Getting Over Self-Doubt

I think every writer hits this point every once in a while. The point where rejections hurt a little more than they should. All of that positivity you tell yourself like, “Writers get lots of rejections,” and “I just need to keep sending it out,” go on the back burner and you start contemplating a dreaded question: what if I really, truly, suck?

It’s a pity party, I know. I’m completely aware that persistence and practice are the only two ways to be successful in this industry. I knowย that. But sometimes it’s hard to believe when all you see is rejection after rejection after…

I started writing this post Sunday night. I’d received about six rejections in the past week, on stories I really liked, and was feeling like a big old pile of crap about it. I sent my stories back out because that’s what you do. But I told myself I was said pile of crap and wallowed in some more pity. Because, you know, that’s productive.

But on Monday morning, an acceptance came in. I had to laugh. For all of my crummy mood moments in the prior week, this one acceptance turned it around. I’m a writer, dammit. And no rejection is going to stop me from telling the stories I have to tell.

The moral of the story? Keep writing. Keep submitting. If you give up, that next submission very well could have been an acceptance. And if you give up, you’ll never know.

10 thoughts on “Getting Over Self-Doubt

  1. Thank you, your post brought a smile to my face! I am just beginning my journey down the road of professional writing, and even now I get moments just like that. I think I am often a ‘glass half empty’ kind of girl. My blog is a little sideline of some more light hearted work, but even the slow traffic on that gets me down. But I shall keep on going, I don’t want to miss the day I do get published or my blog reader count soars… like you said, never give up. Cosa ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I took a look at your blog and I like your style! I’m glad you liked my post. At the end of the day, we write because we have to and when an acceptance comes it, all the effort is worth it.

      • Thank you for looking and for the nice feedback, it means so much when you’re a newbie! I read your six sentences story, I really liked it, it’s very similar to the kind of things I write when I’m not doing the light hearted blog stories!

  2. Your advice is right on the nose, Brenda — and it’s pretty much the path I walked this past week. Rejections are never fun, but we can’t let them get to us. Each one represents only one person’s opinion. God knows there are plenty of other people out there.

    “Never give up, never surrender!” (Galaxy Quest)

    • Exactly, Milo! I forget that this is a subjective business. All it takes is one person to love your story and believe it to make that sale. I just have to keep reminding myself of that ๐Ÿ™‚

      And that quote made me think of another Galaxy Quest winner, “We…need your help.” lol That cracked me up for weeks.

  3. Yay for acceptance! I’m not even in the submitting phase yet so I am incredibly nervous when the time comes to submit my novel. I have yet to be rejected, but I have yet to submit anything. Do you think I should try writing short stories to get in the habit of growing a tough skin when it comes to rejection?

    P.S. Which mag accepted you?

    • Thanks! I think it depends on what you want to do. Do you want to write short stories? If you do, I say give it a go and send them out. It can’t hurt, after all. But if you really just want to write novels, then see that through and submit. The rejections will sting no matter what they’re for.

      And the magazine is Bards and Sages Quarterly. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Brenda.

    I can relate to this too! I just recently shrugged off two novel rejections in the same day, which made a rainy day a little crappier. But in the end, like was said above, it’s just one person’s opinion — there are thousands out there still to challenge!

    Wishing you all the best, and congratulations on your publication!

  5. This is a great post. Summed up well and a nice thing for another fledgling writer to read.

    I post my rejection letters on my blog, I like to share the hurt with everyone.

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