3 Reasons Writers Need Resilience

Be resilient like a dandelion.

Yesterday I had a critique group meeting and I noticed that one of our members seemed really down. She’s a lady that always has a word of encouragement for the rest of us. During our general discussions she’s got a list of helpful resources including books and webinars that she’s eager to share. But this time she was grouchy and grumpy and down.

Here are three reasons why even the most chirpy writer folk need to be resilient.

Rejection

No matter how good your work is you are going to face rejection. When you submit to an agent or an editor, they will reject your work for any number of reasons. Maybe they just don’t like it. Maybe you sent them a picture book and this season they are looking for middle grade. Maybe it is too like something they’ve already said yes to. Or maybe their cat puked up a hairball on their brand new duvet. Or you wrote a book about cats and this person secretly hates cats. Or their slots are all full.

Agents and editors both want to say yes but there are any number of reasons that they will say no. And sometimes they are going to say no to you. You need to be resilient.

Set Backs

Even when you’ve found an editor or an agent, there will be set backs. Maybe the illustrator the editor wanted says no. Or they say yes but can’t get to your book for 15 months. Or when your launch date arrives your book is stuck on a container in the middle of the ocean. Or your computer hiccups and you lose a full day’s worth of editor.

Big or small, there will be set backs. You need to be resilient.

Silence

You’ve reconstructed the changes you made before the big computer hiccup. You’ve turned it all in to your editor or agent. And you wait. And wait. And wait.

We writers work largely in isolation. We send out our work and then we wait.

Even if you are a serious introvert like I am, it can get to you. You need to be resilient.

And one of the things that can help you be resilient? A strong writing community. I have the ladies in my critique group. I have the ladies at WOW! Women on Writing. There’s my book club. When I’m in a slump, all of these people and more will come together to cheer me on.

To succeed as a writer, you need to be resilient. Other writers understand this. Start building your network today. You can hold them up and they’ll be there to give you a boost as well.

–SueBE