Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat. - Theodore Roosevelt
These lofty words hardly seem to apply to our everyday lives, and light at the end of the tunnel messages rarely uplift in the manner intended. Especially when we are in the midst of defeat. In fact, they can be downright annoying. This quote was featured in my daily planner yesterday, on the same day an article was circulating through the writing loops on a similar topic.
The Power of Rejection by Moira Allen http://www.writing-world.com/coffee/coffee84.shtml
Power? In rejection? Surely that's a cruel joke.
At the Malice Domestic mystery convention, Sisters in Crime members received an advance copy of Writes of Passage: Adventures on the Writer's Journey. This inspirational collection of essays encourages writers through the difficult process from idea to fruition in the form of publication.
When you hear the same message from several different directions, it is time to take notice.
Yes, the stories of failure and rejection before success are inspiring, but that route is not the one we prefer to take.
The vast majority of us want glorious triumph without suffering failure.
When I was running and training for a marathon, the message was "no pain, no gain." Running and training involve a certain amount of pain, but it's the good kind - sore muscles at the end of a run or a session at the gym. You know that pain will result in a higher fitness level. Faster race times. Less pain when going for a fun run.
That is difficult to translate into other endeavors in life, but think about it. Starting a new job can be mentally and emotionally difficult, but eventually you're adept. Maybe even the go-to person, an expert at your company or even in your field.
I have been down a particularly rocky road to success in the career of my heart, fiction writing. My early uneducated dreams of the writer's life have been tempered by experience and reality. I have several "trunk books," those early attempts at writing a novel that ended in disaster. And now I am published. My debut novel went through countless revisions, but I would guess at six major rewrites, and at least a dozen serious editing overhauls.
In the hectic pursuit of balancing my day job, family life, and writing career, it is easy to lose sight of my glorious triumphs. The recent repeated messages of success made possible by walking through the fires of defeat may be, for me, a reminder to savor this time. So I'll share my Moment with you.
I had breakfast with my editor the other day.
I've waited a long time to be able to make that sort of statement.
Sunday I had the privilege to join senior editor Deni Dietz and several fellow Five Star authors at breakfast. Everyone sitting around the table that morning had experienced rejection. The difference between success and failure is often a matter of perseverance. So hang in there, whatever your goal is, and remember to enjoy your moments of triumph.