I say Next" attitude is a learned behavior.