So, I'm feeling a little beat-up this morning.
I submitted my Project #2 to the Baker's Dozen contest a few weeks ago... and found out today I was not selected.
I suppose this could be considered my first rejection as I haven't really gotten into the query process yet.
Am I disappointed? Certainly.*
...although I am interested in the battle of wills currently playing out in my head between my larger analytical-response-side and my smaller emotional-response-side.
In general, I always distrust that emotional-response-side of my brain. Right now it's telling me I suck. To quit, that it's time to give up, that I've been wasting my time on something I will never achieve. It's laughing and saying I'm an idiot for telling people I tried... 'cause now they know I failed.
If I had listened to that side in the past, I would have accepted my dyslexia as a wall I could never overcome. I wouldn't have worked my butt off over the years to not only read/write at a normal level, but to excel (yes, still working on the *excel* part.)
That emotional side says, 'be afraid.'
The analytical side says, 'fight back.'
Time and time again, I distrust the emotional part of my brain and focus on the analytical side. This could be the main reason I can't get into stories that have a heavy romance element or a lot of the higher-fantasy type stories. I need the facts. I need to be convinced.
But that analytical part of my brain is what continues to prod me, to poke a sharp stick into my soft, white-underbelly and tells me to throw off the chains of self-loathing and do something. Do anything.
The point is, 'do'. Not 'try', 'do.'
So what can I do? Well, most things in life we have no control over, so worrying about them is not only a waste of time, it's self-destructive.
In this case, I have control over my words, over my story, over my reaction, and over a million other little things.
So, since I know I get a 50/50 love/hate reaction to Project #2 (half love the fairy-tale-like opening, half tell me to chop out all the description and get to the point), the biggest, most productive thing I have control over today is playing those odds.
What am I going to spend today doing? I'm going to research agents and I am going to send out queries. 10 is the number I am committing myself to.
Curling up into a ball and whining about it isn't productive. It is only going to make me feel worse, not better. It's a lose/lose response. Sure, maybe Project #2 isn't ready to send out yet... maybe it isn't good enough, maybe I'll get form rejections back from every query I send out...
...but if I don't do it, I won't know. I will be held up, not by failure, but by fear of failure.
...and the thought of that disgusts me. To be so crippled by fear that I would not even try in the first place.
One of my husband's favourite sayings is, "Feel the fear and do it anyway."
It would be a fallacy for anyone to claim that they don't get afraid at times. The point is to recognize when fear is the only thing holding you back from doing something.
So, what are you afraid of today? What's getting you down, holding you back and making you want to curl into a warm blanket and hide away from the world?
Say it with me... "Feel the fear and do it anyway."
*I think I went into this with higher confidence than usual because I was one of the September Secret Agent winners... so again, another example of how this particular story can get the 50/50 love/hate reaction :)