Thursday, December 3, 2009

Treading Water

I can often tell which writers can handle the pressure over the long haul by how well they take critique and rejection. Quitting is taking the easy way out. And those who can quit may not be cut out for the agony of waiting, working, waiting, working, waiting. Those who tread those murky literary waters indefinitely are the ones who will survive until the ship comes along. This Inkpot has enough air still to continue bobbing along. My talented and encouraging Sisters help a lot! Thank you!


  1. I love a good critique. And rejection? I've got more R-Letters than I can count (thus, with them and the encouragement of "The Long Tail," my move to self-publishing those projects that get rejected). I just keep plugging along. But what I have trouble stomaching is the really nasty, insulting reviews. They don't make me want to quit, they make me want to quit reading reviews.

    Until I heard an interesting fact about the late Irving Kristol, the progenetor of Neoconservatism. (Though I have no love for his politics) he had a philosophy regarding opposition. "However they label you, take it and make it your own," was his approach. He did this with the term "neoconservative," which was a perjorative term tacked onto him by a critic. I find it helps with the angry reader.

    When I get a one star review (out of five), I take it at face value and say, "Look, so-and-so hated this so much he wrote a scathing, personally hateful review. Sorry I couldn't please everybody. Thanks for buying it, though."

    'Owning it' has worked for me, and is a salve for the burnt ego. Though it doesn't take the initial sting out of the insult.

  2. Hi Phelps,
    What I love is that you have the courage to keep putting your writing out there. When I get rejections I can often be heard muttering to myself, "You can't win if you don't play."

  3. When you write on a controversial topic, you are hitting the right note if you get five stars and 1 stars. If you flail around in the 2-4 range...well, you aren't stinging enough people or igniting the others. Clearly you do it right!
    Write on! May words fall into your lap. Signed, The Inkpot