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When To Stop?

This question has weighed heavily on my mind over the past several days. You see, I received another rejection, or, if you’re a new subscriber to my writings, I usually refer to them as “no thank you’s”, but I’m calling this one a rejection because it hit harder than usual. And some letters sting more than others.

I’ve heard and read the stories of famous authors who’ve gone through the same grueling process––hundreds of rejections until the one yes. I get it. I know that’s how it works, but somehow, it’s not comforting. Somehow it doesn’t take away the pain. Somehow it doesn’t make it easier. Right now the emotion is raw, so I’m trying to give myself the grace to feel the disappointment. I mean, it’s not like I have to make a decision today. Or tomorrow. Or the next day.

Currently, the one thing that’s helping is the support of those around me. I’ve found a fantastic writing community on Twitter, and the outpouring of encouragement, anecdotes, and similar experiences normalize the emotion. Their words are fighting my yearning to quit. Their logic and reasoning are battling my desire to throw in the towel. Their stories are pitting my logic against my emotion.

So here I sit, grappling with what to do next––continue or quit? As a perpetual perfectionist, the thought of quitting doesn’t sit well with me. Not at all. But the idea of swallowing who knows how many more rejections sickens me just as much. A no-win situation? Absolutely. And unfortunately, not only am I a perpetual perfectionist, but I’m also driven, goal-oriented, and determined, and with this kind of personality, quitting doesn’t come easy. But nor does not reaching my goals. So when do I stop? This impending question is like the cliffhanger at the novel’s end: The answer may never come.

5 thoughts on “When To Stop?”

  1. I hear you, regarding getting those “hard to hear” rejections. I’ve gotten those, including one that threw me into a pretty deep funk for a week or so. What got me out of it was the same thing as always – the writing. The writing, more than the querying or submitting or publishing or any of that other stuff, is why we do it. (And having that “other stuff” as goals can be problematic, as they depend on other people rather than ourselves. Whereas the writing itself is all us.)

    Rather than ramble on forever, I’ll leave the below here and just sign off with: Good luck, and hang in there!

  2. Don’t you dare quit! Keep on plunging towards your goal of becoming an author. I say CONTINUE! You’ve got this! It’s building character in you! One day you will be offering advice to newbies trying to be just like you!

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