4 Ways to Console Yourself After Being Dumped (By a Reader)

I ventured out with my sis and 4 girlfriends to my first concert in over a decade. We braved 3 hours of (round trip) traffic and 5 hours on our feet to see Pentatonix live. (Note to self: Even when the tickets have seat numbers, if it says General Admission Standing, it means NO SEATS!) But boy, was it worth it! 🙂

12308430_10153829888794679_8867240088698899028_n

The only downside was that their part of the concert was way too short because there were three other artists who performed before them. I didn’t mind seeing the other artists since I had heard their songs before and liked most of them. But several of my girlfriends hadn’t, along with many of the other attendees. As soon as the first act came on stage, I heard the gal behind me ask her friend, “Do you know who he is?”

Aw, poor guy. I felt so bad for him, although I probably shouldn’t have considering he’s currently #1 on the charts in the U.K. and, as he gleefully pointed out, ahead of Ed Sheeran (who signed him onto his record label). But here in the U.S., he’s a newbie and still opening for other people. (BTW, his name is Jamie Lawson and you should check out his song, “Wasn’t Expecting That”.)

As a newbie author, I totally understand what it’s like to be in that guy’s shoes, to be unknown. I’m the gal behind the computer screen who desperately wants to get my books into the hands of readers. I love what I do and hope others do, too. But it’s a big humongous ocean we authors are swimming in, and it’s hard to get noticed. The chances of someone discovering your book among the hundreds of thousands on Amazon.com is about as easy as finding the car rental keys your hubby may have dropped in the Pacific while on vacation (#truestory). But with prayer and patience and perseverance, you can witness the miracle of a sale (and find those keys!). 🙂

I am always so thankful when someone buys my books. I’m even more thankful when they leave a nice detailed review. Of course positive reviews are preferred, but I also welcome ones with constructive criticism. What I dread however is the 2 star rating with no explanation of why. Especially when the reviewer just created an account on Goodreads last month and the only book she has listed there is mine. It kinda makes me wonder if she got an account just to diss my book! (How’s that for thinking the world revolves around me, haha!) It’s not my first 2 star rating, but it’s the first one for what I believe is my best work so far. With no explanation of why. 🙁

So, here I am in the aftermath of being dumped by a reader, and learning four ways to console myself. 😉

1. Commiserate and cry. Misery loves company, right? Especially the company of other down and out writers. After getting the review, I immediately went to my Facebook writers group to share my frustrations, and was so encouraged by their comments. I heard from one gal who had the exact same situation (though with a 1 star rating) happen to her. How awesome is that? Not that we were in the same boat, but the fact that I knew I wasn’t alone.

2. Compare (in a good way). One of the group members told me whenever she gets a negative review she’ll go read the negative reviews of her favorite authors. Huh … now why didn’t I think of that?! I admit I got kind of excited that a bestselling, successful author could have something in common with lil ‘ole me. And amazingly enough, one of my favorite authors (Francine Rivers) who has the most poetically beautiful writing style has gotten some 1 and 2 star reviews.

3. Count my blessings. I took a walk around the neighborhood and listened to some soothing instrumental music. Once I got out of my head, I was able to calm down and count my blessings instead. And there are a lot of them, thank God. 🙂 Like the 5 star review I just got yesterday for the same book!

4. Cut loose! Lastly, I just gotta remember that there will always be people who like and dislike my work, and that’s life. So whenever I cross paths with the latter, I’m gonna face it, accept it and move on. As T-Swift says, “The haters gonna hate, hate, hate; Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake; Shake it off!”

And that’s the song we’ll end with today. 🙂

How do you console yourself after a rejection?

Getting Punched

Yesterday, I got punched in the gut. Not literally, thank God (cause I’m no Rocky Balboa), but most definitely in a way I could feel in my heart.

Image courtesy of hin255/freedigitalphotos.net

The source of the punch? This email…

“We appreciated the opportunity to read your work and found much to enjoy in this essay. However, we are currently receiving more high-quality submissions than we are able to publish, and we are afraid we decided to pass on this one.”

Sigh. 🙁

Although this was not my first rejection letter from a publishing company (and I know it won’t be my last one either), it doesn’t make it any easier to swallow. It’s times like these when I wish there was truth in the childhood saying, “I’m rubber and you’re glue; whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you”. But the reality is that I’m human and each “No” I get has the power to pierce through my flesh and draw blood.

Okay, maybe I need to look on the bright side and stop being so melodramatic. 🙂 I know there are always two ways to look at a situation: positively or negatively. If I choose the former, I can tell myself there are other opportunities out there and I have heard “Yes” a couple of times, so don’t give up. If I choose the latter, I can stop writing and just drown my sorrows in Cherry Garcia ice-cream – which is a tempting thought considering how much I love the combination of cherries and chocolate!

But what keeps me going is the fact that I love to write and the belief that anything worth doing takes perseverance. And a reminder from hubby that J.K. Rowling (as did many successful writers) faced rejection numerous times, too.

So, I choose to keep on trying. I got back on the proverbial horse (or in my case, my laptop) last night and contacted another publisher. Sure, I risk facing rejection again, but I also may have opened the door to a potential acceptance.

A side note: Right after I received the rejection email and was feeling down, C took my hand and said, “Mom, sing with me. Things are going to get better.” She had made up the little tune on her own, not knowing how discouraged I was feeling at the time. I sang along with her, squeezing the words out past the lump in my throat, and thanked God for reminding me that things are going to get better.

Here is Pink’s song, “Try“, which is all about getting up and trying again.

What has helped you bounce back from rejection?