YesIn publishing, acceptance means that an editor somewhere has accepted your story for publication. In this era of self-publishing, the acceptance letter/phone call/email has lost some of its importance. Publishing houses are no longer the only way to get your story in front of people. But it’s still cool to receive the validation of an acceptance.

Getting your story accepted has never been easy. You can write the best story you have in you — and have it rejected. Not because it isn’t brilliant, but because of publishing realities. If another book similar to yours is already published or scheduled to be published, “sorry and all that, but no,” says the editor.

So much of being a writer involves accepting that things are out of your control. [Like reader reviews. The ongoing Anne Rice Amazon petition kerfuffle gets a thoughtful response from Robin Reader on Dear Author, here]

But I think that in the long term, the most important acceptance is one that’s totally within your control: self-acceptance.

Anne Marie Becker wrote a simple, true post on her decision to stop comparing herself to other authors. The post is up at the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood.

There are lots of ways to drive ourselves crazy, and one of my favourite (I am so being ironic) is to try to live someone else’s life.

I would love to be the sort of writer who without fail turns out 2,000 words a day, minimum. This is not an unreasonable target. On a good day, I easily write 3,000 words. On a day filled with struggle and headaches, my word count stays at zero. I still beat myself up about this, but I’m trying for acceptance. It’s who I am: not superwoman.

Self-acceptance means being comfortable that you’re doing what’s right for you. Lots of people will have an opinion, but in the end, you’re the narrator of your own story; why not make it an adventure?


17 Replies to “Acceptance”

  1. An honest and thoughtful post. Being happy in one's own skin ( as a person and a writer) is the goal, but it takes a lot of learning and ruminating after many bumps along the way before we're there. Thanks for your insight.

  2. It takes a long time to be comfortable with one's own skin. The internet doesn't help matters either because there's a constant cyber peer-pressure that constantly makes us compare ourselves with others.

    1. Amen. I feel so sorry for teenagers today, trying to work out who they are and hold onto that knowledge, value themselves.

      Look at us, getting all deep and reflective. Have a lovely weekend, Maria. Hope the kids 😉 are doing well.

  3. I'd like to have that proper validation at some point too. But what a roller coaster of emotions control a writer's life as they reach for that 'published' goal and then have to figure out how to stay there. I couldn't agree with you more, Jenny, that having such wonderful support makes all the difference on those days where we are comparing ourselves to other writers (even when we know we shouldn't). And you are certainly one of the loveliest I've 'met'. 🙂

  4. I agree. This is a great post, and it definitely spoke to me. Sometimes it's hard not to feel envy whether it's word count or great reviews or contracts. We each have our own journey in this crazy business and need to follow our own path.

  5. Jenny, this is a lovely post. It's so true about there being so many things out of our control. Learning to accept that is easier said than done though! But we must or risk going completely potty.
    Thanks. I enjoyed this.