Risking Rejection

Why are we afraid to fail? Often because we believe rejection exposes a gap in us. It points to something we don’t want others to see. It confirms what our suspicions tell us.

We aren’t acceptable.

As writers, we risk rejection from many different sources. Projects and people alike can make us feel unacceptable, and throw us into a pit of paralyzing despair. Any one of a myriad of things have the power to make us give up on our writing dreams. If we let it.Definition of Rejection

  • Literary agents can reject us.
  • Booking agents can reject us.
  • Publishers can reject us.
  • Editors can reject us.
  • Endorsers can reject us.
  • Influencers can reject us.
  • Reviewers can reject us.
  • Media can reject us.
  • Readers can reject us.
  • And through Self-deprecation, we can reject ourselves.

So how can you empower yourself to feel acceptable when rejection says you’re not?

Author Jim Stovall

Jim Stovall’s Blindness Didn’t Hold Him Back

Challenge your own viewpoint. Take a 180 approach and look at this specific moment as your personal catalyst for change, improvement, and a call to do better work. Jim Stovall, a blind author and movie maker, knows rejection well.

You’ve GOT to watch the video on his link to see what he says about giving up. Here’s a quote to give you a hint of the amazing story you’ll want to hear. “That big dream would not have been put inside of you if you didn’t have the capacity to achieve it.”

Author John Grisham

John Grisham’s Tenacity Made the Difference

Another powerful example of tenacity in the face of rejection comes from an author most of us recognize. Internationally acclaimed novelist John Grisham. He understands what it feels like to fail in front of professionals, but he chose to learn from his mistakes, and keep on keeping on.

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t remind you of the greatest victory that came from the greatest rejection of all. A book that was denounced, fought against, and even after publication, faced efforts to utterly destroy it. But yet, the words inscribed inside changed the world, and made it a better place. The book I refer to is The Bible. Aren’t you glad God didn’t give up.

So the next time you get a rejection letter, phone call, email, or text, remember these three things.

Anita Brooks Walking Bridge Photo

Is Success Waiting Around Your Corner?

1. The capacity to make your big dream reality is already inside of you.

2. Rejection prepares us for great things in the future, and reminds us to stay humble when we arrive there.

3.  Just because a few people fight against your efforts doesn’t mean you won’t come out victorious.

Maintain a teachable attitude, then act with integrity, humility, and tenacity. This is your big dream. Take courage, and don’t let anyone convince you it’s unacceptable. Risking rejection can turn that big dream of yours into something real. But only if you don’t give up too soon.

I Once Was Blind

Dr in Lab Coat

“Your eyesight may not return.”

In a haze of blurred white, all I could make out was a fuzzy outline of the optometrist’s lab coat as he held the door knob.”I’ll be back shortly; I need to confer with my colleague.”

The door closed, and I was alone. I didn’t mean to whine, but when you’re a writer facing permanent blindness, a few whiny words slip out.

Saline tears raced over my cheeks, and met at the center of my chin. They waterfalled into my lap. I raised my face toward the ceiling. “Why is this happening? How can I write without my eyesight?”

Sterile silence answered my questions.

When the doctor returned, he placed a piece of paper in my hand. “Get this prescription filled. Put one drop in each eye every two hours, even throughout the night, and come back to see my colleague tomorrow.”

“But tomorrow’s Sunday. You aren’t open.”

“He’s coming in for you.” His gentle hand assisted me out of the chair and led me toward the door by the elbow. It would be a very long, miserable night.

By the next morning, thousands of invisible pins pricked my body. My head ached, and walking outside turned sunbeams into fiery branding irons that seared my corneas. My husband drove me to the eye doctor.

When I shuffled into the office, the physician’s voice did not reassure me. “Let me take a look.” He clucked as he prodded, not bothering to hide his concern. “I’ve never seen anything like this. I don’t even know where to refer you. This is serious.”

Fresh tears careened rivers off my face. I could hear him rifling through papers.

“According to these reports, your eyes are worse than yesterday. I want you on complete bed rest when you get home. Come see me Tuesday. I’ll try to figure out what to do by then.”

I went home, crawled in bed, and cried out to God. A voice whispered in my mind, “What verse do you claim?”

“Though You slay me, yet will I trust You.”

“Then trust Me.”

“But how can I write if I can’t see.”

“Trust Me.”

In that moment, I decided to obey, and my whole perspective changed. I knew that if God wanted me to write or do anything else, He’d make a way. Others had authored in spite of blindness. Helen Keller, Jennifer Rothschild, and Jim Stovall came to mind.

Several days later, I met with Dr. Malhotra, a cornea specialist, who quickly identified the problem. He diagnosed me with Cogan’s Dystrophy, or Map-Dot-Fingerprint Dystrophy.

It took almost five weeks for the torn skins over my corneas to heal. My sight slowly returned. It was September, 2009.

Supplements for Map-Dot-Fingerprint Dystrophy

Supplements for Clearer Vision

Flash forward, three years. Though my vision challenges me from time to time, I’m able to see, and I write nearly every day. To maintain my sight, I take fish oil and vitamin supplements, use lubricant drops daily, and put salt ointment in my eyes at night to keep the skins taut and smooth. I’ll do this the rest of my life, and hope for few corneal flares.

Meds for Map-Dot-Fingerprint Dystrophy

Lubricant & Salt Ointment

Cogan’s Dystrophy makes it appear as if a fingerprint has been left on each eye, hence the more common name. I choose to believe God branded me with His own fingerprints to fulfill His special purpose in my life.

I once was blind, but now I see. And whether I’m to do it with my eyes or not, I will answer His call to write.

What obstacles have you overcome to fulfill your call to write?

God's Fingerprint

God’s Fingerprint