I'll be honest. The longer I'm a writer, the less courage I seem to have. When I first started writing and pursuing publication, I just assumed that what I wrote was excellent and one or even several savvy agents would offer representation immediately after reading my wonderful work of art. I sent out my first submissions with a naive and optimistic attitude -- two queries with two partials on the same day. And I waited. Every day, I just knew my phone would ring, with both agents telling me they just had to have more. Funnily enough -- though, it wasn't funny at the time --both rejections came on the same day. I was stunned. How could they not love my work? I'd shoved it under the nose of all my friends and family and they loved it. What was wrong with those agents?
Well, I won't take you through all of my rejections from agents and publishers, but needless to say, those two agents were just the beginning of many. Much to my shame, I'm finding myself less and less inclined to submit. I've heard over and over again, never submit anything less than your best. And I strive hard to do this, constantly revising and reworking this scene or that character. Sometimes I wonder if I'm really striving to improve it or am I procrastinating submitting because of the fear of rejection.
I know I can't sell without submitting and I know it takes courage, grit and stamina to stay in this business, whether you're a multi-published author or an unpublished wannabe. But that courage wavers and dwindles into a state of frozen inactivity when those rejections start coming in.
So what about you? How do you keep yourself motivated to keep submitting, in spite of rejections? And for those of you who are published, what made you continue to submit and refuse to give up, despite rejections?