Saturday, October 9, 2010

Are You A Diamond? I Will Be One Day!

One of the toughest things about writing is the brutal sting of rejection. I'd love to say that when you submit your first story to publishers and literary agents that you won't experience the sting of rejection, but let's face it, I'd be lying. The world can be a cruel place. Rising to the top takes time. We all have to pay our dues. Nothing in life worth having comes easily. The internet is filled with quotes about rejection and success like these.

But, maybe, we need to take a moment to reflect upon the life-cycle of a diamond. First, it starts its life off as the dead remains of trees and plants. Yuck! I don't want to wear that on my finger. Then, after millions of years of hard pressure, it becomes coal-very useful, indeed. Finally, if it's lucky, it receives just the right amount pressure and turns into a priceless, yet flawed diamond. This is a rare and beautiful phenomenon of nature.

We, the apsiring writers of the world, are a lot like pieces coal, unfortunately. First, we start off with thoughts of writing. They are not mature, yet-just little inklings of what is to come in our future if we take the time to develop. We are dead the plants.Yuck! Then, we write and receive feedback. It hurts. A LOT. Sometimes we give up under the pressure. We stop growing and maturing as writers. We are coal-very useful for teaching others to write, but not reaching our fullest potential. So sad:(

But sometimes, we continue on with our writing journey despite the odds-not content with just being lumps of coal. Coal is useful, but we WANT to be diamonds. We NEED to be a diamonds. Diamonds are all we think about. So, we endure all the pressure of the writing world, and come out it as great writers because of our ability to receive criticism and grow from it. We have reached the pinnacle of our life-cycle. We are authors. We ARE AUTHORS!

So, I guess my question to you is this, are you content with being coal? Or, do you want to be diamond? Because you have to want it bad( yes, I know it's technically badly, but work with me).Will you give up because someone tells you that you're not good enough? Or, will you tell them thanks for the feedback( Yes, you must), then try to mold yourself into the writer you want to be?

I think the late Eleanor Roosevelt said it best, "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." So don't let those people make you feel inferior. Who are they anyway? They are just stepping stones to guide you across the ocean toward success. And, although they seem evil now, they ARE actually trying to help you along the way.(Yes, I choose to believe that the REALLY mean ones are too).

Not to mention, their opinion isn't everything. They may HATE your writing, but someone else may LOVE it. Think of them as only one opinion is a sea of opinions. They are just another Average JOE, just like you. They put their pants on one-leg-at-a-time, just like you. They use the bathroom, too, just like you. And, yes, they have their own insecurities about their writing and life, just like. We all do.

The only BIG difference between 'them' and 'you' is this-they didn't give up when they felt the sting of rejection. So you can't either! Not if you want to be a diamond.


  1. Is it bad or good if I say that I'm not even content being a diamond? I want to be that rare black diamond -- J.K. Rowling, Stephenie Meyer.

    I'm realistic about this journey, but I do want it and I'm willing to keep at it. Becoming a diamond would be an absolute dream.

    Great analogy!

    I think we were thinking a like today. I posted on "no pain, no gain" and had a flashback when I was reading your first paragraph.

  2. Quinn,
    Thanks! And, I don't think that it's bad at all. In fact, I'd want to be the rare pink diamond-the most valuable and rare. (I'm assuming that you didn't choose it because it's pink. LOL) I just think that you and I are among the few who are brave enough to shout out our wishes.
    P.S-I have to leave now, but I'll check out your post later. It sounds like it's a good one:)

  3. I'm with both of you - I want to be that rare flawless diamond. (Can I be the Koh-i-Noor then? ;-) )

    Actually, I just wrote a post about this too ( and I completely agree - it is all about not giving up.
    And you know, I don't mind rejection. I queried my first novel to good response, but not good enough. And what the rejections taught me was nothing I didn't know - they taught me that I would settle for something less than brilliant. And until then I would learn everything I could learn to polish my craft. And even then I would learn and want to polish more :)

  4. Nice post, Jessica! I couldn't agree more. I'm very new to this journey and I know the beginners excitement will start to fade as time goes by and rejections build up. But the way I feel when I'm writing won't change. I'm stickin' with it!!

  5. That's the spirit! You're right on. I think about Elana Johnson every time I want to give up. She sent out between 150 and 200 queries before getting her agent. Can you imagine getting your 199th rejection and still sending out your 200th query anyway? Amazing.

    This was a lovely post! Thank you!

  6. Great inspirational post Jessica. And so, so true.

  7. Great post, Jessica. I, too, love the analogy. I definitely want to be a diamond. Apparently, I was content to be a lump of coal for the last 10 years, but the fire has been fueled again, and there is now a never-ending supply of oxygen to fuel that fire.

    As far as opinion goes, it is definitely subjective. I LOVE picture books! (But there are some out there that are even widely accepted as awesome because they are so popular. The funny thing is, I hate them. Can't stand some of the authors and series out there. Certainly won't mention any names.) Most I truly do love. Love, love, love picture books!!!