Recently I lost an entire manuscript that I failed to back up. I was devastated. My computer was randomly deleting files and the automatic backup I thought was going on — wasn’t.
It’s been a longtime goal of mine to have a book published. I’ve written several manuscripts, but so far the goal has been elusive. When my latest attempt disappeared I was tempted to quit altogether. I’m not getting any younger and maybe I’m wasting my time.
But I got over myself and I am enjoying writing the manuscript with a fresh perspective and new POV.
This incident reminded me of a post I wrote several years ago when I was disappointed and almost quit. Here’s a bit of it:
I got an unfortunate email yesterday. It was from an agent, who was reviewing my mid-grade novel I’ve been working on for years. Long story short, it was a no.
This is a big goal of mine, to get this book published. Finding an agent is one step along the way, and I had glimmers of hope when a couple agents were truly interested and one in particular, wanted eight weeks to take a deep dive.
When my husband consoled me I said, “I have two choices. I can quit or keep going.”
Four times since that email, I ran into messages like someone was placing a big neon sign in front of me with specific directions.
Dad shared that he spent almost three hours fishing yesterday. He was ready to give up, but decided to cast one more time in the last few minutes before he was due to return the boat. Yes, he caught a fish!
I was looking at FB and a writer friend posted how lucky she was to find several four-leaf clovers yesterday after hours of looking. She said to never give up. Never!
On Twitter, I saw from bestselling author Brad Thor a book recommendation for #Grit, a book about passion and perseverance. Yes, I’ll order it from Amazon today.
On SwimSwam.com, an article jumped before my eyes: “6 TIPS TO KEEP YOU CHASING YOUR SWIMMING GOALS WHEN YOU FEEL LIKE GIVING UP,” by Olivier Poirier-Leroy, who writes really good stuff for swimmers that can be used in all aspects of life.
Here was part of his advice to get in touch with your feelings when you started on the journey:
“What are the reasons that I want to achieve this goal? List 2-3 reasons for why this goal is important to you. This is the simplest way to get in touch with your original set of motivations.
How will you feel when you push past the resistance you are feeling now? Think back to the last time you kicked down the wall of resistance that was in front of you. Yeah, that time. How did you feel afterwards? Proud? Like a certified O.G.?
Will you regret giving up a year from now? Imagine yourself a year from now. A year smarter, a year older, and hopefully a year further along. Is “Future You” going to be pumped about you having quit today?”
I got the message loud and clear. I’m not giving up on my goals or dreams. This is all part of the process, and yes there will be some ups and downs. It’s so cliched, but it’s also true.
I decided to put away the mid-grade novel after I submitted it to an editor who was a speaker for a webinar. For a fee you could get a critique. He gave me the snottiest, most hurtful critique. I’ll admit my feelings were hurt. Perhaps it was more of a reflection of his personality than my writing. I’ve started other projects including the manuscript I’m working on now. In the future I may get the mid-grade novel out and take a fresh look.
Yes, getting a rejection letter and a nasty critique are not great. Quitting on a dream would be worse.
How do you handle disappointment? What goals have your given up on? What goals are you still pursuing?