Guest Post ByLisa René LeClair of Sassypiehole
I hear you. Every morning, I ease into a broken chair and sift through a herd of rejection hoping to find that one piece of reassurance that keeps me from falling to the floor.
Writing is laborious. It is a job for thick-skinned individuals with Rottweiler tendencies. We tug on the eyes of an editor and hold out for anything positive. And if they throw us a bone, we chase it to the ends of the Earth. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always end up in the right hands.
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I started my blog with the purpose of getting my name out there. I wanted my voice to rise high above a million other writers that were out there doing the same thing. It was an exciting time, loaded with self-discovery and a boundless creativity that was all mine. I loved everything about what I had built, but even so, nobody knew who I was… and then I realized something.
Until this year, I was not permitting myself to become entirely vulnerable. Instead, I was hiding behind my blog, waiting to be found. Over the summer, I attended a conference (BlogU!) that opened up a world of possibilities. It was my first blog-related event, and it turned out to be worth every penny. I met women, and a few men, who were writers just like me, and we each shared out own strengths and struggles over the course of a three-day
I came home that weekend invigorated and ready to do whatever needed to be done to take it to the next level. I began submitting my pieces to various websites while simultaneously responding to anthology submissions. I was on fire, and about to be doused in tears.
I took the first rejection in stride and joked with my friends about writer’s remorse. But by the sixth dismissal, my humor faded. One, in particular, was from Scary Mommy. I had been following her website since I started blogging, but only recently became aware of submission opportunities. For months, I lobbed submissions and they kindly rejected my ball. It was like a freakin’ game of tennis. All in all, I submitted over a dozen pieces to them; each one flying right back into my relentless face, but I never gave up (even though I wanted to).
This week, I will have my second piece running on Scary Mommy, and a third will be published there in November. What I have learned through practice with their team is that sometimes it’s hard to make a point. They are good players who know how to win and it’s our job, as writers, to hone our skill so we can get in the game.
We all know that rejection is part of the writing process, but it can also be quite crushing. You put everything you think you have into a piece; only to find that nobody wants it. Or, at least, that is your understanding. It is my experience that the writing isn’t always the problem; sometimes it’s the voice. Every publisher has a voice that they are looking for, and if yours isn’t it than even your best work will get tossed to the wayside.
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I can count on one hand the actual number of times I thought about giving up. The ironic thing is that each account was immediately followed by an acceptance that rocked my world. And even though I’m still vying to etch my name as a writer, I’m glad I never listened to that voice inside my head. He’s often the worst critic of all.
Lisa René LeClair is a writer, humorist, social media junkie and mom who shares childhood stories and bad advice for your amusement at Sassypiehole. She is a co-author in several anthologies, including “It’s Really 10 Months Special Delivery,” and an online contributor to Scary Mommy, Mamalode, The Good Men Project and Beyond Your Blog—to name a few. Connect on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram