There are times when I hate to admit I’m wrong. To my credit, I typically have no problem admitting such a thing because, hey, none of us are perfect, right?
Not long ago, my nine-year-old showed me just how wrong I can be. We were on a walk with our dog (Buddy the Wheaten Terrorist—uh—Terrier) and came upon a group of kids playing football.
My son’s eyes locked on that football game like live missiles. “I’m going to ask them if I can play,” he said.
Just like that. No fear, no hesitation, and he was off to join the fray. I wasn’t particularly enthused by this because a few of the boys were teenagers, and all I could think was they would say no to my baby. Or worse, they would let him play and then be mean to him. The anticipation of having to jump in and save my kid from the big, bad teenage bullies had me gritting my teeth.
“Don’t you want to stay with us?” I yelled to my son.
At this point, he turned back, gave me the eye roll that I swear is biological in all males and kept walking.
“It’ll be fine,” he called.
“This is not good,” I said to the Wheaten Terrorist.
I watched my son get closer to the group, my mind racing with all the reasons I should not let him play with those teenagers. Buddy flopped on the ground, not a care in the world. Could it be that the dog and the nine-year-old knew something I didn’t? Impossible!
“Hey, kid,” one of the boys yelled. “You wanna play? We need another one.”
I eased up on gritting my teeth. The dog smiled at me. Yes, my dog smiles. I’m not crazy. Really.
After ten minutes of watching my son laugh and joke with the big, bad teenagers, I joined Buddy on the grass. Apparently, we weren’t going anywhere. Again, the terrorist grinned at me, and it was one of those I-told-you-so grins that I also think all males—even the canine ones—are born with.
“Knock it off,” I said. “It’s not over yet.”
After thirty minutes, the football game ended and my sweaty, filthy boy came back to us, his joy bursting from his body. ”Did you have fun?” I asked.
“Yeah,” he said. “They were cool.”
Buddy stood and we resumed his walk while my son gave me the play by play of the game. Oh, to be nine again.
And then it hit me. Hard. When I saw that group of boys, I immediately panicked and didn’t want my son to ask them if he could play. I didn’t want him to be rejected. If he had taken my cues, he would have been denied his thirty minutes of fun because his mother worried someone would tell him no.
Maybe, I thought, I could learn something from his willingness to open himself up to rejection. Maybe the next time I send out a query, I can do it with my son’s voice in my head saying “It’ll be fine.” Maybe that would be a whole lot better than wondering if the editor will choose to resist.
We’ve all been there, haven’t we? Our fingers tapping on the mouse, about to hit send, feeling that bit of hesitation in our bellies over the possibility of rejection. It’s tough to send our work out, to worry that the editor won’t connect with our heroine. Perhaps some of us have not sent a query for fear of that rejection.
Here’s the big BUT. Are you ready?
BUT what if that editor does connect?
This is the lesson my son taught me that day. As writers, we have to be confident in our abilities, but allow ourselves to be vulnerable. As miserable as it can be, we need to keep risking those rejections if we want to see our names on book covers.
So, yes, on that day with my son, I admitted I was wrong. And I was relieved to do so because one day I want to hear an editor say, “Hey, kid, you wanna play? We need another one.”
RU Crew, do you have any tips on dealing with rejection? We’d love to hear from you.
Join us on Friday when Kelly Stone shows us how a practical technique for the subconscious mind helps with writing.
Bio: Adrienne Giordano is a co-founder of Romance University and writes romantic suspense, contemporary romance and women’s fiction. She spent seventeen years working in and around the newspaper and advertising industry and, after starting a family, chose to work part-time as a marketing consultant to allow her more writing time. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, a former board member of Windy City RWA, a member of Kiss of Death, RWA’s Women’s Fiction chapter and RWA’s PRO group.
Adrienne’s books have been finalists in the 2008 and 2009 Linda Howard Award of Excellence contests, the 2009 Sheila and the 2010 Write Stuff Contest. For more information visit Adrienne’s website at http://www.adriennegiordano.com.
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