Writing is a very subjective thing. You need to accept right from the get go that not everyone will enjoy what you have to offer. Some people will love your books and some will hate them. You may be aiming for a best seller but even best sellers are not immune to bad reviews. With writing, success does not guarantee across the board approval. It is however certainly true that the more successful your books are, the larger your following will be. Even the most successful writers, with record breaking sales and a worldwide following, will still have to contend with a portion of their audience, albeit a small portion, being unmoved, unimpressed, or in some instances truly offended.
Take JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series as an example. The books are reported to have sold more than 500 million copies worldwide and were even adapted into box office hit movies. There are Harry Potter toys, clothing, various other paraphernalia and even Harry Potter Themed parks. Yet even the Harry Potter phenomenon has met with those who outrightly hate it. The point of the matter is simply that you cannot please everyone.
We must all face the choice between what is right and what is easy. ~Albus Dumbledore
J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter, #4).
I don’t believe in pursuing success to the point of compromising the integrity of your writing. Simply put, you should stay true to who you are as a writer, to your individual writing style, and to the message you wish to share.
That being said, I am not saying you should ignore constructive criticism. There is no getting away from the fact that criticism, regardless of the shape or form it takes, stings a little. As writers, we ultimately get to assess the validity of the criticism and accordingly we are able to choose whether it will have a positive or negative impact on us. When we humble ourselves, it allows us to see constructive criticism for what it is. Essentially, it is aimed at helping not harming us. With this view, it becomes possible to utilize it to assist in developing and improving our writing skills, which will ultimately lead to the fulfilment of our true potential.
Unfortunately, rejection letters don’t include any constructive criticism. A rejection letter, no matter how thoughtfully or tactfully written, is still a rejection letter. Regardless of the amount of sugar coating, or whether some well-intended compliments and encouragement are included, the reality is, it remains a rejection. Sometimes we are able to keep our chins up, stay positive and push on. Others times, a rejection letter shakes your confidence, leaves you rattled and questioning your writing ability. Rejection letters are never pleasant or uplifting, but if you are a writer you may as well make peace with the fact that they come with the territory (#WritersLife).
The way I deal with a rejection letter is to take a little break and I give myself time to lick my wounds and reflect. Then I shake it off, go back to my manuscript and look at it with a fresh perspective. With determination and a positive mind-set, I set to work to improve and polish my manuscript. Then when I feel not only confident and happy with it, but have a complete peace about it, I submit it to other publishers. I refuse to give up!
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.
I am well aware of the fact that if I don’t believe in my work, neither will anyone else.
My heartfelt wish for everyone reading this blog post is that they will discover a new level of confidence and meet with every measure success.
Please feel free to leave a comment, question or to contact me. Happy writing to all.