Recommendation vs. Reality – How To Deal With Rejection

1. DON’T TAKE IT PERSONALLY
2. TALK ABOUT IT
3. CELEBRATE IT
4. LEARN FROM IT
5. PICK YOURSELF UP

There are all these amazing lists of recommendations on how to deal with rejection. Of course, I’m not saying they’re bad! More the opposite. We writers should read them, internalize the help and support other writers and psychologists are giving us! We should be grateful to know who we can turn to when we need comfort and what to do with the given advice. I’m serious, and there is no sarcasm in my words!

Take the list above. Each one of the points has a foot long explanation online, and every word is supportive and well meant. If any writer asked me how I’d deal with rejection, I would most likely use exactly that particular list and give calm and well-considered explanations with each advice.

But let me be honest: what is my reality? What are first and true emotional reactions on rejection? – This:

What are my honest (AND SECRET!!) replies to the recommendations mentioned above?

Don’t take it personally, right now it’s just not a good match yeah, good match my ass. These guys don’t see my knowledge, my talent, my abilities or my potential. They’re BLIND!

Talk about it go to your shrink and tell him that you are suffering, because rejection hurts! And then get a triple-box of Xanax and a bottle of Jack Daniels.

Celebrate it – the rejection gives you a chance to improve your writing!  Of course! We got nothing better to do than to sacrifice a bottle of champagne to someone who’s hurt, stabbed – KILLED us!

Learn from it. Yes, we will, since we can show we can learn and deal with all this. – Forget that crap – I learned my craft, and I know what I’m doing – and no teenager barely out of high school is telling me what I’m doing wrong.

Pick yourself up – yes, because it’s easy to continue submitting. We are convinced there’s a great match somewhere. – Of course, after we found the light swimming in the lake of our tears and after we have nearly drowned in self-pity, we might consider submitting again. In like – two, three years, maybe?

I admit I’m curious… am I the only one who doesn’t take rejection well? Yes, I know, I’m an adult, I should stay calm, I should use my brain and my ability to accept constructive criticism. But I don’t. I’m acting like a kindergarten kid. My face, my brain, my knowledge, my experience tell the other person: “Yes, you’re right, thank you for the advice, it will give me a chance to improve.” But my emotions, my really, really enraged heart screams: “You prove me – and prove me a hundred times more you can do it any better before you DARE rejecting my work and therefore hurting, criticizing, insulting and humiliating me.”

Really, with all my life experience, all my rationality and common sense sometimes I’m such a wimp.

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Book Marketing – And Why It’s Very Important To Me Right Now

Picture courtesy of Google.com

Right now, with the first book of my series about to be published, I’m keen to read about good marketing tips and tricks. This week I found many really helpful blog posts and articles covering this topic.

First I want to thank The Story Reading Ape for his amazing blog where posts like these can be found.

Last week I found the following educational, helpful and very informative blog posts:

 

Ari Meghlen: How to get the most out of your Calls To Action

Chris McMullen: Amazon Is A Dynamic Marketing Environment

Joel Friedlander: Have You Pre-Sold Your Book?

Frances Caballo: Every Author Needs Visual Marketing

 

Each one of these blog posts has taught me a lot and I want to thank Ari, Chris, Joel, and Frances for all their work to help us, beginners!

Thanks for all your support!


 

How To Spend Your Vacation Writing

I generally do whatever I can to use my free time to write. The very best time is my vacation. Tons of free time and “nothing” else to do. Yes, of course, there’s the usually shopping trip. Meeting friends, book fairs, a few meetings, a little bit of sightseeing, if necessary, but normally I spend my vacation time with my Californian Mom, my sister… you get the point. Places where I can relax and concentrate on my books and stories.

Once again I was lucky enough to have had a home for three weeks, where I had nearly nothing to do than to shop, type, and write.

I could concentrate on the current book – number seven in the series, where I got stuck while being at home. No matter what I tried, I just couldn’t get forward with the story. I had an idea and it didn’t work. I wanted to write about a conversation between two characters and it didn’t make sense, not even to me.

As soon as I was gone, decently relaxed and had peace and silence around me (two dogs, four cats, a handful of birds and a guinea pig, my pen touched the paper and wrote.

I mentioned this before, and it once again proved right with me: I cannot write a good story (or part of it) when I’m stressed out or unhappy. Hemingway wrote his best books when he was weeping over his life and/or drunk. Not working with me.

I’m very happy my work made this good progress during this vacation, even more since the first book of the series got its copyright and is currently prepared to be published.

I’m so very excited!

Thank you all who have worked on this with me.

This vacation was successful for me, even though I was “just hanging out”! It’s been calm, quiet, helpful, reducing stress and homey too!

Thanks to my sister and my brother-in-law who hosted me during all this time!! You rock!!

 

Here is my interview with Aurora Jean Alexander – By Fiona Mcvie

Yippee! A new interview with me. I’m very honored to be interviewed by Fiona Mcvie on “authorsinterviews”. This is exciting! Thank you very much Fiona!


 

Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?

Hello Fiona, My name is Aurora Jean Alexander, AJ in short. As of my age: I’m like so many other women and don’t like to talk about it. Let’s say, I’m a bit older than I look like but young enough to consider everyone else my age looking a lot older than me. LOL

 Fiona: Where are you from?

I’m from South East, preparing to move to the West.

 Fiona: A little about your self (ie,  your education, family life, etc.).

I grew up in a family involved into politics and was blessed with an excellent education in several countries, holding a Bachelor’s Degree in BA. I was very lucky. I’m living by myself with three cats, working a full time job and I am an author.

 Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

I’m working on a Paranormal Romance series of thirteen books and just completed book number 6. All books are in different states of “complete”. My first book is currently with my copyright lawyer and I hope he’s got good news for me. I would very much like to publish it.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

….

To continue reading my interview go to:

https://authorsinterviews.wordpress.com/2018/10/23/here-is-my-interview-with-aurora-jean-alexander/

 

Murder In My Book

“There are two kinds of people who sit around all day thinking about killing people…mystery writers and serial killers. I’m the kind that pays better.”

― Richard Castle ―


I’m not a mystery writer, and I keep hoping not too many of my characters in my book will end up dead. Let’s say, the one or other tragic death is barely to avoid, but I’m working on it. Now, by thinking about it: as a fantasy writer I do have the chance to kill as many of the bad guys as I want; does that count too?

Above I purposely used the term “too many of MY characters…”. When I started to write my series I knew one main character. The more I worked on this woman, and with her, the more I got a liking of her. She is someone special. At first, I didn’t know exactly where she came from and who she is. By now I know her inside and out, and her complexity, stubbornness and unique good heart made me love her like a very, very good friend.

As I continued writing more and more characters showed up. I had the chance to work with them as well, develop them, know them better with each book and each one of them grew on me. I’m currently working on book seven and eight in the series, and unfortunately, I know one of the characters I love so much will have to die. I knew it two books ago already, but I tried to ‘sneak’ around it, well knowing that I’m trying to defer the inevitable death of one of my favorite characters. The question isn’t “who needs to die?” The question now is: “How is this character going to die?”

What am I supposed to do? Yes, of course, I can write about an unthinkable ferocity to kill my character. Would this be a nice thing to do to one of my favorites? Of course not. But I’m a writer, and I’m afraid death isn’t a nice and pretty issue, to begin with. I guess, the main thing at this moment will be that it matches the book and fits the story! In a moment like this I’m not supposed to be the protector of my characters but the writer who paints a story with words; a writer who works with the characters, the situations, the opponents, the protagonists and antagonists she created!

Does that make me feel any better? I’m afraid not. It’s heartbreaking to even think of my character gone. No matter how I’m going to manage it – wait… I should say, how the antagonist is going to kill my character, I’ll be heartbroken. I had so many plans with this particular character, and that’s how it will end? The answer is yes. Unfortunately, that’s how it is going to end. I have a pretty good idea of how the killing will happen.

But there is one thought I can barely get right of. It won’t be the cruelness of the antagonist, the torture, the pain, the sweat and blood, the hope to be saved in the last minutes; it won’t be the eerie laughter of the opponent, the sharply metal forged blade that will turn my character’s death into a horrible murder. No matter how horrifying and inhuman I create the antagonist, how cruel, how sadistic and incredibly gruesome it will be, the murderer of my character is going to be me.

Am I going to drown in guilt, cry in my pillow and drink my tears? We shouldn’t get overly dramatic here. I’m a writer, not a ten-year-old girl who accidentally broke her Barbie doll. I create worlds, existences, characters, protagonists, and antagonists, but most of all, I create gripping and exciting stories. And once in a while death goes with it.

I think that’s the only parallel from my stories to real life: death belongs to life. And sometimes, if we don’t get ‘rid’ of old stuff, how can we make room for something new?
It took me a while to decide which one of my characters will have to go. But I won’t sink into depression. I know, there’s room now for someone new.

How do you handle the killing of one of your characters? Do you feel like you lost someone you know? Or do you even belong to those who create the antagonist as your ex-partner and feel somehow a slight malicious glee to do what you couldn’t when you were still angry in real life? Let me hear your thoughts, I’m curious.

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Why Do Writers Make Such Great Listeners

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Let’s start at the very beginning. What are the things a great listener is doing differently than “normal” listeners?

One of the things is the focus. It seems many people are concentrated on what they will say, they forget to listen to what the other person says. Thinking during listening isn’t very helpful. Writers know how to focus. They know how to concentrate on the most important things, and they recognize a story and its thread.

But what do great listeners differently? They keep their mouth shut, they listen without judging, their entire body language is turned to the speaker, their facial expression is interested and open, only to name a few. Of course, now the important part starts, listening and taking in. By asking questions in our own words, to make sure we are interpreting the speaker’s words correctly, we are showing we absorbed the given information. Additionally, there’s one more thing: consciously memorizing.

Let’s say: we are listening to someone who tells us a story and we’d like to repeat it at some other occasion, we will memorize it. If the speaker is our friend and entrusts us with a problem or secret and asks for help and support, we will memorize it to give it some thought and come back later with a solution.

“I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.” Ernest Hemingway

I think it’s significant these words were spoken by a writer.

I’ve always been a very helpful person. It came naturally to me to listen to my friends’ problems, support them, help them. I was trained in memorizing what bugged them to be of the most effective help I could be. The best listener cares.

But being a writer taught me to listen to more. I’m taking in as much sound and noise as all the other people around me. But instead of blanking out some of the ‘noise’ I start concentrating on it. Occasionally I ‘threw a look’ over to the speaker who waved me over and included me into the story as an additional listener. And that’s what I do. I listen, I take in, I separate ‘nonsense’ from ‘maybe useful’ and I memorize.

I’m not only talking about ‘conversations,’ or ‘secrets’ I pick up. I’m as well listening to descriptions, of people, of landscapes, of personalities, even of cars. I never know when it comes in handy. Imagine one of my characters driving in some sports car; I might be using the description I heard of how the driving feels like.

I’m listening because I’m interested. I’m interested in people; I’m interested in helping. I will never use what I hear to expose someone. Not all experiences I hear are of interest to me. I’m writing fantasy and paranormal romance. Maybe an author of love stories or thrillers can use more of what he listens to. You might tell us below in the comments.

Sometimes Empaths can experience one of the ‘hard sides’ of listening. The emotional toll it takes on them. I was going through that before. Occasionally it still happens to me, even though with age I became more and more able to shield myself from that painful side effect of being helpful. So, good listeners might be aware that listening isn’t always about hearing secrets, problems, good stories or jokes. Sometimes listening needs guts!

“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” Winston Churchill

picture courtesy of: http://www.google.com

Writing Is Easy And It Is Hard

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Neil Gaiman is right. Writing is easy – and it’s hard.

We writers have a story in our head, and we want it written. That’s what we love doing; the book is what we want to accomplish.

But there is so much more. The characters, the plot, the genre, the word count, the editing, the cover, the formatting, the copyright, the beta reading, the hope and the fears.

Many of us, I figure, have the same fears that I have: Is the story as good as I hope it will be? Could I have done better? What does the reader want? What do the readers say? How are the reviews going to be? Is the book the way I wanted it to be? Are my characters the way I imagined them? There are so many more questions my fear, right now, won’t release.

In many ways, our passion is easy: just a keyboard (or a piece of paper and a pen), and we’re on it. But still, it is hard work. Do we think about everything we learned? Is the story the way we had it in our head?

And the writing is only one part. The ones of us who planned to go the self-publishing way, our work only start started with the publishing date. The networking, the marketing, getting the word and the book out there.

I think I’m not the only one who would love to write, just write and write and write… but then, I want my stories to be read too. And when it comes to that, I need to get all this work done.

That’s the hard part for me. (Apart of all fears and nightmares, of course).

So, yes. Neil Gaiman is right. Writing is easy – and it’s hard.


Picture courtesy of: Wikipedia.com

Neil Richard MacKinnon Gaiman, (born Neil Richard Gaiman 10 November 1960) is an English author of short fiction, novels, comic books, graphic novels, audio theatre, and films.

His notable works include the comic book series The Sandman and novels Stardust, American Gods, Coraline, and The Graveyard Book. He has won numerous awards, including the Hugo, Nebula, and Bram Stoker awards, as well as the Newbery and Carnegie medals.

He is the first author to win both the Newbery and the Carnegie medals for the same work, The Graveyard Book (2008). In 2013, The Ocean at the End of the Lane was voted Book of the Year in the British National Book Awards. (Source: Wikipedia)