I know that’s the opposite of what we’ve been taught all our lives to use as a personal mantra in order to bolster our self esteem. But earlier in the year, I heard an accomplished author, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, confess that she said this to herself regularly: “You’re not special.”
Meaning that what you are going through is no different than others in similar situations. As a writer, you aren’t special because you get rejected. I’m finding comfort in this recently. I’ve come to the conclusion that a project that I have submitted to a contest recently likely does not have a chance of reaching the finals. Though I have no official word (and probably won’t for a few months), it doesn’t look good.
A friend of mine who is a successful published author encouraged me (not in so many words) to shake it off and move on. My natural tendency in the past has been to wallow in my misery for a while. How unproductive. I might look at her career and see her success now but I wasn’t around to see the rejection she went through, too. It’s all a part of becoming published. Part and parcel. I’m NOT special! Somewhere, someday, someone will see some worth in my writing.
While I did feel pretty down in the dumps about this. (And it would have been an excellent opportunity to break out). I suppose I had pinned too much of my hope on too few things. But opportunities come around all the time and even when avenues close, others open. Like Maria touted in The Sound of Music : “Whenever God closes a door, somewhere, He opens a window.” It’s up to me to find that window and figure out a way through.