Justine: Seeking Out Rejection to Overcome It

Are you sitting on your finished MS, dying-but-hating to send it out to the A-list of agents and editors you met at a recent conference? Perhaps you’ve signed up for a mentor program, but you’re anxious about putting your 60,000 word baby in the hands of someone else. Or, you found a great new critique partner, but you keep putting off sharing your chapters because “it’s just not quite right yet.”

You’ve got a rejection problem…or really, the fear of it.

Cue Jia Jiang, an entrepreneur and educator who formed an early association to rejection anxiety when he was six years old. Watch in this humorous TED talk as he explains how exposing himself to rejection for 100 days actually lessened the anxiety he felt about being rejected, and actually opened up opportunities he otherwise wouldn’t have had. It’s a lesson we can all learn from (although I don’t think I’ll be asking for “burger refills” at the local burger joint).

What is your worst rejection moment? Your best? What lessons can you share with writers who are afraid to put their work out there?

Jeanne: On (Not) Getting Published

On (Not) Getting PublishedThis post is for everyone out there who’s been writing for a while, but hasn’t gotten published.

It’s about dealing with the gnawing feeling that you’re this sad, pathetic person who has no talent, but can’t let go of the dream. It’s about feeling like one day people will be hanging around your coffin (a velvet-lined box containing a sleeping version of yourself that looks like one of those old black and white photographs someone has brightened up with colored pencils), talking about how you never gave up on writing even though it never got you anywhere. And because people don’t like to speak ill of the dead, at least not directly in front of your open coffin, they’ll say that in pseudo-admiring tones, but inside they’ll be thinking, a la Bugs Bunny, “What a maroon.”

I’ve been writing Continue reading

Jilly: Earning a Place on the Pro Tour

Earning a Place on the Pro TourForget resolutions. Do you have a dream? Are you content to keep it as a happy place in your mind, or do you intend to make it a reality one day? If you do, what could you do in 2015 to get a step closer? Will you do it?

When we were kids, my brother and I played tennis to a fairly high standard. My parents thought it would teach us discipline, burn up our excess energy, and keep up out of mischief. It did all those things, and it also taught us how much sheer hard work it takes to become good at anything, and how to make the most of whatever natural talent we’d been blessed with.

I don’t play tennis these days, but Continue reading