So I've done enough whining.
I saw a low-level MMA fight once where the fight ended just because one of the guys got tired of getting hit. It wasn't a ref stoppage, he wasn't being submitted, in fact, he was still on his feet. He had taken a few shots to the face and decided that maybe fighting wasn't for him, and he quit. I remember saying to the guys I was with that if you can't take getting punched in the face, maybe you should take up a different sport. Maybe checkers, or golf, or tennis, where you rarely get attacked by opponents.
I know that I will be rejected. I know that this will not be the last time that someone isn't scooping what I am pooping, so to speak. After the thing gets picked up by an agent, I will still have to endure the hope and disappointment when they are trying to sell it to a publisher. After that, people will (hopefully) read it. They will for whatever reason, feel compelled to get on Twitter and call me a moron or a monster, they will review it and describe everything that is wrong with it. Maybe I will do a signing and nobody will show up except for a couple of homeless guys that just want the free coffee. Unless I'm ready to take up golf or tennis, I'd better be able to take a punch, right? Right.
But that doesn't change the fact that it hurts. It hurts to get punched in the face, it hurts to get rejected. I see no reason to try and hide that. If I set out to try and capture the journey of having a completed manuscript and attempting to get it published, then I have nothing to gain by not recording my disappointment and self-doubt as well as my hope and triumph. I am proud of what I have done. It was hard, and sometimes painful and I did it. I finished a novel. Now I'm being told that it doesn't fit anywhere, they want YA dystopian vampire novels to sell to 13 year old girls to go with their One Direction albums.
That is unfair. It's not that bad; nobody has asked for my soul. Yet.
I love writing. I do it well. I can't run very fast, I have no idea how to change the oil in my car, and the last time I tried to dance in public somebody called an ambulance because they were sure I was having a grand mal, but dammit, I'm good at this. I don't know why, or how it happened, but this is what I have. People read my stuff and they generally like it. The book is good. The new book I am writing right now has a chance to be great. I am blessed with talent and determination and am surrounded by supportive and patient and loving people.
Forgive my indulgence in self pity and doubt, but if there were a writer working on their first novel and they somehow stumbled across this, I would want them to know to expect to get punched in the face, I would want them to know that it will hurt, and I would want them to know that they should keep on going, they should not listen to that bastard voice whispering poison and lies. I would want them to know that I will be honest here, that I am genuinely exposing my wounds so nobody goes into this blind. You get hit, you get cut and you bleed and you cry and you fall down. And that's fine.
As long as you remember to get back up, shake it off, and keep moving forward.
So I'm done whining. For now. Until the next rejection, at least.