Wednesday, 23 November 2011

On Rejection, Giving Up, and the Eternal Writer

Those of you who read my last post will recall how hilarious and awesome my parents are.

Those of you who follow me on twitter will know the consequences to this awesomeness.

You see, my parents never wanted me to be a writer. They warned me that I wouldn't make money, that I should get a "real job", that my writing wasn’t good enough to be published. Tonight, my dad suggested I try self-publishing because it’s been "ages" and I still haven’t found an agent. When I said these things take time, he just gave a cynical "hmm".

The thing is, there have been times when I’ve wanted to quit. Sometimes this crazy idea’s lasted a whole hour. I’d get rejected from something important and I’d sob and tell myself all these horrible things that would have any psychologist put me on some kind of anti-depressant. But I let myself feel down. I tell myself I’m awful and disgraceful and I’ll never be a real writer. I cry until I’m bored of crying. Then I sigh. Then I get up. Then I start all over again.

Because that’s the thing, isn’t it? If you’re like me, if you’re really like me, you can’t stop writing. Even when you want to. You leave a story idea festering for a week, maybe a month, and suddenly your fingers are just itching to get typing again, and it builds and builds and builds until it explodes into a story, and voila! Another manuscript to love and edit and have critiqued and send out to agents.

Some people never get published. The odds of an agent AND a publisher loving your story enough to take it on are astronomical if you think about it too much (don’t, it’ll give you a headache). But I will literally die trying if I have to, because I can’t stop the ideas or the passion or the eternal need to get my story onto paper.

I. Can’t. Stop.

Can you?


  1. Get your stories out! This kind of external doubt can stop you or feed the struggles of your characters. You can do it.

  2. Wow. You know, you're right.

    I've actually thought about quitting, theoretically, after a few years of non-success...but I don't know if I'll be able to.

    I've been so tired that I literally couldn't keep my head up to write, and so overwhelmed with kids and housework and work-work that I've wept that I need to quit writing - but in neither case have I been able to.

    Now. I AM planning to give up on a project pretty soon here. But that's just so I can keep growing into other stuff. Right?

    Beautiful post. Keep on keepin' on. <3

  3. You too, Leigh Ann!

    And yeah, just because you put a project on the back burner doesn't mean you'll never come back to it. Sometimes you just need to take a step back so one day you can see it objectively :)

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  5. Tamara! I finally found your blog! (I followed it but I didn't know which one was yours because my Google Reader widget doesn't show me the name of the poster, just the name of the blog).

    I...can relate with everything. The parents that are awesome but just can't understand why I haven't given up yet (been looking for an agent for more or less two years,now, with some time in between), the times after rejections when I'd just let myself sob it out (lol I tell myself horrible things, too), and not being able to stop writing even though I know the chances of me finding success are slim.

    Thanks for posting and I'll be sure to check in more often (now that I actually know that this is your blog, lol). Here's hoping that all of us will find success, or at least keep writing until we do.

  6. *hugs* I think all of us get those same thoughts and feelings sometimes. It's sad that your dad isn't more supportive, though. I hope you get a fabulous deal so you can say, "I told you so!" <3 And someone recently...I forget who...perhaps Jim C. Hines?...blogged about money differences between 70% of a few indie sales vs. 15-20% of a bajillion sales with a deal if you want to throw that info out. :)

  7. Aw, thanks! I think he'll be happy to celebrate my successes as they come along. He just doesn't have the patience I have ;)