How Writers Damage Their Own Self-Esteem, and Don’t Even Know They’re Doing It

I read a lot of posts on rejection. In fact, I’ve written my fair share of posts on rejection. It’s something that every writer deals with sooner or later. You send your work out and—for whatever reason—the interest is just not there.

This is a normal part of the writing process and it shouldn’t hold any writer back from continuing to write and submit their work.

What does hold writers back is the harmful mentality of “pick-me-pick-me” that can arise during the submission process.

When you’re waiting around for someone to pick you, and no one picks you, it’s easy to feel like the last kid left who no one wants to pick for their team.

Waiting to “be picked” gives all your power away to whoever is doing the picking. It skews the balance in a detrimental way to you, the writer. Because when you’re trying to get someone to pick you, all of your focus is on being “good enough” and making sure that someone else likes and approves of you. It’s a constant quest for validation from an external source, and much of what’s in your best interest can get lost in that frantic search.

Of course, as writers we do have to rely on someone else showing interest in our writing. We do need editors, agents, publishers, and most importantly, fans, who want to get involved with our work.

But we don’t have to wait around like the sad kid in the corner, beating ourselves up because someone didn’t pick us.

The way to shift the “pick-me-pick-me” energy is to move your focus back onto yourself and your work. Instead of concentrating on how to be “enough” for someone else, think about what that someone else needs to be in order to be “enough” for you.

For instance:

If you’re looking for an agent:

What kind of agent do you want to work with?

If you’re looking for a small publisher:

What kind of relationship would it be in your highest interest to have?

If you want to build your audience:

What kind of fans do you genuinely want to connect with?

Writers are not helpless victims in this whole process. We can choose to be self-empowered and in control of who we bring into our lives and why, rather than taking whatever it is our low self-esteem thinks we can get.

Shifting the focus back to you, what serves your highest good, and what is most healthy and productive for your writing career, shifts you back into the energy of choice.

This will also change the way you view rejection, whenever it inevitably happens (because it happens to all of us). Instead of it being proof that your work isn’t good enough, it’s just a sign from the Universe that this avenue isn’t something that will serve your highest good.

Whoever you end up working with should be someone who is beautifully and uniquely the best fit for you.

So instead of pouring your energy into trying to get picked, direct your energy into figuring out what it is that someone else will need to do for you to pick them.

If you enjoyed this post, you might want to check out:

How to Take the Whine out of Your Memoir

Do You Know the One Thing to Do before Finding an Agent?

Why You Deserve a Better Audience

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