Monday, April 23, 2012

More thriving on rejection

"Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." Howard Thurman said that.

Lately, in addition to working on my novel, I've been sending out short stories to professional markets. The rejections have been coming in, marching in impersonal forms. Funny how encouraging it then feels when someone takes the time to send me a personal rejection. I got one of those yesterday and it felt like a margarita on a hot day. Refreshing and fortifying. And I may have a less-than-sober, clear-headed, admiration for the Editor now. Oh well.

The truth is, this whole putting my work out there thing is a little intimidating sometimes. I have moments when I feel vulnerable, like I've gone to high school without my clothes on, or farted in front of someone I wanted to impress. I'm still learning and my mistakes are written down for all to read. But the more I expose myself, the more likely I am to learn from my readers about my mistakes. So I'm trying to have patience with myself and lean into the discomfort. And though I struggle sometimes, it does make me feel optimistic about my ability to grow and become a better writer.

Plus, it means I feel very alive.