David’s Rules for Aspiring Writers

You are allowed:
a) To celebrate when it’s good. If you get a request, celebrate it. Don’t say “oh it will likely end in rejection.” Yeah, it might, but there’s time for that later. Internalize the good moments. They’ll carry you through the bad.
b) Allowed to grieve when it’s bad. Rejection hurts. It also happens. Take some time to lick your wounds. Have a drink. Plan. Take only that feedback which is useful. Ignore the rest.
c) Believe in your work. Have confidence in this delicate thing you’ve made. Trust your craft and your voice.
d) Write whatever you want. Forget trends, forget twitter advice. Just write the best book you can. Yeah, a vampire book in this phase of the cycle may not sell. Right now. Wheels turn. Fangs retract. Full moons come again. It might be a great book whose time will come later. And even in this post-Twilight market, a really fresh take might sell.
You are not allowed to:
a) Grieve when it’s good and tear yourself down. When it’s good, embrace it. Other people will do that for you in life. Don’t help them. Letting things like imposter syndrome silence your voice or erode your confidence and waste writing time is bull shit. Stop it.
b) Be honest about the quality of your writing. If it needs work, it needs work. Go do that. But it’s a fine line between self-doubt/sabotage and honest critique. Walk that line.
c) Be a jerk about rejection. It’s a small industry. Don’t talk smack, especially on social media. It WILL bite you on the ass later.
“Always be gracious. Best revenge is your paper.” – Beyonce, Formation
d) Quit.

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