The Art of Hearing “No!”

No one likes to hear no…unless they’re a masochist. Writers, artists, actors, poets, etc. must hear no way more than the average human being (had to differentiate between us and cats: “NO, TIGGER! Get off the table!”)

But how to handle no? It feels like rejection. It feels personal, when someone rejects our “children” aka writing. But did you catch two VERY important words? Let me lay it down for ya:

1. FEELS. That’s the first important word. Feels like I’m being rejected. Feels personal. Feeling is a sensation that can exist apart from truth. I can feel like I’m an apple, imagine I’m round and red and juicy. But in the end, I am white and not-for-consumption (not addressing the roundness part, folks. Not going there.) I am NOT an apple. I am Beth.

True, some people may reject you for real, but not every NO on your writing automatically equals a NO to you as a person. And not every NO on your writing means a NO on other pieces of your writing. My current publisher (MuseItUp) said no to the first book I sent them, yet said yes to the second. (A lesson to keep trying.)

2. WRITING. The second important word from way up above. My WRITING was rejected. Again, rejection of your writing is not something to take personally.

Everyone (including publishers/editors/agents) has different tastes. Note this. Copy this. Frame this: A rejection is  a reflection of a publisher’s/etc.’s likes and dislikes. It isn’t even a reflection on the merit of your work.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t heed others’ advice/suggestions. Some have merit, but not all. Use discernment when choosing whom to listen to.

Food for thought, I hope.

In closing, don’t get discouraged. Keep learning. Someone out there is bound to say yes to something some day. But they won’t if you say “No, I don’t think I’ll try.” So TRY!


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