Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs.
Scifi author Robert A. Heinlein (Starship Troopers) provided his infamous five simple rules for becoming a professional writer. They all seem very simple and obvious, but every writer's insecurity will prevent them from doing at least one of these consistently. I'll be covering one of them each month for the Insecure Writers Support Group. Here they are, what they mean, and how you can follow them.
1. You Must Write
2. You Must Finish What You Start
3. You Must Refrain From Rewriting, Except To Editorial Order
4. You Must Put It On the Market
5. You Must Keep It On The Market Until Sold - If it wasn't for the last rule, this would be the hardest rule for me to follow. If I get past my insecurity to send out my work, the rejection I would get pretty much drained away any confidence I had. It was easier to just write a new story and throw the old story into a drawer than to find the courage to send the same story somewhere else. Even if I did manage to get myself to send out the story again, a second rejection did the trick. Maybe I would have been published more if I just kept following this rule and kept sending my work out.
Yet I know rejection is part of the business. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J. K. Rowling was rejected twelve times before it was accepted. Carrie by Stephen King was rejected thirty times. If they had given up after the first or second rejection, those books would be gathering dust right now.
How do you keep your determination to keep your work on the market? Have you overcome rejection to success?