by MarcyKate Connolly
If hope is the thing with feathers, then publishing is the cat that swallows it whole.
Writers face rejection at every single stage of the game, from crit partners and early readers to agents and editors. And even when they’ve surpassed all those hurdles, they still face it from readers. Sometimes it’s hard not to feel like you just can’t win. Discouragement can easily tint your rose-colored glasses black.
But hope is important. It fuels our writing and our drive to keep teasing those words out of brains and onto the page. Without hope of success, what’s the point in attempting publication? There's some evidence of a correlation between hope and good health--I like to think there's a connection between hope and publishing success, too. Often the ones who make it are the ones who refuse to give up.
So sometimes, when the rejections seem to be piling up everywhere we look, we need to step back and recharge that hope. Everyone is different of course, but these are a few things that have always helped me keep hope alive:
2) Join a critique group or writing community. Might I suggest AgentQueryConnect.com? The non-writers in our lives can't fully understand the highs and lows of this business, no matter how hard they try. But others writers will. Just knowing you’re not alone can go a long way to lifting you out of the pits of despair. For me, finding like-minded writers to commiserate with along the journey has been critical factor in keeping me sane.
3) Write the next book. It’s never fun to think the book you love and are sending out to agents and editors right now won’t be The One. But getting excited about a new story and knowing that it will be there even if the active project doesn’t pan out is one of the best ways I've found to keep myself going.
4) Do something completely different. Go for a walk. Go to the museum. Spend the night with your best friends eating ice cream and laughing. Pursue those other hobbies that you love and that inspire you. Refreshing yourself can bring new ideas (and a better outlook) to your writing.
MarcyKate Connolly writes young adult fiction and becomes a superhero when sufficiently caffeinated. When earthbound, she blogs at her website and ferrets out contests on Twitter.
Got tips for staying hopeful? Share them in the comments!