The term self-rejection is a buzzword to a few, and a reality to some. You have to understand the process of writing is hard. You have to develop a thick skin to write.
With that said, how does one define ‘self-rejection’, I definite as:
Self-rejection is when you as a writer believe you shouldn’t write, have no support to keep writing, and should never even start writing.
Self-rejection is a paralytic to those whom desire to write, and want to show such work to a curious public. It robs you of the belief in yourself! It robs you of creativity, the power and skill of your own imagination, forcing you to believe what you desire to do–it is not worthy of merit, support or recognition.
All writers go through a cycle or season of this–but that is just what it is! It should be temporary. In order to truly embrace the talent you, yourself, house, you must give yourself permission to write what you desire.
No more. No less. Remember the ARR.
Accept what your imagination is giving you.
Realize you have the ability to write it.
Remember the first person you write for is yourself.
As the writer–yes, YOU the writer, have a duty to write. Franz Kafka said, “A non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity.” You counter not writing, by writing–there is no other shortcut. The first person you need support, whom you need to believe in your talent, is you.
Self-rejection: The process of writers completing a work and not believing their work to submit or publish in any medium; they don’t think it’s good enough.
The process for writers to develop self-confidence is on-going! Rejection is part the process, especially if you desire to publish work in a public medium.
Writing requires radical belief in self, and the developing a thick skin. Not everything you create. So, let me give you three things which will remind you to keep writing, and self-rejection is never going to be something of any use to you:
You are the writer. You control the pace, tempo and content of the work. The decision to write, the decision to publish, the decision to pursue writing as a career or hobby is totally up to you! If you don’t believe you can, then you never will.
2. Know your lane. You must know the type of stories you want to write. You must be confident in what you want to share with the world, and know you have something to say! No matter the genre, the troupes mentioned, never think something ‘has been done to death’! It hasn’t been done by you. Since it hasn’t been done by you! Keep that same energy! You’ll need it.
3. Create. Share. Repeat. Sometimes getting some trusted people to read your work is a confidence builder! Another thing to be mindful of is the rich nature of writer groups on social media! Writers do well in community, despite the solo nature of our work. Brainstorm on the community posts, engage with other writers, and those dusty WIP’s share them people whom will be honest with you! In order for you to develop the stamina to deal with rejection (again, this comes with the territory), you have to become used to people reading your work and commenting on it. Good or bad. But the goal being at this step is to get used to writing, critique and feedback.
Self-rejection can be a mill stone around your creativity. It hinders and stymies. No one needs that as a writer. The people in your head need to be let out. Don’t make it harder them.
There is a magic to revisiting what you have created. There are some of us whom do this work, practice this craft, know that not everything can be written, and not everything can be seen either. But you have to know that what you have on you head–it will eventually find its way out of it.
There is this concept of a draft-drawer I heard Anne Rice speak about during one of her Facebook Live sessions. She said that she doesn’t toss work away–she saves it! She saves it because it may be needed for something else.
It may be backstory for something else; the original idea can be reworked (Christopher Rice said he remembered the novel we know as The Witching Hour being a totally different permutation before the finished work); the work can be used to be a subplot–but nothing needs to be thrown away! The map to the work you need to write–is in your hands.
The drafts are maps! No good explorer or adventurer throws away their map! Writing is one of those careers where mapping, where recording is one of the ways by which the work is completed. And the work must be completed!
Do not be afraid of the work ahead, Oracles. Do not be afraid of what you must do, must get out of you, and what you are excited about! Writing is hard enough! There are some work you will do which will require a map–don’t sell yourself short.