Working on a Masterpiece (part 2)

As I mentioned before, passion is a very crucial thing when it comes to writing. Your passion will make your audience love your work even more, which is going to help you in the long run of course. But another bit of caution I must throw out there in relation to this fact, and to the first half of this post has to do once more with rejection.

There is a very good chance all of us are going to be rejected at least once at some point or another and we must learn the best way to react. There are a number of ways rejection can happen, just as there are a number of ways we can take it when it does (and yes, one is likely going to rely on the other). One thing that you must not do, however, is despair. Rejection does not mean your career is over. Not by a long shot. You have to keep trying. You’re never going to get published if you don’t get your stuff out there. That is one of the truest things I could say to you, really. You have to try and spread your work before your work can reach the world, and I have to remind you again; the world deserves it. If you don’t send your work out there, it will never get the chance to gain an audience. Rejection does not mean that you are a failure by any means. It just means you have to try all that much harder. The world deserves it, your work deserves it; You deserve it.

Your reaction to rejection is a very deciding factor in your career. You can’t just receive a rejection letter in the mail and then throw your work away and quit. That suggests that writing was never really anything more than a route to fame; which is usually the air mark of someone who wasn’t really destined to write anyway. Your rejection may give you a chance to fine tune your work and turn it into something even you didn’t imagine it could be. There are many possibilities for improvement that are presented us, and we can’t take every rejection as a shutting down of or a direct attack on our work. That will only lead to bitterness and a loss of the real essence of the craft, which is shameful. Too much has been done to the art of writing over the years for those who are meant to continue the legacy to join in on the cheapening of the craft, but alas that too is a different post.

Largely the point of this post is going to be summed up here. Passion is typically the ruling factor in things of the heart, which is what real literature is; a direct line to the writer’s heart and soul. We are all going to be passionate about our work at some point, and many of us are going to be passionate about all of our work all of the time. That is why it is crucial for us to keep a level head when we feel our work come under scrutinization of any sort. If we react harshly it could basically ruin our potential career. I’ve heard of people who have been rejected who’ve gone off on the person who rejected them, taken helpful criticism as cheap shots to their work, given up on the craft of writing and even destroyed their work. This is the exact opposite of what we as authors should do. We, who are supposed to be lovers of the craft, should respect it, and by respecting it we should be able to handle criticism and opinions of our own work and actively work to fix whatever problems that may exist in order to better honor the real art of writing.

My next post will, I think. be about maintaining the sanctity of our own work when under criticism, and making sure our work remains our own. As always feedback is welcome in any form. Hope this was helpful.

3 thoughts on “Working on a Masterpiece (part 2)

  1. It starts to become so hard not to be influenced by rejection or other people’s opinions, even when I logically know why they said and felt that way and why it means that it is just a matter of their tastes versus my taste. But I find myself swayed by their opinion, and unable to tell if I really believe what I thought I did, or if I’m just being stubborn.

    Okay, so here’s a question for you, College Writer. What do you personally do when someone gives you a suggestion to change something, and you don’t understand why they think you need to change it? You don’t even disagree with it; you don’t understand where they’re coming from?


  2. The easiest way to handle this is to consider what you were trying to do with the work, what you had in mind for the section in question and what your editor or audience have in mind for it. I have had this issue come up a time or two with some of my work and I sat down and made mental note of what I intended for the part of work the suggestion was about and I discussed the matter with the person who suggested the change. It turns out that, in my cases, the thing they suggested happen in place of what I had written was planned to happen later in the work.

    It is really hard to understand the point of view of other people in regards to your work at times, I’ll definitely agree there. In these situations I find that it helps a lot to have a detailed discussion with the person in order to understand, or at least attempt to see their point. Granted that may not be able to happen with a novel that is being sent to a large publishing company where you have little or no personal contact with the editor, but it’s a good way to start with smaller venues.

    Basically, my lengthy windbag response is that discussion of the misunderstanding is the very best way for the two of you to understand each other and to get your work in the absolute best condition it can be in. As I said in these posts; the world deserves your work, and in order for them to fully gain the most from it, it should be the best it possibly can be. My suggestion is that we, as writers, do whatever it takes to get it that way- as long as you keep in mind that you can not- CAN NOT- let the suggestions of another make your work something that you didn’t want it to be. It is still your work, and you can’t turn your back on it. You’ve got to stand firm in your desires and what you feel is right for it, no matter who disagrees with that. But it is always great to hear the opinions of others regarding our work. As many authors remind us, it is not just for us that we write, but the purpose of writing is to share it to enrich the lives of others. Always keep that in mind Daveler, it isn’t just for us- but it isn’t just for them either.


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