Wednesday, July 30, 2014

I Reject Your Reality And Substitute My Own

This tweet by Mindy Kaling (The Office and The Mindy Project) has been making the rounds the past few weeks. As of this writing, it has been shared nearly eight thousand times and favorited by over ten thousand people. There's obviously a potent truth in these short little words:




How many times do we discount ourselves because we worry we're not smart enough,

or talented enough,

or pretty enough,

or young enough,

or old enough,

or thin enough,

or rich enough,

or funny enough,

or tall enough,

or short enough,

or fast enough,

or hip enough,

or white enough,

or ethnic enough,

or interesting enough to deserve a yes?


Obviously rejection sucks.* No one likes to be told "no" when they're hoping for a "yes". Rejection is inevitable in all facets of life, and especially so in the writing business, but it shouldn't have the power to make us believe we lack enough of something to someday deserve an enthusiastic yes.

Such a simple shift in the paradigm -- Why not me?

Heh. I say they're lucky to get us.

How do you deal with rejection? Accept it and move on? Get angry? Cry in your beer? Shake your head knowing someone just missed out on a great opportunity by telling you no? 


*This post brought to you as I begin girding my loins in preparation to query my latest project. 

**Title of post is a saying most often attributed to Adam Savage. .

69 comments:

  1. Funny Tweet.
    It's just life. Don't like it but I try not to take rejection personal.

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    1. Yeah, it's tough when people reject your work, but sometimes it's just business.

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  2. Not getting a YES isn't a problem of selfesteem in today's world as it is a problem of the world losing it's values which is why wrong people which have nothing in ENOUGH quantity, enjoy success.... we live in the era of mediocrity

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    1. Erm, well now I'm just going to put my head back under the pillow.

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    2. I meant that due to all the mediocre writers, singers, actors, the good ones do not get a chance... it's sad, that is how it is nowadays :( This is why even when we try as hard as hell it's difficult to get YES because people nowadays don't see quality or don't care about it :(

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    3. You do hope that talent and quality will rise to the top, but sometimes I think there is more to success or acceptance than just being good. There's also an attitude of "I deserve this" that just works for some people, regardless of their talents.

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  3. I think this may be a part of the delusional optimism I've always had. I have often just tried stuff and after the fact someone will say "I can't believe you did that" and then I pause and realize it never occurred to me not to try. I figure I WILL, not necessarily because I am any better, but because I am more persistent.

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    1. And I think that is a winning attitude. :)

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  4. I'm a little like Hart. I'm too stubborn to give up or quit.

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    1. Luckily for me I can be stubborn too. Even when I probably should quit. :P

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  5. I get angry/upset, then shake it off quickly. I just keep writing and eventually I forget about it. I'm always ready to take on the next thing, so by the time I get a rejection, I usually have something else in the pipeline. That's what has always helped me.

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    1. That's the only sane thing to do when those rejections come in. I've got book number three to start drafting, so that will help with the distraction. :)

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  6. I love it. It does require a radical shift in perspective for many of us. Being not enough is a plague beating at our self esteem daily. And I don't just mean writers... but the whole world.

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    1. That's always been my problem. I can easily talk myself out of something because I don't think I'm good enough. Bad, bad habit.

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  7. Yes, accept and move on. Their loss. It's a momentary down feeling, then I just put it behind me. I've got to start subbing again; my willpower has been hidden by dealing with hubs illness. It might take a bit of time. . .but I see me sending out MS and stories on the near horizon. One day at a time. Thanks for sharing Twitter messages, since I don't indulge.

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    1. I'm so sorry to hear about your husband. I knew something was wrong, but didn't know what.

      And it seems I only share the Twitter messages with cursing in them. :P

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  8. You've got to ask yourself, 'Who's doing the rejection?' Why should any one human being or group of human beings be given the right to 'reject' any other human being or group of human beings. All of our parameters for deciding whether a particular work of art is worthwhile are subjective and dynamic. It's like being 'rejected' by an eddy in a river. Does this even make sense?

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    1. Yeah, that's a great way to put it. This will be my third round of querying. I stopped prematurely last time when I realized I was writing the prequel to the last novel. I'm a lot less inclined to let rejection hinder me anymore, so perhaps that three year break between was necessary. I've definitely got a new perspective on rejection and acceptance.

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  9. Getting rejected is part of beign a writer, and a human being. It's in the abyss that we find ourselves. I think I'd adjust this quote to a more Kennedy-style phrase...in otherwords, "ask not what the F*ck others can do for you, but what the F*ck you can do for others" :)

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    1. LOL. I'm going to amend my query letter to include your sage advice. :P

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  10. I think it depends on what is being rejected and then who's doing the rejecting. If it's writing it think it's part of the package and I hope to be big about it (and move on) when the time comes...

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    1. Oh, the first time I queried a project I truly let the rejection hurt me. I took it way too personally. It still hurts, because you always want to know the "why", but I'm much more business-minded about it now. Maybe I finally grew some of that tough skin???

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  11. Some rejections hurt more than others. Sometimes I take a day to feel sorry for myself but I always get back into it and work harder.

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    1. That is true. When you've done your research and just KNOW you've written what someone is looking for and they still say "no", it is painful. Bewildering. But all you can do is move forward and work on the next thing.

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  12. I tend to analyze the rejection and find the root of why the person rejected me. Then I ask, is it an issue I need to work to resolve? Or is it lack of information on the rejecter's part? Or was there something personal that I had no control over? I make adjustments if needed, learn what I can, and then move on. After crying, of course.

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    1. I have heard some people say they prefer the quick form rejection to the personal type because they can at least imagine it was something outside of their control that caused the rejection. Knowing there were real issues with the writing or characters means taking a second look to see if their rejection had merit or not. That sort of doubt can lead people down the "I'm not good enough" path to quitting.

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  13. It depends on the rejection, I guess. And how the rejection is given out. Mostly, though, I get offended, worry over it for a while, and then get back to work. When the people telling me they didn't want my work were the people that held my future in their hands, it was a lot tougher to move on. When readers reject my work by leaving a bad review, it's a lot easier to get over, because I know there are people who like it, too.

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    1. This is why self-publishing has become such a freeing experience for people. They don't have to worry about rejection based on market calculation. It's all about the work standing on its own. And I am so in awe of everyone who puts their novels out there for anyone with a keyboard to throw stones at. Takes guts.

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  14. Mostly, I just go around.
    It's their loss.

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    1. Yeah, you don't strike me as the sort who gives a f**k about anyone's opinion. Steady she goes. :D

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  15. This reminds me of a documentary on the making of the Harry Potter films. Evanna Lynch loved the books, and when she saw the casting call for Luna, she knew there'd be thousands of girls trying out for it, and yet still she thought, “Someone has to be Luna. Why not me?”

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    1. That's right. Someone's got to fill the void of women warrior novels set in Wales, so why not me. :D

      Also, I look at someone like Mindy Kaling who goes against all the stereotypes in Hollywood, and yet has found amazing success just being herself. That's why I loved her tweet so much. She's proof it's the right motto. :)

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  16. MAN this is a helpful post. I think I might need to print it out and post it over my computer, so that every time I get a rejection, I have to look up and read it. THANK YOU.

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    1. I know you've been querying, and it is so hard. We put so much of ourselves into our stories that it's difficult not to take rejection personally. I am girding my loins for the ordeal. Girding!

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  17. Why not me, indeed. This coming round of submissions will be MY time. This round of queries will be YOUR time. Go! Go! GO!

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    1. Thanks for the reminder that there's yet one more round of self-esteem bashing rejection after the agent stage. :P

      And good luck! I have three friends out on submission right now. It's very exciting. :)

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  18. I don't let rejections get to me anymore and I actually DO use that motto, albeit without the fuck. I like it a little better Mindy's way ;)

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    1. I meant to find a photo to go with this post that would not have the F word so prominent in people's blog feeds, but then I said who has that kind of fucking time to waste? LOL.

      And good for you. I hope in a few months I'm still chanting that motto too.

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  19. I need to paste this up on every wall in my house.
    Big hugs for the reminder.

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  20. I've always said you make your own reality, and often we limit our possibilities by a lack of belief.

    Let's see...how do I deal with rejection? I get mad, and rage, then get sad and write it all into a really sappy scene. Yup. I don't think there's a better place for your emotions than in fiction.

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    1. That's the truth! I have poured my emotions into my writing on more than one occasion. Best therapy there is. :)

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  21. I'll let you know in a couple of weeks. Just in the process of querying now ...

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    1. Good luck! Yep, I'll be joining you in a few weeks. Still sorting out my query letter and doing the final polish on the manuscript. When I get that done we can cry in our beer together. :)

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    2. Make that wine and it's a date! :)

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    3. My preferred choice as well. :)

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  22. Hi Luanne - not everyone will approve or like us or our work .. such is life - pick ourselves up and move on ...

    Rejection - certainly don't like it!! Cheers Hilary

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    1. That's right. In the end you've only got yourself, so you might as well be your best advocate along the way. :)

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  23. I love that motto for not only writing, but everything. People deserve the life they want. If the answer is no, it wasn't meant to be for a reason. Rejections are the universe's way of telling you there is a better opportunity somewhere else. You just have to find it. :)

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    1. Oh, I love the idea of a better opportunity waiting on the other side of a rejection. :D

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  24. My CPs keep trying to tell me this, but I'm firmly in the camp of "I'm not good enough." I don't have to deal with rejection anymore, but I'm afraid my agent will wake up soon and realize she signed a dud. *sigh* So I'm doing a pretty good job rejecting myself and need no help from others. :P

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    1. No! You are doing just fine, Lexa. Although I tend to agree there's a certain advantage in being hard on ourselves sometimes. It makes us work harder to be better. A little of that is a good thing. :)

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  25. This is a great motto! Maybe if many of us had been taught to think that way from a young age, we would have grown into more confident adults. Though this could leave us with a lot less to write about. Good luck with your queries, Luanne! I'm sure they'll be as excited about your book as we are!

    Julie

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    1. I do think it tends to apply more to women than men in a lot of cases. We aren't quite given that message when we're young, are we?

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  26. Good point, Luanne. Rejection is proof you're doing the right thing -- getting your work out where it belongs. I beat rejection by resubbing elsewhere the same day.

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    1. Oh, I just read the best tweet this morning…a lesson learned from video gaming:

      "If I've learned anything from video games, it's that when you meet enemies, it means you're going in the right direction."

      That applies to rejections too. :)

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  27. I love that quote. I so want to get into the Mindy Project but el cheapo me is waiting for a free way to watch past episodes.

    I'm very dramatic about rejection---for about 5 seconds. Then it's learning from it if there's anything to learn, telling myself it's their loss & moving on. I've even learned to be grateful for rejections. We're shaped by fire not fluffy cotton candy clouds.

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    1. I haven't been able to watch more than an episode of The Mindy Project yet either. But I've seen a few clips and she makes some great points about not letting other people label you and hold you back.

      And I was telling someone the other day that, in my opinion, there is a certain type of writer growth that can only occur through rejection from professionals. It's part of the toughening up process. :)

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  28. Rejection has spurred me on. I would not post a tweet like that--just me--though there is nothing wrong with it, and we've all felt that way at one time or another.

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    1. Yeah, I think rejection has the power to shut some people down, and yet for others it only emboldens them to try harder. I wrote this current prequel in response to a rejection from an agent on my other novel who said I needed to bulk up my world building. Heh. I wrote an entire novel because of that rejection. :)

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  29. I like your part of the post and your insights, but I think the tweet is a terrible way to express the need to believe in oneself. It just looks immature, belligerent, and whiny.

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    1. LOL. Yeah, I was afraid I was F-bombing everybody with that, and yet I do think it's a great attitude when you're up against formidable odds. Of course, one does have to have the goods to back up an attitude like that or people will be more than happy to tell you why it shouldn't be you. :)

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  30. Great post. So true. I try to be realistically confident but not arrogant. I have no delusions of grandeur, but I wouldn't want that either.

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    1. I'm having trouble with even being realistically confident at the moment. Need that motto tattooed on the backs of my hands or something, so I see it every time I get on the computer. :P

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  31. This tweet made me laugh. I need a new motto, or actually a motto, and this fits the bill.

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    1. I need to have it aurally inserted into my brain so it runs on a continuous loop. LOL.

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  32. He he. You can just HEAR the frustration in her voice can't you? Yep we've all been there. My novel deals with rejection so looking forward to hearing readers thoughts :o)

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    1. It's a flippant little tweet/message, but really when you're dealing with big issues of rejection, like with your character, it might be just the thing to hold onto when going into battle with the world and its negative attitude. :)

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