Looking at the Flip Side


Writers are always talking about rejection; how it hurts, how you must persevere despite it, and how many rejections you should expect before a piece of your writing finally gets accepted. These are all valid and helpful things to think, and talk, about. However it seems like the other side of the coin doesn’t get nearly as much attention. 

What I’m talking about is the sense of pure joy you feel when you write “The End”, dot the last “i” and cross the final “t”, or complete a final round of spell check. When you know that the story, poem, or article you just completed represents the very best work you could do. There’s also the rush of emotion you feel when you read it through for the last time before submitting it and it still makes you cry, scares you to death, or brings a smile to your face (even after spending long days or endless weeks in its company). That feeling is something that writers need to remember in their darker hours, it’s what makes all of the struggle, the editing, and the sleepless nights worth it. Whether someone buys your finished piece or not, it made you a better writer to see it through to the end and that should boost your mood significantly.  If you’re like me, when it comes time for the final goodbye between you and your piece of writing, at the exact moment you hit the send button on your computer or drop that envelope into the mailbox, you’ll experience the final flip side feelings, a heady combination of:

Elation: that you are done. For better or worse your writing is now out there in the world

Hope: that whoever reads it will find it compelling and feel its emotional impact

Anticipation: that it will be accepted and published and that you will receive a check at some point

Don’t dismiss these reactions as silly or childish. Being able to appreciate the positive feelings that accompany a job well done is just as important to the writing process (and your overall mental health!) as knowing how to cope with the negative emotions that accompany rejection.

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