Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Hard Knocks of Writing

As writers we get knocked down when we’re rejected, knocked over when we’re accepted, and knocked off when we show our work to the public. We even get knocked by friends and family who don’t understand why we pursue this career. Getting knocked around through all the ups and downs is part of the hard knocks of writing.

Even though these knocks are part of the deal, they don’t have to knock us out. We can gain strength and grow as writers. We can change our minds and decide they aren’t knocks after all.


When we’re knocked down through rejection, we can pick ourselves up and learn from the experience. We can revisit our manuscripts, revise our query, and renew our mind-frame. A ‘no’ from one agent isn’t necessarily a ‘no’ from another.

When our work is ‘knocked off’ either through blatant piracy or plagiarism, rather than only feeling mortified, stupefied, and horrified, we can also feel ratified. It’s a great affirmation if someone thinks our work is good enough to steal.

When we’re knocked by friends and family who don’t understand the reasons we write, it’s a great opportunity to practise patience and share with them our joy. Their doubts could also fuel our motivation to succeed.

So, when we’re knocked around because of the highs and lows, we can know it’s normal, that it’s all part of the joyous insanity of writing, and we can remember that we wouldn’t change it for anything.

Have you felt knocked around lately?

Note: This post is part of the A-Z Challenge. 

36 comments:

  1. And the Aussies streak ahead - it's K time! I think this letter will bring forth some brilliant ideas. I like your take, although I don't enjoy rejection any more than the next person. Plagarism has always been and always will be, a problem when you post on the internet but it won't stop me.

    You'll enjoy my K when I post 8ish tonight Aussie time.

    Denise<3

    L'Aussies Travel A-Z Challenge - J is for Japan

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  2. poor writers, they really have to be resilient! :(

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  3. I love your positive spin for every knock back and knock down writers take!! Yay!!!

    Take care
    x

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  4. Great post :) We can't let the knocks get us down permanently.

    Sarah Allen
    (my creative writing blog)

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  5. So true!! Don't let it get you down, just take from it what you can and move on!! Great post.

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  6. "Their doubts could also fuel our motivation to succeed."

    I love that. It's so true -- you have to listen to their doubts and then determine to prove them wrong.

    Great post!

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  7. I've just sent my work off again... I sit and brace myself... hopeful for acceptance... but ready for rejection

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  8. More than I'd like. lol But it's all good.

    When I get the rejection-love, I just send out for more. Definition of insanity I suppose.

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  9. Fortunately, I'm too ditzy to notice when I've been knocked :) I'll probably hang my first rejection letter up on the wall in pride (look, they know me! they know my name is Dear Sir/Madame... wait...?).
    Wagging Tales - Blog for Writers

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  10. Mostly been knocked down by family. That's why I love the blogging community so much.

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  11. Love Charmaine's take on the whole thig-- laugh and move on.

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  12. Oh wow...when don't I feel knocked around? When I told people I was quitting my job to pursue writing full time I was pretty much laughed at.

    My family tries to get it but they don't truly understand.

    Thankfully I have a writing group, blogger community and supporting husband that all get it!!

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  13. Boy, have I! I feel totally run over by a truck-knocked-over! Back in March, I felt an unusual urgency to get all the A-Z postings done and posted. We were scheduled to visit my mother in Illinois the week of 4/2-8.
    She passed away peacefully with almost all her family around her at 11 pm on April 3.
    God really knows what His plans are!

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  14. I have yet to experience the joy of querying, but I know a lot of people are ready to knock me down when that time comes. :)

    I mostly feel knocked by friends and family who can't understand why I'm doing this - or why it takes so much time. I never thought you needed to be a genius to grasp the lengthy process of writing a novel - or the number of drafts required before it is deemed ready. Apparently, it is one of those "higher level" concepts that only a few can grasp....

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  15. Wow, to Susan, I am so sorry for your loss, and yes, He does!

    As for the post, this sure does explain why I feel punch-drunk sometimes, lol.

    Great post!

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  16. Actually, I have - but we get over it!

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  17. My first novel was the hardest for me to deal with. I got knocked around A LOT. But I've grown as a writer and grown more patience from that experience! Now, it's just business.

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  18. We do get knocked around a lot, don't we? I've learned to let go of the rejections and start finding ways to improve that particular piece of work. It's wise to keep moving.

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  19. Lucky for me, I haven't, not lately anyway.

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  20. Getting knocked down does make me want to prove just how wonderful my writing really is. I really love the blogging love too--I had no idea how supportive this community is until just recently.

    Carla

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  21. Lately I haven't felt knocked about, mostly because I have been in my own little world and not sharing it with many people ;) But I do remember how it feels to be one or any of these Ks.

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  22. I feel quite proud of my first rejection letter. It shows that I had the courage to send my story out there. It went all the way to Scotland and back again. hehe

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  23. We poor writers get knocked around all the time. I think we spend time shielding ourselves from knocks and summoning our inner strength to get up and fight/write again.

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  24. Another inspirational post! Yesterday, after receiving yet another rejection letter (this one surprised me, actually), I decided that success will be much sweeter when it follows a string of rejections. :)

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  25. I've been out all day sorting entries for a short story competition so I'm a lot behind in the blogging/commenting. Normally I'd like to respond to all these wonderful comments, but I won't be able to tonight. I will, however, try my hardest to visit everyone's blog.

    L'Aussie, we are ahead of our time

    Dezzy, it's all part of the challenge

    Michelle, good luck!!

    M Pax, I admire your determination.

    Susan, though we often don't understand, God's plans are best.

    Alex, yes indeed and yes we do.

    Alison, yes, if it were easy it wouldn't mean as much.

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  26. Lyndy, congrats on being nominated for BEST AUSTRALIAN BLOGS! Easily deserved :)

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  27. All the time. But I keep plugging away and am amazed at my progress. Consistency is the key that works for me as it all adds up.

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  28. oh, yeah. Knocked down, knocked off... it's tough. I was so low this time last week, I wasn't sure I could keep going. And then everything turned around!

    Just keep swimming~ :o) <3

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  29. I'm glad to say I haven't felt knocked around or knocked lately. Although maybe my editing/writing has been knocked to the bottom of my to-do list these days! Boo! (Still on chapter 2 of SZ, revising...)

    Have a great day, Lyn!

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  30. As writers, I think we get used to hard knocks and develop a thicker shell them other people.

    It still hurts though!

    Ellie Garratt

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  31. I've been feeling pretty knocked about writing wise recently. You are right it is normal to feel bad about the rejections. :O)

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  32. After the first 100 rejections, I found I didn't care. Bring 'em on.

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  33. Fantastic post! You take the knocks and keep on trooping. It'll all be worth it!

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  34. Dezzy, aah, you noticed ;) On Fri/Sat I'll ask everyone to vote for me too because I'm also going for the most popular as well.

    Stephen, progress is a wonderful thing

    LTM, hehe happens like that :)

    Carol, you're further ahead than me ;)

    Ellie, absolutely

    Madeleine, hugs

    Deborah, hehe it can get like that.

    S F Roney, thanks

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  35. Interesting post. When you get knocked down, you need to pick yourself back up.

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  36. Susanne, it's all worth it in the end :)

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