Friday, July 6, 2007

Dealing With Rejection

Someone sent this to me the other day and I just had to share.

Anyone who has had any success as a writer has gone through "rejection." I can't even guess how many rejections I've gotten. If you want to be a professional writer, get used to it.

This bit is from Jack Canfield's book The Success Principles, How to get from where you are to where you want to be:


To get over rejection, you have to realize that rejection is really a myth. It doesn't really exist. It is simply a concept that you hold in your head. Think about it. If you ask Patty to have dinner with you and she says no, you didn't have anyone to eat dinner with before you asked her. The situation didn't get worse; it stayed the same. It only gets worse if you go inside and tell yourself something extra like, "See, Mother was right. No one will ever like me. I am the slug of the universe."

If you apply to Harvard for graduate school and you don't get in, you weren't in Harvard before you applied, and you are not in Harvard after you applied. Again, your life didn't get worse; it stayed the same. You haven't really lost anything. And think about this -- you have spent your whole life not going to Harvard -- you know how to handle that.

The truth is, you never have anything to lose by asking, and because there is something to possibly gain, by all means ask.


Whenever you ask anyone for anything, remember the following: SWSWSWSW, which stands for "some will, some won't, so what -- someones waiting." Some people are going to say yes, and some are going to say no. So what! Out there somewhere, someone is waiting for you and your ideas. It is simply a numbers game. You have to keep asking until you get a yes. The yes is out there waiting. As my partner Mark Victor Hansen is so fond of saying, "What you want wants you." You just have to hang in there long enough to get a yes.

Some cynics out there will think "That's easy for him to say, he's sold 80 millions books." Or ask "But how many times do I allow myself to get rejections until I give up?"

The answer is never. You keep going. If it's something you really want. You focus, you get clear, and you keep going. You'll eventually get it.

I tell each new intake of students at VFS that talent has very little to do with success for writers. I know some absolutely brilliant writers who never get scripts optioned or books published. And well, we've all seen some horribly written films get produced and some god awful books published.

Talent you can work on, you can hone your craft, you can take courses, you can practice and you can LISTEN to the input of people who know more than you. What really matters is that you don't give up.

The recipe I give them goes something like this:
1/4 Talent
1/4 Listen/Learn/Apply
1/4 Passion
1/4 Perserverance/Commitment

What you don't know you can learn. If your manuscript is getting rejected, find out why and learn how to make it better. Then start the next one.

Want it and be committed to getting it. Success is non-negotiable.

Or as Beaver Chief (aka Fred Jamison) used to say Don't quit before the miracle happens.


Susan Helene Gottfried said...

I think I came to this realization, myself, a few years ago. All a rejection letter means is that you haven't found the right fit yet. Keep looking.

Had to come back and say yes, I've seen Some Kind of Monster. Once at the Baltimore Film Fest and once when it opened locally. Met director Bruce Sinofsky, who lives up to the amazingly kind words about him. Own the DVD. Own and read Joe Berlinger's book about the filmmaking experience, which was possibly better than the movie.

Metallica's been the soundtrack to my life. I hope that continues into the future. (and I hope I'm home when they are on Live Earth today!)

OpenChannel said...

You are a true fan.

I know little about them, only what my husband has told me. But I still want to see the film because I love great stories.