Thank you so much Shannon for contributing this inspiration guest post for my blog readers to enjoy. And thank you Samantha from Chick Lit Plus for hosting such great tours!
Be sure to check out my review of Shannon's book, Until the End of Forever, and with the review, you'll also find a list of the other participating blogs.
Shannon Hart guest post - "Hope"
Every now and then, when I’m fooling around on my laptop (and when my two kids are not jumping all over me), I take a look at a folder I have in my email that I have labeled “Rejection”. The name fits, because naturally, it contains all the rejections I received for Until the End of Forever. There were a lot. And there were times that it felt so painful, because the story I had written – although I don’t doubt may not appeal to everyone – was a story dear to my heart and I gave it my all. But I still keep all the rejections simply because it makes me even more grateful that someone, the right someone, who read it did enjoy it – loved it in fact – and it’s because of that one person, my manuscript is no longer just a manuscript. It’s a book.
Being a writer is not easy. Wanting to be a published writer is even harder. The publishing world is a harsh one – rejections come more often than acceptance and your level of perseverance and determination is really tested on a daily basis. A lot of writers I know end-up making money doing other things like writing for magazines (I do), work a different full-time job (again, I do), and some put it aside for awhile until they gather up enough courage to give it another go. We still have to make a living somehow, right? After all, even if we do get published in the end, we all know that the chances of being on the New York Times Bestsellers List are not big – not all of us can sell millions of copies and sell the rights to a big Hollywood studio.
One of the recent projects that I’ve been involved with is a translation of a book. It’s a motivational and inspirational book, written by someone who I admire a lot. He has a day job too, as a trainer in a big company, but on the side, he has written three books, and was interested in getting his latest book translated into English. Lucky for me, I was around when he needed a translator (in fact, I offered) and thanks to my Indonesian parents, I am quite the bilingual. Believe me when I tell you that I didn’t do the job for the pay - I took it because after reading the book, it struck a few chords.
See, his book is called Messages of Hope. It consists of 150 messages in the form of short articles that remind and encourage people to keep having hope no matter what. He’s a brilliant writer and with every article, I would end the last sentence with a smile on my face.
Where am I going with all this? Well, rewind back to the time I was still getting rejections. I would anxiously turn on my laptop and click the email icon on the screen, praying that someone would say yes to taking on my manuscript. Everyday, what I’d see were messages that said that they “didn’t feel passionate about my story”, “not a genre that is currently in high demand”, “not commercial enough” or “are not taking in new projects at this point in time” and some of the worst were just mean, saying “too clichéd and unrealistic”. Of course, occasionally there would be really nice rejections like, “loved the plot, the characters are relatable and was very well-written, but unfortunately we are not concentrating in this genre at the moment.” Long story short, I was tempted to just give up. Oh boy, was I tempted!
I credit my family for teaching me how to take rejection and obstacles. Instead of giving up, which would have been so incredibly easy to do, I was persistent. I kept sending out emails and submissions, and finally on that one fine day, an extremely nice lady replied and said she loved it to bits and wanted to take on the project. (Thank you, Jean Charity!) Why was I able to be persistent? Because I didn’t lose sight of what my goals were, and because I still had hope.
Hope, like my writer friend said in his book, is something we need if we want to go somewhere in life. The absence of hope equals the absence of a future – and where exactly would we be without a future? Keep things in perspective. Keep positive thoughts. Keep trying. Keep doing it, even when it hurts like hell (because yes, rejections hurt like hell). Even my writer friend, who like I said, has now written three books, was rejected for his first book – and look where having hope got him now!
Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you enjoyed Ms Hart's message of hope as much as I did!