Rejection Paralysis

Jennifer Bradshaw

A week or so ago, I wrote about not making the finals for RWA's Golden Heart Award. I'm still okay with that. Really, I am.

But I think it's affected my writing to some degree. You see, I've been struggling to write since I submitted "Finding Home," and while I was eager for Camp NaNoWriMo this April, I've been stuck for weeks. 

Yes, Life happened. I've been sick, my husband had surgery, and I'm trying to get two businesses off the ground while dealing with everything else. Needless to say, when I sit down to write, absolutely nothing comes out, except maybe a series of yawns followed by soft snoring as I crash on my computer keyboard.

Sundays, however, are sacred writing time. I meet my good friend Allie McCormack on Second Life, and we sit together for four hours of dedicated writing time. Well. Writing is the focus of this four hour standing appointment. 

As writers tend to do, we deviate from the plan ever-so-slightly from time to time. 

She's currently working on completing a manuscript that is now over 600 pages, while I am struggling to get another manuscript rolling. 

She confesses her "Plan" for the day, and in confessing it out loud, she finds support and accountability from me. I try to keep myself focused (I really need to get back to posting my word counts and doing word sprints, but I've been struggling just to get a few words down every week as it is) and put my bigger questions to Allie to answer.

This weekend, amidst my frustration (and after her Twitter post about finding that her reason for not being able to finish the book wasn't writing related), I commented that I'm starting to wonder if my current writer's block isn't related to my failure to make the GH finals.

In true Allie fashion, she laughed, nodded, and then pointed me in the direction of her diary post about getting her first publishing contract. (You can read the entire post here.)

Mind you, this is a long read, but I can relate to so much of it (including running out of paper in the middle of the night, and inexplicable printer malfunctions). 

If you are an unpublished author like me, it's worth the time to read, laugh, and take heart that you are not alone in this struggle, and that there is hope for you, too. At least, that was my take away. 

Even if you don't succeed you learned something by trying

Allie is the one I credit (or blame, depending on how frantic I am with my writing) for getting me on this path in the first place, and as we push each other towards finishing whatever work we're currently drowning in, I wish her all the best with her next publishing venture!

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