What is that sitting on the edge of my shelf? A common manila folder unassumingly taking up the tiniest bit of space. Why you might ask? What could it be doing there? Or more importantly why is it not joined with its friends in the pile of works in progress on the corner of my desk? That file is not about what I am working on, not in the writing sense anyway. It is a collection of sorts that both pain and please me. It is my folder of rejection slips.
I am an Indie author which means my work is not traditionally published. This however is not the way I wish to remain permanently. I love the idea of becoming a hybrid author with some books self published and under my complete control while others are done through a traditional publisher. This is of course where my file comes in. In order to get a book into the hands of a traditional publisher I need to land an agent first.
There are a few publishers that will accept manuscripts without an agent but even then you must submit your query letter and possibly sample pages to be read ad decided upon which can result in those same rejection letters agents often send. I have collected them from both sources and I am sure the file is far from complete. It is one of the many reasons why people will say you need to have a thick skin to be a writer.
I am a former model and once upon a time I thought I would be an actress but during that time in my life I had no ability to handle the criticism that came with the territory. I didn't model long, I rarely auditioned for anything and eventually found it easier to run and hide than even try. It took several years of work to be ready to put myself out there for judgement again and now I do it with something far more personal than just my looks, I put my heart and should on display for the world to see, I pray for acceptance while expecting rejection.
These letters are not simply a scar upon my heart though. They are a badge I wear until such time as I get the acceptance I so crave and can wear it like a cloak to cover those scars. In order to find the acceptance you must be willing to face the rejection. It is hard, I would never say otherwise. It hurts just as much if not more than a bad review but the point is to remember you did something so many talk about but never accomplish. You wrote a book. Beyond that you took the chance to share it and with hard work and dedication you can hopefully find the person that will tell you yes. Keep pushing, the acceptance is always worth the rejection.