We All Fear Rejection… 

At this time last year I received an email titled “Finalists Revealed.” This was for a big contest that my book Storytelling for Pantsers: How to Write and Revise Your Novel Without an Outline was up for. It was a big award and a real honor to even be considered. 

When this email came into my inbox, my heart raced a little it. I didn’t want to open the email because I was afraid of bad news. The fear of rejection is a real part of the writing process, something that one cannot get over even after publishing many times– even multiple New York Times bestsellers talk about this fear a lot.

We all fear rejection. The key is to learn strategies for coping with that fear. At the Writing Gym we deal with the whole person that comes with the writer. We deal with your baggage, your past, your inner critic–we talk about these things to create coping strategies. 

I was a finalist for this big contest and that was a big honor for me. Whether or not I won the award, what matters is this: I had the courage to send in my book for a contest and to open that email to see what it said and to “face the music.” Maybe I was not going to be on that list. And that is ok. What’s important is to celebrate your accomplishments–whether it is just opening a scary email like I did. All of these are part of the writing process. 

Did I win the contest? It doesn’t matter. Not right now. Maybe not ever. What matters the most is the courage to face our fears. 

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