Sunday, August 21, 2022

It's Not You, It's the Market

Do you draw inspiration from rejection or encouragement? Who is your biggest champion? In order to improve, do we need cheerleaders? Or doubters?

Brenda here.

Rejection. Such an emotionally charged word that brings out the insecurity in all of us. One of the first things an aspiring author is told is to expect a lot of rejection -- to learn to put the countless rejection letters and 'just not right for our list' lines into a box and duct tape the lid shut. 

But can rejection have a good side?

If this was the script for a Hallmark Christmas movie, I'd say yes, but for real life -- I'm not convinced. I could have done without all the times I've been turned down, be it from publishing houses, agents, book festivals ... as I'm positive many other writers could have skipped this part of the business too. Rejection might build a tougher hide, but it also brings a certain cynicism and weariness. I've known many first- and second-book authors to drop out of the business altogether rather than keep facing the obstacles and hurdles.

Has my writing improved because of rejection? Maybe. I evaluate every comment, whether good or bad, assess the source, and decide if the criticism is valid. This holds for every part of my life :-) 

I don't draw inspiration from rejection, but I've learned not to give it too much credence either. I'd much rather focus on the positive comments and good reviews, hard as it is to put the negative out of my mind. I enjoy receiving words of encouragement through direct messages from strangers who have taken the time to go to my website and find my contact information so that they can tell me how much they've enjoyed my writing. Even more welcome from a marketing perspective are the positive Goodreads or other book site reviews because these reach the reading audience and potential new readers. And, of course, the importance of encouragement from my friends and family cannot be measured. All writers need and cherish 'cheerleaders'. Below are but a sampling of photos sent to me from readers or with readers!

Summer reading
Blind Date in the French countryside
One of my cheerleaders is 2-time world champion curler Marilyn Bodogh
A reader in my favourite book club
Trooper, president of my corgi fan club
 Helping make a hospital stay easier

As for my biggest champion, it would be difficult to pick only one. My husband and daughters, certainly, but I've had friends support me every step of my writing journey. I've also been fortunate enough to gather new readers who are vocal in their praise and do all they can to promote my books with their friends or on social media. There is even a book club in Ottawa who've adopted me as 'their favourite author'. I'd be remiss not to celebrate and cherish these people in my life. I know for a fact I wouldn't be where I am without each and every one of them.

Yeah, positive energy and encouragement beat rejection hands down, every single time.


Facebook & Instagram: BrendaChapmanAuthor

Twitter: brendaAchapman


Susan C Shea said...

Agree: Down with rejection! You obviously have a lot of fans, which is the best antidote.

Dietrich Kalteis said...

I agree with your take on things, Brenda. Keep on the sunny side.

Brenda Chapman said...

Thanks Dietrich and Susan!