My year of rejection is coming along swimmingly. Amazing how giving myself a goal to be rejected has actually helped motivate me. What I have to keep telling myself is, none of this rejection is personal. So what does it matter to press send, or mail off another copy of my short stories? The flush of embarrassment still hits me every time I do, but it goes away quickly…until I get that email from an agent. The one that says, “I’m sorry, this is not what I’m looking for right now.”

However, there have been many unexpected accomplishments to the year so far, but also countless nights of frustration, wondering when I’ll finally get that one published item that I can add to my bio. Since January, I have:

  • …a total of 3 children’s stories written, all submitted to multiple agents, literary magazines, and publishing houses (ok, 12, but who’s counting, right?). I’ve received a tiny handful of nicely written stock rejection letters, but for the most part it’s been silence on their end.
  • …written 30,000 words of my RomCom first draft. It’s rough. It’s cliché. It’s a mess. And, as Anne Lamott predicted it would be, it’s shitty. But, it’s halfway done.
  • …seen my 100-word story translated into art at our local ArtsFest in May. It was a very exciting moment. Each story was interpreted by two different artists. One of mine happened to be an old friend from high school, with whom I have many fond memories (like quoting Austin Powers during art class until crying and unable to breathe from laughing so hard…small hands…smells like cabbage…). Anyways. I may have had my picture taken next to my published story. It was a very proud moment for me.14845562772_28ff2e3c69_o
  • …Had the one and only DANIEL HANDLER stop by my blog. Squeeeee!!! It really had nothing to do with my writing, he hopped over from a comment I left on an art blog I follow, but I’ll take what I can get.
  • …a job! In a few weeks I’ll be working for one of my favorite places in town, a small cozy tea house. It’ll be part time, and I’ll be their hostess, along with doing their marketing and event planning and coordinating. I’m really excited. Each month they have an artist and gallery reception, theme dinners, and special events like catering for traveling musicians. It’ll be a great way to get my feet wet in the working world again, after four years of being a SAHM.
  • …started a writing group with three other gals. We meet at least once a month, share each other’s current projects and goals, text each other daily to motivate, and provide a safe space for honest feedback. It took us half a year, but I think we really found our groove and am excited to see what happens next. This fall we plan on taking a retreat to soak in art and inspiration and write write write.
  • …been painting a lot. I had my first ‘sale’ (it was an offer, but I gifted a set of flower paintings to one of my biggest supporters from when I was in college). Self promoting is really hard, but the recipient took care of that for me, when she posted pictures of the art on Facebook and gushed about them. I won’t lie. Her enthusiasm was a self-esteem booster for sure. One of the projects I did was a self-portrait without using a mirror. I did this one left handed, and at the last minute added Googly Eyes. Sadly, I can’t find that picture…14413007649_13fee90739_z


I would love to self publish one of my picture books, but am needing an illustrator. If you read this and know of anyone who may be interested, send me a message. Otherwise, I just plan to continue working on my RomCom until I have it as polished as I can, and then perhaps seek the help of a freelance editor (it costs about $700, so I’ll have to save quite a bit…). And you know, keep seeking rejection in all areas of life. One of these days, it’ll turn into sweet sweet acceptance. And it will feel so good.

3 thoughts on “Rejection

  1. Michelle says:

    So glad to know that you’re putting yourself out there. That is the hardest part- as Brene Brown would say “vulnerability is the birthplace of creativity”

    • Nicole says:

      Eek! It is, but I’m SO MAD that I haven’t made this a goal earlier. Had I started aiming for rejection five years ago, at this point I may have had a book deal. Sigh. Live and learn, right?

  2. Erin says:

    Oh man. So much of this hits right at home. Except, instead of submitting creative works, I’m sending my resume. If my goal had been rejection, I would be swimming in success. No, drowning in it. No matter the medium, putting ourselves out there for rejection is hard work. Strangely, I’m realizing it’s also LIFE work. Keep it up, Nicole. I will try doing so as well.

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