This has been on my mind recently. I find myself wondering about the power of no – and also the power of negativity. I think “No” can mean a lot of things, but mostly, it is used for rejection.
However, sometimes it can be used to draw a line in the sand. “No, I can’t do that for you right now.” Some people take it so personally, while others brush it off and say “Okay, she’s busy, no big deal.”
So what makes someone take a “No” personally? When usually, when I use it, it is nothing against the other person and has everything to do with my own boundaries and capabilities. I cannot be this ultra-super-human-being, because I’m not. If I know that something isn’t healthy for me, or if I’m too stressed, you will probably get a no at some point.
And when I receive a “No” or a “No response” from an agent or writing contest? Sure, I spend a little time moping. But after a few minutes, I pull myself back together, stick my nose up, and march further down the road.
I have three novels. Just because someone says no to one doesn’t mean they will reject all of them. Just because someone says no doesn’t mean they are rejecting me or my writing. The last rejection from an agent I got was, “I love the premise, but it isn’t for me.” Now “it” leaves a lot to interpretation. “It” could be my writing style, “it” could be my characters, “it” could be my character’s voice, or “it” could be lack of (or too much) description.
But, it still gives me a thumbs-up on my premise. So now I just need to find someone that loves my style. And while that may take awhile, I certainly won’t let a “no” hold me back from trying.