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When the World Says No.

Who are you?  Have you ever been pushed hard enough that you know? We don’t really know who we are until the world tells us, “No.” Find the boundaries of what you can do, and what you want. Find no.

Who are you when you are told no?

I want to date so and so. “No.”

I wanted a promotion. “No.”

I want group XYZ to like and accept me. “No.”

I don’t want to be sick anymore. “No.”

I want my loved one to be healthy again. “No.”

I want more money. “No.”

Who we are is who we are when the world tells us no. Life is easy when the world tells us yes. Yes, you can, here you go, you can have… easy doesn’t answer the most important question which is, “Who are you, deep down.”

This last three months I have received, not figuratively, 145 rejection emails and letters from magazines, and agents for short stories and books. I have mostly been told, “No, because no.” I.e. No reason given. I have been given a few reasons I can do things about but mostly I have been told no for reasons I can do absolutely nothing about.

I have been angry. I have been sad. I have wondered how the hell people like J.K. Rowling persisted for nearly a decade of being told no like this. I wondered how B. Sanderson pushed through more than ten novels of being told no. I contemplated that it is foolish to persist for years on end, and then I got angry again. Angry at myself for considering stopping. Be better. I say it here all the time.

Write better. Pitch your story better. Don’t quit. Because if you quit the only thing you guarantee, is you lose.

The world said no. Who am I today? Who are you?

Keep pushing.

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