“In my world everyone’s a pony, they all eat rainbows and poop butterflies.”
This is a quote from Horton Hears a Who! that my 7 year old recited to me at bedtime recently. Naturally it really caught my attention and I asked to hear this strange line again.
How unrealistic, I thought, briefly entertaining the mental picture of someone actually eating rainbows and pooping butterflies.
As a writer hoping to join the honoured ranks of the published, expectations need to be similarly realistic. Have you been writing long? Have you ever submitted to an editor or been in print? Have you ever been rejected (let’s face it, who hasn’t?). You won’t always get the why and wherefore behind a rejection, but if you do, grow from it! Whatever you do, don’t get defeated. You might need to rethink your imaginings of a day-job a little bit, but life’s like that. Is this writing life your thing? Are you writing in the right genre or field?
If you can take the feedback in stride, you can use it to fortify yourself and your expectations in the future. When I go back and read my first works now, I still enjoy the stories but they are so cringe-worthy that I know they could never be published as they are. There’s a lot to be said for form versus craft, and this is just one area where it’s necessary to stop and take stock: http://cba-ramblings.blogspot.com/2011/06/story-vs-craft.html (Rachelle Gardner's blog is a wealth of information!).
Decide: How long am I willing to wait to see this dream come true? Am I realistic about the work I produce? Am I eating rainbows and hoping to poop butterflies?