In 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.
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?