Writing Reality Number 5: Separate Self & Writing

During the first few weeks of the New Year, I'm posting about some writing realities or truths you should recognize if you want a career as a writer. Previously posted:
Today's Writing Reality Number 5: You are not your writing.

You must learn to separate your self-identity from your writing. You have to learn that because if you don't, you're going to be one miserable writer. People who don't understand this truth are those who get crushed by rejection, bad reviews, and low sales.

I know some writers who reel from one discouraging event to another. If they read a good review, they're ecstatic. If they read a bad one, they're in the pits of despair. If they have a good month in sales, they're on top of the world. If they have a bad month, they're so discouraged they want to quit.

If your writing gets rejected by an agent, an editor, or a reader browsing for a book, that does not mean that you have been rejected, but a lot of writers think it does.

Separate For Survival

Learning that you are not your writing is necessary in order to survive this fierce business. If you cave at the first sign of rejection, i.e., not placing in a contest, not getting a positive response from an agent or editor, then you might need to rethink your aspirations.

Rejection – from publishing professionals and from readers – is a huge part of being a professional writer. Whether you're published by a traditional publishing company or you're self-published, you'll suffer rejection in some form along the way. There will be peaks and valleys.

Success is a long road. Learn positive ways to deal with the valleys and know that peaks will come. However neither peaks nor valleys last forever. Learn to be philosophical about this so that it doesn't take away the joy of writing.

Takeaway Truth

The sooner you learn that you are not your writing, the happier and more productive you'll be.

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