My One Bit of Writerly Advice

I don’t really have a lot of writerly advice. Mostly, in order to be a writer, you just write. Write when your writing is shitty. Write when it’s not. Just write. And when you aren’t writing, read.

But the real, practical advice I would give is this–go get rejected. A hundred times. A thousand times. Go get rejected until you can absorb the blow of it. Think of yourself as one of those old-timey guys whose job it is to get hit in the stomach by a cannon ball. No matter what, it’s going to suck, but the sooner you acquire the skills to absorb the blow, the better.

I’m not there yet, myself. But I see it as a necessary place to be.

4 thoughts on “My One Bit of Writerly Advice

  1. I try (and sometimes succeed) in framing rejections as ‘oh good. My work can go find a good home, now.’ or ‘whew, dodged that bullet. No one wants an agent who doesn’t like your work!’ Most of the time, though, it’s just ‘oh good. I can send it out to the next one on the list, and I have 2-6 weeks of freedom before I start feeling sick every time I check my email.’

  2. Ha ha ha. I’m so glad I’m not alone in the feeling of great email dread. I’m terrible about letting it leak all over everything, too. When “Beyond, Behind, Below” was accepted, it took me a good ten minutes to switch from “oh, fuck not again” to “Oh, wait! They said yes!!!”

    On the other hand, rejection is no longer so crushing that I don’t know how I’ll dare send anything off again. So, I’ve at least turned that corner.

  3. I wish the euphoria of acceptance lasted longer. I want to be able to bottle it and spritz it into the air above my computer whenever I get a rejection.

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