Writers will likely encounter rejection all along their writing journey. I would encourage you, when you encounter it, to never name this experience failure. If failure is a possibility, however remote, you will eventually select it, and often at precisely the moment when failure’s exact opposite is calling to you. To believe in failure is to believe that anyone or anything can be broken. To believe in failure is to believe that the experiment called you did not work. This is a thought that ends thought. This is extinction within life. But thought cannot actually end, and so to believe in failure is simply to keep yourself suspended in an endless loop of death, as if somehow going extinct again, and again, and again.
If we remove the thought of failure from our quiver we open ourselves to new thoughts. We encounter rejection, or suffering, or despair having followed thoughts that do not serve us. Our suffering tells so. And so when we cannot publish, or cannot lose weight, or cannot quit smoking, or cannot sustain a relationship, instead of calling ourselves broken, by removing broken as an option, we ask instead for a new thought, a thought that will lead us away from the path we are currently following.
So it was for me. I looked up one day and said aloud to myself: This isn’t working. I meant my idea of success and failure. I had followed this one idea for many years. It had brought me skill ambition, and kept me moving at all times. But it led inevitably to a suffering I had but glimpsed when I began following this unworkable thought. And so I asked for something different, and by and by it came, as it must.
So are you not broken. You cannot be. You are at worst uncertain of what to do next. But this is creativity. Just as you have sat at your desk and wondered what next for your hero, sat there in stillness not knowing at all what should happen but knowing somehow that the stillness in which you rest shall provide it, so too can you embrace your uncertainty. It is your invitation forward into the life you have not yet lived but which you have begun imagining.
Write Within Yourself: An Author's Companion. "A book to keep nearby whenever your writer's spirit needs feeding." Deb Caletti.