Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Get 'Em Next Time

I never met a writer who had never been rejected unless he or she had never submitted a piece of work.  Submission means the risk of failure and sometimes, perhaps most of the time, and failure happens.  I learned early on in my writing endeavors not everyone believes my prose needs to be enjoyed by the entire world.  Unthinkable but true.

Last night I had the joy of watching my daughter's high school softball game.  It was the first game in their conference playoffs.  My daughter was the designated hitter for this game, batting in the fifth slot.  Her first time up she hit a grounder and one of our base runners interfered with the fielder and made the last out of the inning. The next time she was up she popped out.  Third time up she struck out for only the second time all year.  At the end of regulation, seven innings, the game was tied 2-2. The skies had opened up as they seem to do nearly everyday and it was raining pretty good.  We were the visiting team and batting in the 8th.  Our first two batters got on base with walks and then moved to second and third on a wild pitch.  The other team walked our number four hitter to load the bases and set up the double play bringing my daughter to the plate.

Now to delve into my monthly sports/writing analogy.  My daughter was without a hit, the game was on the line and there was no tomorrow(though there is next year).  The pressure was on. I had seen my daughter's frustration in her previous at bats.  But she stepped into the box and got ready to hit.  She hit a long fly ball, our runner on third tagged up and scored.  We won the game, 3-2.

It's easy to give up after a few failures.  Failure can strip us of our confidence.  But no one bats a thousand.  No one gets a hit every time.  But if we stay in the game and keep trying, there's always the chance we'll get 'em next time.  Work hard, practice and one day the game winner will be ours.  If we keep failing, we need to work on our game, improve our skills and seek some coaching.  Then we step up to the plate and take another swing at it. 

Hopefully you all don't mind sports analogies but at our house, we're either reading or playing sports.  I can't help myself putting them together.

Have you had some winning hits lately to make up for the strike outs?


  1. LOVE the sports analogy! You're so right - no one can be expected to bat a thousand. And as all those rejection letters keep telling us, publishing is a highly subjective business. It's not just whether you can put noun and verbs together, it's finding an agent or publisher who connects with your story and style. The only sure thing about publishing: If you don't keep trying, you won't get published.

    Big congrats to your daughter for not choking, and helping win the game!

  2. Thanks for this analogy! It's perfect!

  3. Got the whole slump thing going these days. But I'm a life long Red Sox fan (with a lot of years in before 2004). We believe in miracles and we never lose faith.

  4. My writing is kind of in a slump. But hey, it happens.

    Good for your daughter! Way to put the frustration to one side and take care of business.

  5. Great post, Susan. Love the sports analogy. As writers, we need to keep ourselves in the game. Rejection might sideline us for a bit, but as with anything, the more we practice, the better we get. :)

  6. I like sports analogies. And after a very frustrating week with CreateSpace and Smashwords, I think everything will turn out okay. I should know in a day or two.

  7. Susan, what an inspiring post. Most of my life is filled with strike outs, but the winning hits are hidden here and there and have kept me afloat through my life.

    I have to admit, though I'm not sure I like it and am afraid to say it aloud, but I believe that I'm the kind of person who thrives on barren ground. Imagine how it would be once the ground becomes fertile?


    I feel that my time has come with the grand changes that have hit my family just this month.


    Can Alex save Winter from the darkness that hunts her?
    YA Paranormal Romance, Darkspell coming fall of 2011!

  8. I know how hard it is to keep positive about your writing and having rejections make it harder. I'm waiting to hear whether a short story I sent in has been accepted if it has it will give me such a lift, but if not... Oh, it's so hard. I know I should feel worried about it and I must keep on trying.

    Thank you for such a great posting and I'm glad your daughter had such a great time.