On Saturday’s #UFchat, we had guest speaker Rebecca Housel speaking about Urban Fantasy and it’s role in social commentary. The blog isn’t updated quite yet, but I’m sure that it will be soon. It was a great conversation about how some of the themes of the UF books reflect changes in society.
This lead me to reading more about Dr. Housel and her blog. This is one smart lady and she has a very unique viewpoint. One of her blog posts was about Enabling the Enabled. In it, she speaks of how we are strangling the lessons learned when we fail by giving ribbons, prizes, and awards for being normal. Being exceptional is no longer prized and I do agree with her.
She also speaks about how this affects younger people. How they are terrified of failure. How they have never had the opportunity to experience the fact that failure does not mean the end of the world.
I suppose I am lucky, growing up I learned about failure, often the hard way. You get thrown off, you get up, check for broken bones, but you get up and start again. Yes it is frightening, putting in a lot of work on something that even if you do your best it might not be good enough. Yes, it hurts to know that sometimes you have to push even farther than your best.
But that is how we grow; as a person and as an artist.
Failure is not an end. Not to a career, not to a dream and not even to a story.
A rejection should be seen as a challenge. It is just another step to climb up. A good story is a good story, however, everyone, even the best of writers and artists have room for improvements. Perhaps the story doesn’t fit the market, perhaps the editor had already chosen a story close to it. Don’t always take a rejection personally.
However, do take a look at the work and any comments that are attached. Look for place for improvement. For instance, in many of my short stories, the ending falls flat. I have had a few comments from different markets and I try to make myself aware of this as I write. I try to ask my beta readers (bless them all) how the ending feels. If it is a let down, or doesn’t make much of an impact, that means I need to try it again.
Rejections are not failures, they are just another chance at being a success.