Because We All Get Rained On Sometimes

One of the most dis-heartening parts of being a writer is dealing with the rejection. Often writers put work into writing out query letters and proposals, just to have them turned down–or worse yet, they don’t hear back at all.

As a result, sometimes there are days when we believe that rejection letter more than we believe in ourselves. You know, those days where you’ve fought with your significant other, spilled your morning coffee (or in my case, tea) and burned yourself, you’re behind on a project that is due that day and then you get a rejection letter. You find yourself believing you’ve made a mistake becoming a freelancer, or even thinking that you might be able to make a living from words.

Alisa at Project Happily Ever After, an excellent writer / blogger (one of my favorites, and one of the few whose every post I read) offered up a suggestion to bring us back from the edge. She calls it her “I don’t suck” list. Her blog is dedicated to “the story of how she went from wishing her husband dead to renewing her wedding vows. Her four-month project was a last ditch effort to save a marriage that many—her friends, her colleagues and even her own mother—had written off as hopeless,” this post (as do many of those that she writes) was about fending off the bad with the good.

She keeps a folder where she puts all the “feel good” letters, comments, emails, etc. that she’s received over the years. Since reading her post I started a Google document, that has slowly been growing with compliments, thank yous and other things that make me smile. It includes the comment from one of my closest friends, where he called me “A smart sassy sweetheart who has a knack for kicking it back” and comments like the one from a poster on Brazen who I helped–”I appreciate your advice so much, that I am going make a plastic likeness of you, and put it on the dash of my car!” Stored in the cloud, so I can access it anywhere, anytime, this one file can make me smile even on the worst of days.

Writers can specifically stock comments from editors they’ve worked with (“Great job on that piece”) or clients they have done projects for. That way, next time someone turns you down you can just look over the comments from someone who didn’t, and you’ll be able to rededicate yourself to the task, removing the morning-coffee stain, resolve the argument with your significant other, finish the project that’s due and re-pitch your query to a new magazine where it’s sure to be accepted (and where you’ll be paid twice as much) – or at the least, it will make you smile, and a smile is worth almost that much some days.

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