First of Ten for 2017

Naturally, right after posting about not liking to make specific writing goals, I read something that convinced me to give them (or at least one in particular) another go.

Cheryl Klein, executive editor at Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic and author of The Magic Words, recently sent out her January newsletter. Among other things, she discusses New Year’s resolutions and writing goals – and among her suggested “experience” goals was one that resonated with me: get ten rejections. Klein talks about this goal in terms of bravery, which is definitely one aspect of it; but to me it also suggests productivity and perseverance, two qualities I’d like to cultivate in myself.

Plus, rejections are hard, even when they are expected; this goal turns at least the first ten into benchmarks.

So, without further ado: my goal for 2017 is to receive at least ten rejections of my creative work.

And I received the first today, 5 January.

Failure or Feedback?

“Well, I believe there’s no failure, there’s just feedback. . And if you’re a growth mindset person then you take the feedback, and you learn from it and you get better. It doesn’t mean you tell everybody about what you’re learning and tell everybody that you failed at your game. I don’t think you have to do that, but privately and internally in this locker room we have a group that looks at ourselves in the mirror and if it’s not working, they’re honest, I’m honest – we change it and correct and we’re not naïve.”

Portland Timbers coach Caleb Porter, after winning the MLS Cup (http://www.timbers.com/post/2015/12/06/quotes-notes-columbus-crew-sc-1-portland-timbers-2-2015-mls-cup)

Reaching out and getting slapped

“And I see this paper of yours as a kind of reaching out,” Gram said. “….I’m not saying that’s what you thought you were doing or what you even wanted to do. But it’s how it turned out. And I’m sorry, the way it turned out. Because somebody’s slapped your hand back good and hard. But I don’t want you to stop reaching, just because it didn’t come out the way it should have.”

From Dicey’s Song, by Cynthia Voigt