Rejection and Failure: A Blog for Success!

Posted: February 17, 2014 in Writing
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

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Well looky here… I’m a blogging machine.

The publishing industry says I should put my name out there via websites and blogs, so that’s what I’ve been doing.  I’ve written more over the last year and a half than I’d written in the previous twenty years.  Funny thing is:  Most of what I’m writing has nothing to do with my manuscript, my search for literary agents, or my quest to get myself and my work published.

Yeah, I know.  I KNOW.  It doesn’t matter what I’m writing.  The publishing industry says I need to put my name out there so as to have a following ahead of time.  I also need to build a nest so that I have a warm, dry place to nourish my work once I get it published.  I understand that most of my current work — this type of sidebar — is necessary to the end result.

I’d love to go back in time and read the blogs of Edgar Allen Poe and Walt Whitman… you know, the ones they were writing to build their followings and to impress their literary agents when their real work was ready.

My second novel, “Working Title,” has just 1,452 words out of a probable 55,000.  I’m neglecting it at this very moment so that I can add this current blog to my body of work to impress those that will one day shatter my dreams.

Please note:  I haven’t been rejected.  My first novel isn’t quite ready for submission.  This blog is in response to all of those future rejection letters, as well as those that I’ve had the pleasure of reading through other bloggers here on WordPress.  Those are so very joyful.

I’ve said it before.  I’m really not into attention seeking behavior.  Part of this stems from a fear of failure.  Wait, that’s not exactly true. Yes, I fear failure, but it’s more accurate to say that I fear people noticing my failures.  I don’t like people to see me at my worst.  I don’t like it when I appear flawed.  I don’t like it when people criticize my work.

Oh God.  Why the hell did I write a book?

People love to tell me that J.K. Rowling was turned down __ times.  Stephen King was rejected __ times.  Hemingway had the door slammed on him __ times.

Is this really going to make me feel better when the rejection is pouring in?

I’m supposed to show the world that I can write.  I’ve done that.  I’m supposed to show the world an occasional excerpt from those things that I want published.  I’ve done that.

What if all I’m doing is leaving a trail, like a snail, of my failures.

My followers encourage me not to give up.  If I never give up and yet never get my work published, then the only thing published shall be rejection and failure.  I’ve done so many other good, positive things with my life.  Maybe I should stick to blogging about my successes, instead.

I’ve got a beautiful wife and three lovely children.

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Comments
  1. greyzoned/angelsbark says:

    I too am at that point of building a platform with my blog so that I have “followers” to impress a publisher!! And you’re right: we’re so busy building out platforms and coming up with posts for our blogs that our meaty project sometimes takes a backseat. I love this post. Re: your fear of appearing flawed: are you a Virgo by any chance? I’m looking forward to following your blog and to reading alot more of you! Thanks Eric.

  2. Mike Osorio says:

    Thank s for ‘liking’ on of my posts. I am impressed by your quest for publication. I have that on my ‘someday’ list – we’ll see. 6 years, and over 600 “JAM with Mike” posts… plenty of content… just need to get serious about creating a worthwhile and publishable book. Back to work….

  3. athling2001 says:

    Right there with ya! Love your take on things. The rejection letters are bad but the ‘I loved your work BUT,’ are even worse:)

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  5. Oh my, I couldn’t have said any of that better! There were several statements that resonated me…Why the hell did I write this book? (on speaking of failure) I like how you called it building a nest because that’s what it feels like.
    I can tell you this: People will like your honesty and your sense of humor! :0) Keep building!

  6. Been there, done that. I feel your pain! Keep the faith and keep writing, it’s the only way. Thanks for your visit and liking my post!

  7. Jon says:

    Well, I’m doing the same things you are, maybe when we get those first rejection letters, we can get everybody together and have a Bonn fire and dance around it. well you know, preparing and all that stuff.

  8. Eric, thank you for your candor and expressing some underlying truths that I for one have difficulty putting into cohesive thought. As an artist/writer (trying to do both well) you made me feel better about what it is I’m doing, what I’m not doing and what the hell am I doing anyway…
    Thank you for giving my day balance and perspective.
    AnnMarie

  9. Eliza Waters says:

    “The journey is the reward.” 😉

  10. johnhswenson says:

    As another aspiring author I’m curious as to why you’re going the traditional publishing route. Not that it’s right or wrong, just your reasons for doing that instead of the self-published route.

    • Thanks, John. By going through the motions of this process I’m gaining quite an education. As a result, my manuscript has improved quite a bit. Besides, I haven’t actually been rejected by anyone yet. I hope to learn and grow through that process as well.

  11. Pallav Shah says:

    Hey Eric, you see I have a very high opinion about myself, and i dont like to subscribe to other bloggers because half the time they write stuff that bores me and has no touch of humour in it. I consider myself and ignorant bastard because i am too scared of facing the real world competition. You are the first author that I particularly enjoy reading. Its like a little compliment from my side and since I consider my views highly :p you should too. Keep working on the novel. God Bless

  12. Lisa B says:

    I just read this: “A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.” ~ Richard Bach
    Writers’ words to live by!

  13. Wendy says:

    I have a feeling the vernal equinox, the upcoming 4 blood moons (1st on is coming in 10 days) we will have in the next two years, and all the craziness world wide is felt more by writers than anyone else. I hope you can use this crazy time to propel your creativity, and focus. Keep plugging.

  14. Mike Spindell says:

    Eric,
    Screw rejection! You are a writer if you write. I’m pushing 70 hard and if I’ve learned anything it’s to never view yourself through the eyes of others. Is your angst about being seen as legitimate, or is it about making money from your craft? You’re already legitimate because obviously from this site others see you as being so. If it’s about the money then you have a conundrum. Few people have the success of a Rowling, which is just the way the industry goes. Many people have best sellers make some dough and they’re gone with the wind after they die. Google Alexander King who was a famous author and celebrity in the 50′s. I don’t counsel not to try to make money with your writing, but if that alone is your end game then you’re losing track of what brought you to write in the first place, which is expression of what goes on inside you. I write because there are ideas I want to express to other people, everything else (if indeed there is anything else) would be gravy. Hang in there.

    • Thanks, Mike! I assure you, it’s not about money. If it was then I’d probably forgo the literary agent altogether just to avoid paying them a cut. HA! Nah, this post is simply a jab at the process. I can’t believe how easily literary agents allow great writers to slip through their fingers simply because they make the rules. The system is flawed.

  15. zenkatwrites says:

    Yes you have to stick with it. I am 58 and just sold my first painting outright (dkatiepowellart). I have been rejected so many times that folks next to me in outdoor fairs feel sorry for me! But I do what i do and hope to someday make a living at it. I like your writing . . .

  16. Julie Lillian says:

    Thanks for visiting my blog – and I guess I have to confess, I’m a fellow Virgo — what does that say about us? This post was excellent. It seems that unless you already have some claim to fame, they want you to provide the market for them before they accept your manuscript. I have an author friend who just decided to write about horses for teenage girls one day and she got published in the good old days (1980s) now she’s in the system so she gets to keep writing and being published.

  17. John Rogers says:

    Reblogged this on Pilgrimage and commented:
    This is well … and painfully … put.

  18. sued51 says:

    You’ve expressed the dilemma oh so perfectly…

  19. writerinsoul says:

    Wait! You left out a (potential) fear: success after death! They discover our brilliance when it’s too late for us to get anything out of it!

  20. curtisbausse says:

    A great piece on something I (and many others) can relate to perfectly!

  21. aj vosse says:

    Ah well I’m with you on this one… soon we’ll be getting kicked out of the place we rent because I can’t even get a day job… sad!! 😉

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