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A Writer's Meltdown: It's All Part of the Process
Artsy Fartsy 012 - CopyI had one of those meltdowns today –– the ones babies have when nothing seems to go their way. I received two rejection emails from two book agents, and lost four followers on Twitter. And then, after reading a short story to my husband that I was planning to submit into a nice large publication, his response was, "I'm bored."

That was it. I kicked him out of my office and proceeded to break down. At first, the tears came slowly. Then I exploded into heavy bursts of wailing sobs. I gasped for breath, wishing I could escape my body for just a moment and blast through the air into the clouds. My writing career has never felt further from my grasp.

The problem is, I want this so badly –– too badly –– and I wonder if I have been fooling myself this entire year. Maybe my book sucks. Maybe I am not meant to be a writer. Perhaps I'm like one of those mediocre artists who can't get into art galleries because their art sucks but everyone tells them it's great just because they're too afraid to hurt the artist's feelings. I wish someone would just tell me, "You're book sucks. Go back to sales."

What I want is brutal honesty. Okay. Okay. Obviously, what I want more is for my book to (truly) resonate with people. And I thought it had, but maybe it hasn't. My impatience for success is causing me to lose perspective on what "normal" is in the publishing world. And yet, I don't want to hear that rejections are all part of the process. I want to be that unicorn that everyone chases after! My expectations were for my book to surpass that average statistical response rate. So far, it is falling right in line with what all the advice books tell me: Rejections are all part of it. According to articles and books, I should be framing the letters so I can look back and remember how far I've come.

Now that time has passed and I am entering calmer waters, I can feel myself gear up to start all over with my short story. I suppose the ups and downs are to be expected, and I suspect that every writer experiences these emotional outbursts more times than they'd care to admit. Being too shy to expose my writing to the public has resulted in me being soft-skinned. Now that I am putting myself out there, I suppose the wounds will eventually turn into callouses. My skin will thicken. I guess that building up a writing career comes with these challenges, and I'd better toughen up.

Perhaps this is what separates the writers from the Writers.