Friday, September 19, 2014

Will The Sun Come Up Tomorrow?

Last night, our Kansas State football team played a rare game on a Thursday evening which was shown on national TV. They faced a powerhouse Auburn team, ranked #5 in the nation while we are #20. It was a big, big, big game for us.

The stadium was full to capacity and then some, with over 53,000 fans that added deafening noise, cheers and a few jeers as well. The weather for the 6:30 game was near perfect. The teams both came out to play. The fans were ready, too. Our team held Auburn to 20 points, which is below what they usually score, but the K-State guys made a few costly mistakes that cost them the game. They ended up losing by 6 points.

Yes, the sun came up again this morning but I doubt the players cared much about that. Their thoughts are on the next game. Last night's game is history, it's time for them to move on. And they will. I know that as sure as I know that I'll write a new blog post next Monday. When practice time rolls around, coaches and players will work on those mistakes that cost the game. They'll watch film over and over until they're satisfied that there is no more benefit in doing so. The team will be ready to take on UTEP on the 27th. The fans will be back in the stadium cheering them on, too.

So, how does all this relate to your writing life? Think about it. You work hard to write a short story or an essay or a chapter of a novel. You give it your all, but perhaps you make a few costly errors in the writing. Things that an editor will spot immediately. Maybe the editor likes the general premise of what you submitted but finds that those little errors in the writing are too prevalent. Few editors today are going to help you rewrite a piece. They want you to send work that is publish-ready.

When your work is not accepted, you need to do what those football players and coaches will do this week. Go back and find the mistakes, make corrections. Write stronger, perhaps with more emotion. It all depends on what might have gone wrong with what you had written.

After any rejection you receive, the same thing happens for you. The sun will come up no matter what. Learn from your loss just as the football team should do. If you've made mistakes, your goal is not to make them again.

Last night, every K-State fan hoped for a stunning win over a great opponent. You hope for your work to be published with every submission you make. Sometimes it happens and, many times, it does not. When that occurs, move on. Don't beat yourself up over what feels like failure. Every writer knows that rejection is part of the writing world. We all just happen to hate when it is us who receives the rejection.

Yep, the sun will come up tomorrow no matter what today brings us.

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