A moment of honesty: I’ve recently been trying to get guest posts published on various websites.
I’ve been going for the “big guns” — the sites I love and admire.
I figured, why not shoot for the top?!
I thought it made perfect sense.
I’ve had a few posts published on smaller websites… so why not go for the “big guys”?
I love their work — how amazing would it be to be featured on their site?!
So I’ve been creating, and writing, and submitting posts to websites that I love and devour.
And then, more often than not, I get a rejection — or a silence (which is the same thing as a rejection, just quieter ;)
I’ll be honest with you — it’s hard not to feel down about this.
It’s hard not to start freaking out.
After a few rejections, my brain started going to Crazy Town:
What if I never get published on these awesome sites?!
What if this is all a waste of time?
What if my writing is shit, and I have no idea?!
Maybe this is a complete joke, submitting my work to these amazing, inspiring sites?
And then I realized something.
I realized that:
A) I don’t take my own advice ;)
B) Perhaps I’m just not there yet!
Perhaps I’m just not at that level yet.
Perhaps I’m an okay or a good writer — but I’m not an amazing, “best website on the planet” writer.
And this was a big relief for me.
It means I can acknowledge — and allow — that my writing is “not good enough” for their website (just yet).
I’m still a beginner!
I have a few guest posts and some comments on my blog…
But that doesn’t make me one of the “big guys” ;)
Sure, maybe my work helps people…
But I’m not reaching thousands of people yet.
And this is a good thing…
Well, it gives me permission to play around a bit.
It gives me permission to submit and get rejected.
And it gives me permission to keep going.
It gives me permission to be a beginner, basically ;)
So my learning from this, is that I need to keep going.
It’s too early to give up yet!
Just because I get a rejection once or twice (okay, maybe three or four times), doesn’t necessarily mean my work isn’t any good!
It doesn’t mean I should stop.
It doesn’t mean I should stop playing around and enjoying it.
All it means is: the specific piece of work I submitted to that specific website didn’t appeal to the specific person who read it.
I don’t need to get in my head about it.
I don’t need to freak out!
So, while it’s tempting to give up because you think you’re getting nowhere…
Not just yet.
You might not be at the standard of the “big players” just yet.
There’s nothing to say that you won’t be at that level in six months’ or a year’s time.
Maybe even in two years’ time!
The question is: Do you want to find out?
Or are you going to give up before then, because you don’t think you’re “good enough”?
As I’m sure you know, J. K. Rowling was rejected by many of the major publishers before Harry Potter was given the green light.
So the question we need to ask ourselves (as authors, or as creators of any kind) is:
Am I willing to submit my work repeatedly?
Am I willing to be rejected repeatedly?
Am I willing to risk the loss of dignity of applying (and applying again) and still getting rejected?
I think I know the answer to that.
And I think you do too ;)
So all this to say:
You might not be at the highest level at the start of the process.
You will likely be a beginner when you start out ;)
That’s totally normal — and not even worth breaking a sweat about.
(In fact, it would be a bit weird if you were at the top level when you started!)
If you’re a beginner… be a beginner :)
If you’re just starting out, be okay with just starting out.
Sure, if you’re not getting anywhere in two, or three, or ten years, it might be time to rethink…
That’s up to you.
But let’s not expect to be in the NBA when we’ve just learned how to dribble ;)
Be kind to yourself, reader :)