I have joked (and been serious) before about what I have done when rejected by agents, publishers or critiques. The strategy is mostly about drinking. But, having just had a somewhat brutal rejection, I find myself in a familiar and utterly ugly place.
It's a hideous country, flat and with nary a comfort food in sight. I hate it here. I hate how squishy I feel, like a snail pulled out of its shell. I hate how my thoughts bounce around looking for something good to hang on to and finding nada.
I hate how corrosive this place is. How it seeps into my bones and amplifies the negative voice in my mind. I need to get the fudge out of Doubtsville. Now.
Directions Out of Doubtsville
A very smart friend said to me that it's okay to feel bad. Don't minimize how crappy you feel just because people have it worse. It's okay to have a Personal Tsunami, something that feels devastating, even though it isn't. Let it feel like loss.
Yes to tsunami, but only for a little while. There's a big difference in accepting feelings and wallowing in a vat o' self pity.
As in getting back on it. This is something I try to do too soon. As soon as the tsunami hits, I mean before the waters recede and I even know where I am, I'm googling things. Books, conferences, crit groups, blogs, answers, answers answers! I want the remedy before I'm ready for it. But there's a time for horses and getting back in saddles.
Nerves and Fear
I have a friend who is a writer and an opera singer. She helped my daughter over come some fears about singing in public. She said that when you have nerves, don't try to stifle them, instead shake hands with your nerves and say hello. Your nerves, if kept in their proper place, can help fuel you, make you better. And if you've said hello to your nerves, you can keep an eye on them. They can't sneak up on you.
Fear is not your friend. Fear is gripping and crippling and all the 'ippings' you can think of. It can stop you from writing or WORSE stop you from writing what you are really capable of.
Get past these twists and turns and I believe you can get out of Doubtsville. I'm stuck somewhere on the corner of Nerves and Fear but I have a plan to get out. A simple plan. It's called "I NEVER GIVE UP."