Sometimes as writers and business owners we can work and push so hard that we forget to love ourselves during the process. I am guilty of that. So very guilty. We power through deadlines and forget to eat or when we do, we eat crappily because it’s convenient. Mmm hmmm. I see you. I’ve done it/do it too.
From getting up at the crack of it’s too early for this shit and writing or planning and strategizing until our fingers bleed to reading everything about our craft and business until our own eyes are giving us the side-eye, we can really burn it can’t we?
After all of that hard work we expect to get results too. Don’t play with us! We write or build our businesses to succeed and reach our audiences ultimately. Of course we do these things for the love of the game first and foremost, but come on. Admit it. We want people to buy tickets to see us don’t we? Whether that means someone saying that they will represent and/or publish our writing or buy our products or choose us as their firm of record to promote their interests, success to us means we ALWAYS should get the yes! When we don’t, it hurts like bloody hell.
It’s puzzling, mind-boggling and soul crushing too. How dare they not see our greatness, swag and shine! All of those hours at the computer or at the library or in seminars or on Periscope seem wasted don’t they? All of those brilliant proposals, spreadsheets, book chapters, hours networking in person, on social media and on the phone were for absolutely nothing right?
No, but it sure feels that way. I recently experienced several situations that made me feel like my skills and talent were being ignored. They happened back to back too, just like that Drake song. In my case I didn’t have millions of Twitter followers chronicling my every move. I felt very much alone each time I was told no. No to the writers fellowship I applied for. No to the dream digital media projects I applied for. No from several publishers my literary agent submitted my manuscript to. Just no!
How can we as authors, content creators and business owners handle this kind of reject time and time again?
We can and should handle it like humans. We are not robots. When we need to cry we should do just that. The emotions we feel and express are the very magic that make us great at what we do. No writer writes anything amazing without knowing how to tap into pain and darkness. How can we pour these elements into our writing if we don’t possess them ourselves? I say when you’re upset you should cry, scream, stomp and throw things! Get it out!
Anyone who has built a business from scratch has a well of passion that they draw from in order to create partnerships, business plans and a vision for their company. Things don’t always go right. You may make mistakes or lose clients. But in the process you learn. You most definitely do. It’s either something about yourself or your business or you learn who you’d like to work with and who you don’t. It’s a process and a journey and no one gets to the top of their field without scars. Not even those writers who write a masterpiece in two weeks or get a book deal in less than a month. Not even Mark Zuckerberg. Yes, he’s a billionaire now, but his early days weren’t easy. He worked hard, got sued and dumped. Naw, he didn’t have it easy.
So feel your feels.
Write in your journal or write a letter to that person who wouldn’t give you a shot (just don’t mail it!). Get all of your emotions out. Write a poem about it. Go to the gym and let the treadmill or weight bench get that work! Go to a boxing class and put them paws on your sparring partner. Go for a walk or a long drive. Crank up your favorite angsty tunes and sing, cry and howl to the motherfucking moon! Call a good friend and let them help you get the emotions out too. If they are a good friend they will give you a space to vent, but also let you know you are NOT alone. It’s absolutely healthy to release your emotions. You must! Keeping how you feel inside is toxic and dangerous.
You may take a day or two to process a no or more, but you can’t stay there.
Slowly, gradually you will have to get back on the good foot. Someone may have said no to your writing or business ideas, but that doesn’t change the fact that you’re a boss! If you have the talent to write a manuscript or a business plan and you took a chance and shared it with someone you are brave, enterprising, innovating, creative and a badass! Get your visionary ass back into gear and either polish your project more if it needs it or begin the process of sending it out again. Bosses may get bent, but they don’t break. There is too much boss shit to be done for that to occur.
Remember also that giants have sat where you now sit. Bey and her girls lost Star Search. Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard. Albert Einstein didn’t speak until he was 9-years-old. His teachers thought he had a learning disability. Oprah’s old boss told her she would never make it in the TV business. Oprah. Ha!
You have to hear no to get to yes. If you aren’t hearing no that means you aint popping!
You’re on the couch, reclining on the sidelines. You’re a safe, comfortable bitch. A lazy Mitch with no zeal or zest. Naw, we aint cool. We’ll never be friends. I like people who try. Those who get told no before they blow up like hydrogen. They are my baes, boos and brohams!
So the next time you hear a no I want you to find this post and read it. Or take the following quote I’m going to share with you and post it up near your writing space or your desk. Read it over and over again. Feel it in your spirit.
Isn’t Saul Bellow a G! I get life whenever I read that quote and I hope you will too.
I truly believe we find out who we really are when we’re knocked down. It’s easy to smile and ke-ke when all is well isn’t it? True character is built after a beat down. So if you just received a rejection letter from an agent or an editor or didn’t get that branding deal that you were up for, release, refocus and slay damn it! You were born to do what you do.
You are here to STAY, so slay bitch!
Share any recent writing and business challenges you had and how you overcame them below. Let’s inspire one another!
© 2016, TamekaMullins. All rights reserved.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.