There is a chance that we only get one life, this one, the one we're living (or not) right now.
(I'm listening to Crush - Bon Jovi, this morning.)
You know what Carpe Diem means, right? Do you? Really? Wanna know?
(This is not the first time Latin has popped up this year... who knew it’d ever be useful? Not my 14 yr-old self, that’s for sure!)
Carpe diem - actually means 'pluck the day'. Carpe means pluck, as in plucking fruit. In this context it also means enjoy. The whole phrase is 'carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero' which means - 'enjoy the day, trusting little in the next'.
The gist is the same: Seize the day, pluck the day, enjoy the day.
You get the idea.
If there is something you really want to do - do it. Don't hide behind excuses or let fear dictate how you spend your days - just freaking do it.
When I first started writing - rejection letters seemed so personal and it was gut wrenching to receive them... truly horrific. I didn't want to check my email (but I did). I think it was sometime into the rejection phase of The Legacy of Liberty that I finally managed to step back from the process a little bit.
I could finally look at it as business, it’s not personal - no one ever said I couldn’t write, or the story was crap or anything negative… no one was mean. I remember thinking if someone would just say, “This is shit, you can’t write, get a real job…” then I’d have the perfect excuse to quit - I could console myself that I tried but I was shit, so no great loss.
It was just hard to hear no, constantly.
Then it changed.
Maybe my attitude.
There was a break through moment when I realized it wasn’t about me. I was suddenly being published; my short stories were finding homes all over the world. Which was the boost my confidence needed to start shopping killerbyte.
Did I care when I collected rejections?
Actually, no. It was frustrating at times but not painful.
Because the absolute worst that could happen was that someone would say no. And really, if that’s your worst case scenario, what the hell are you worrying about?
We hear no all the time.
It’s one of the first words we hear as babies when we start exploring our world, usually followed by some quantifiable statement… “No, don’t touch it’s hot.” “No, that could hurt you.” “No, as long as you’re under my roof you’ll live by my rules.” (I’m pretty sure I’ve never said that to any of my kids, but I think I heard it a time or two as a teenager.)
Rejection letters are the sole opinion of the person who wrote it and often they have nothing but a quick note saying how the story isn’t a good fit for the particular agent/publisher/magazine/whatever.
They leave you open to try someone/something else.
They are an opportunity.
Don’t waste it.
(This is not only relevant to the life of a writer - or your writing life… it’s one of those awesome things that can be applied everywhere.)
Now get out there, find out what it is you really want and take steps to make it happen. (And, you can let me know how you get on...)
17 days... 17 days. Actually 16 days, we can't count today. :)