When You Have a Writing Community You Never Go It Alone

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I’ll never forget receiving my first rejection letter.

I knew how slim the changes of being published were, but I thought I’d be different. I went to the mailbox with expectancy and optimism every day and was elated when I saw that first envelope bearing a literary agent’s return address (yes, it was that long ago that I started writing). My heart sank when I tore it open and found a standard form letter – thanks, but no thanks. I picked my heart off the floor, took a deep breath, and told myself the rejection was a fluke. I was confident that the next agent would rush to sign me and easily sell my book to one of the big publishing houses. Countless letters later and still no contract – I had to accept the harsh reality that, if I wanted to succeed at this thing called “writing,” I had to learn to live with rejection.

It takes a strong element of self-confidence and faith in your work in order to even send that query. So when you get back dozens of responses telling you that it’s not up to snuff, it can mess with your head. We’re told we must be resilient, have thick skins, and expect rejection – lots of it. But knowing that in the abstract and experiencing it personally are two very different things.

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