When your writing in a pickle, make a dill to keep up the efforts. Here’s why.
My new writer friend was in a writing pickle. She’d gotten her first rejection letter from a publisher and as hard as it is to put on a brave face, rejection hurts. Frustration sets in, a sense of unworthiness. Those roots of “failure” sink into fertile grounds of our minds. Perhaps I’m not as good as I thought.
“Maybe I just need to skip the writing part and just be a speaker.”
“Uh, no! This is a stepping stone, so step.”
Rejection, whether as a writer or any other place marker in our lives, stills stings. I’ve had my share and it turns our lives and hearts inside out. I could hear the sense of loss and disappointment in her voice, and there was nothing I could do.
“Wait a minute.” I said. “You don’t stop working to improve. You don’t give up just because one company said no.”
And you don’t.
Instead, let the words of rejection, be the fuel to success. Let those words be what spur you ahead to make the necessary changes, improve and be better.
That’s when I made the comparison of our work to that of making pickles.
I’ve stood over the kitchen counter slicing cucumbers. I’ve poked pint jars full of small rounded discs or long slices of juicy slices, then anticipated the sweet taste to come. Pickles aren’t pickles overnight. It’s a long process; just as life is a long process. There are steps to making nice, crunchy pickles and learning to hone the task, then waiting for the result takes time. If by chance, we miss a step or fudge (which by the way is something else that is a process), then our pickles fail.
I’ve watched my mother throw out cans of pickles because they spoiled instead of pickled. She would grow frustrated and wonder if she’d lost her skill – then out would come the recipe where she’d pour over each step, locating what she did wrong. The process, to be successful, required backtracking and evaluation, improvement, and determination. When the next batch was made, Mom followed the steps to the tee. The brine was poured over the cucumbers and the lids sealed. Jars were placed on a shelf “to make.” All we had to do was wait for success. And how sweet the taste of success is when the pickles are right.
Life is like making pickles. So is writing. It sometimes requires a do over. It takes practice and honing. And when we pop the seal on the jar and pull out a nice crunchy pickle, it’s a moment to savor.
When rejection or failed attempts plague you, pull out the recipe and hone the work. The next batch may be the perfect pickle.
Photo courtesy of www.morgefile.com & marykbaird
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