"" Writer's Wanderings: Encouragement--Fuel for the Soul

Friday, October 09, 2009

Encouragement--Fuel for the Soul

Very few days go by without my questioning this path I'm on fraught with word counts, comma discussions, platform issues (should I brand myself as a travel writer, a novelist, or just a wannabe), etc., and then of course, rejection. The rejection as you might imagine is the worst. It's a little like being a child who makes this wonderful picture, uses every crayon in the box and tries to capture the image in his head on paper. Then he takes it proudly to an adult who smiles, nods, and asks, "What is it?"

Rejection of a writer's work comes in many forms. When I started, it was usually a form letter in the mail, sometimes signed personally (or by an assistant). Now it is in email form. One form letter I recieved was a list of reasons for rejection that was one editor's idea of humor. Each "humorous" rejection line had a box to check in front of it. The box checked on my letter was "Nothing wrong with this. I just got up on the wrong side of the bed."

The rejections that keep you going though are those that come with a personal note of encouragement. Yes, sometimes those editors and agents actually take the time to write a note of encouragement and that is all the fuel you need to pick up and go on. It only needs to be a few words, like "Great story but not for us," or "Keep writing."

Lately I've been plugging away at an old piece of writing I did years ago, adding to the word count, updating it (cell phones are being used now), and revising, using the skills that I have learned since first telling the story. All because of an agent who rejected me but then said one word of encourgement "If. . ." It may be rejected again but for now, it is all the fuel I need to keep on keeping on. To pursue that dream.

Is there a word of encouragement you could offer someone today? Sometimes it is even found in a smile--no words needed. But definitely fuel for the soul.

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