Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Confidence Pitfalls

My writer’s group gives out awards. In fact, on my first visit the hostess gathered us from the snack table in the kitchen and arranged the ten of us on the couch and floor in front of the fireplace. They even did one of those tongue-drum-rolls. I was fascinated. Sandwiched between an accountant and an aerobics instructor, I waited eagerly.

The hostess handed out cheap plastic leis and an onion that she’d spray-painted gold. Needless to say, I had to have them. You see they were silly prizes for really hard feats of accomplishments. The lei was given to whoever did the most submissions that month. 

Query letters, proposals, whatever…as long as you sent something in. The gold onion was for the person who’d received the most rejections. It’s easy to celebrate successes, they all knew that. What is hard is pressing on despite someone telling you, in black and white, that you’re not good enough.

Being a writer, at least one who cares if they’re published, is tough on the ego. I once received a rejection notice that wasn’t even on a whole piece of paper. Just a three-inch strip of paper with the words, “Thanks, but we’ll pass,” written on it. Ouch. The silly prizes at my critique group were symbols of encouragement to keep going, keep trying.

I like reading rejection stories from famous authors. I like watching Biography of how writers or directors kept coming up against people that told them to quit, and how their success is all the more sweet because they didn’t.

There are a lot of pitfalls in this profession, things like jealousy, discouragement, frustration, doubt. But surrounding yourself with a good support group is like balm to the wounds inflicted by the form letter rejection. 

Today I'm On The Hot Seat at Cally Jackson's blog. Stop by and say hello! I'd love to chat.

Also...You're all invited to enter the gift basket contest ---> 
You can sign up at the "Detective Office" on my sidebar.

The gift basket has lots of cool prizes, some Purple Knot book swag, and a special doo-hicky from Think Geek.


Lynda R Young said...

hehe I love the idea of those prizes. It sounds like you have a great group.

Jessica Bell said...

Sounds like a great group! It is such a great sense of satisfaction, isn't it, when you succeed and have been told you wouldn't. That happened to me :o) hehehe (here's me sticking my proverbial middle finger up at that person) lolol

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

The golden onion - I like that!

Rogue Mutt said...

I don't think I'd want to try eating that onion. Then after a while it'd rot and stink up the place.

Jess said...

I LOVE the golden onion award idea! Oh, and I've gotten one of those 3-inch-strip rejections before...it's hard not to picture the intern rolling their eyes as they stuff it in the envelope. Hate those.

Hart Johnson said...

I LOVE these tricks--because it's true--encouragement to keep going is FABULOUS!

Raquel Byrnes said...

She was a great hostess! It was a turning point for me in seeing rejections as stepping stones...not road blocks.

Thank you all for stopping by to say hello!

Carrie said...

Thanks for this! Love the idea of the awards and the new way of looking at those rejections.