From my latest favorite book on writing, Writing BLUE HIGHWAYS: The Story of How a Book Happened, comes this list constructed by William Least Heat-Moon as he struggled to publish his narrative of the road, Blue Highways. He calls it “Eleven Thoughts on Rejection Dejection.”
1. A real writer perseveres—he cannot do otherwise.
2. The only effective escape lies in more writing.
3. Cease evaluating and just write.
4. If first you don’t succeed, write, write again.
5. Better to fail than walk away haunted.
6. How much do you respect failure?
7. What else is really worth doing that you could do?
8. Write until you prove unequivocally that you can’t.
9. Try quitting to see how you like it.
10. Write your best today and the hell with tomorrow.
11. To keep writing is to live in hope and possibility.
Wave this list the next time your inner critic raises his nasty little head.