Rejection is terrifying, isn’t it? To be perfectly honest, my fear of rejection is one of the reasons I ended up going back to accounting as a day job. I was terrified of sending out emails to the magazines and websites that I really wanted to write for. I was even approached to be a contributor to an up-and-coming website, and I was too scared to send them a couple of articles. Fear is a nasty thing, y'all.
Now, I could take that overwhelming fear of rejection as a sign that doing my own thing isn't for me. But that is so not true. When I did put myself out there, I had a pretty great success rate! The first client I ever landed is still a client nearly four years later. I've turned a profit in my business every year, even the past years when it has been a part-time thing.
The funny thing is, rejection doesn't bother me in most other areas of my life. Not everyone is going to like me, and that’s ok. I haven’t gotten every job I’ve applied for, I haven’t befriended everyone that I wanted to, and I haven’t always succeeded. And that is totally ok.
But for some reason I'm terrified of rejection when it comes to my writing. Perhaps because I feel so strongly that it is what I am supposed to be doing. I've been writing in one form or fashion since I learned how to hold a pencil and string letters together. I have notebooks full of stories that I wrote for fun in elementary school. As a kid I spent a summer sitting in front of a computer writing a "novel".
Writing is what I love to do. And I'm terrified of being told I'm not good enough. I’m afraid someone will tell me that I’m being ridiculous, that I have no business submitting to their website or publication, and that I am just wasting everyone’s time.
I'm tired of being afraid. I'm going to turn 30 this year, and I'm getting too damn old to worry about rejection and what people think. Ok, I know 30 isn't that old. But I think 30 is the age when you begin to realize how much time you wasted in your 20s wondering what people thought. You realize what is important, and what is important to me is being a writer.
So now that I’m staring 30 in the face, I’ve decided to challenge myself to receive 100 rejections before my birthday. I have to submit/apply/audition for 100 things. For instance, I submitted a pitch to Hello Giggles last week. And even before I submitted that pitch, I asked a blogger I know via social media to review the pitch, as she'd written for them before. I was sure she would say no, but she didn't! Instead she looked it over and gave me some great feedback. It was a great example of why it is worth trying. Sometimes the answer is yes!
As it turns out, there is actually a woman out there who has a whole coaching program on this 100 Rejection Letters thing. I really thought the idea just came to me, but maybe I'd heard it mentioned somewhere before. I listen to a lot of podcasts, so I could've picked up the idea from something I heard. Once I realized this was a thing, I checked it out. Her program sounds interesting, but it is a year long program that started last fall so I missed the boat. Which is totally fine. I wanted to do this for myself.
And I am! I'm not focusing on rejection letters, per se. No, my goal isn't quite that narrow. I don't want to just send 100 pitches to magazines. I want to put myself out there in more ways than that. I want to get some big names to agree to be featured in my When I Grow Up series. I want to land my dream client. And ok, I do want to pitch to some magazines. My goal is to put myself out there and received 100 rejections in the less than 10 months until my birthday.
I'll keep a running tally as a I go, and I'll try to do monthly recaps on the blog. But first, any advice for me? I know rejection therapy is a thing, anyone ever tried it?
If you're interested in learning more about my writing and editing business, you can head to www.jbryantcreative.com and poke around :)
Previously on Mrs Robbins Sparkles...