Rejection is hard for everyone. Yet, as writers, and especially as indie authors, we better develop thick skins. If you’re an indie author, in most cases, it means that you have already encountered massive rejection in trying to secure an agent, before deciding to take a plunge into the exciting but very uncertain world of self-publishing. Even if you are published through traditional channels, you’ve probably had your share of rejection, before securing a book deal.
But the rejection that stings most, comes after publishing. It’s negative reviews from readers and bloggers that truly hurt. Actually, even positive reviews can do some serious damage, as, invariably, between words of praise, there lurks some (minor) criticism, that many authors are a lot better at internalizing than all of the positive comments that go with it.
There are three things I’ve learned to do, when rejection or criticism gets me down:
- Try to take stock of the positive. When a negative review comes my way, or even a positive one that contains some unpleasant elements, re-reading good reviews, or remembering praise from others, can help you gain perspective. Nobody is perfect, and your work will not, and cannot, please everyone. However, remembering that your work is special to some, helps. And of course, in the end, what helps most of all is remembering that you like your own work. As long as you stay true to yourself, you have artistic integrity. Remember that such integrity is more important than pleasing others.
- The truth is that many of us are better at encouraging others, than we are at encouraging ourselves. If you can, find an author buddy. You might not have one in your immediate circle of friends, but today, with social media, some of your favorite authors are just a message or a tweet away. Try to connect with other indie authors, whose work you enjoy. If you’re lucky, some of these interactions can lead to a friendship in the industry. It helps to discuss your reviews with someone who can relate, and who can, at times, bring back your sense of perspective. Your work cannot please everyone. In the end, you write mostly for yourself, and for those readers who enjoy your books.
- Let’s analyze that last thought: In the end, you write mostly for yourself. If you’re anything like me, you write because you have to. You enjoy it, and there is a story brewing inside you, characters wanting to materialize, lines sizzling to be told, creative energy driving you crazy if you don’t do something about it. Writing is something you enjoy. I can spend countless hours entertaining myself with my own imagination, trying to convey the thoughts, feelings, and ideas in my mind in the most emotionally graspable way possible. What makes me a writer, is that I write. What makes me feel that I write well, is, at times, reading something I wrote over, and realizing it does exactly what I wanted it to do. So, in the end, the most powerful tool in reasserting your identity as a writer, and restoring your sense of worth, is the process of writing itself. Sometimes you’ll have a hard break in the publishing, or the publicizing process. Sitting down to write, can put that out of your mind, and restore your sense of balance. I get a lot of inner peace from actually typing a succession of words, and enjoying the way they sound together. It can be very healing, after a rebuff. Good or bad, reviews don’t make a writer. The act of writing does.
Liliana is the disappointing daughter of hardworking immigrant parents. She is a girl looking to be rescued from her own insecurities and bad decisions. Unable to afford rent in New York City proper, she is craving a life of luxury that isn’t hers, while subsisting on bagels and coffee. In desperate need of support - emotional and otherwise -, she clings to potential saviors, never bothering to question if the attachments she forms really fit her.
In a parallel storyline, her mother, Maria, is trying to reject all offers of help, especially those of her estranged husband, whose unexpected generosity forces her to revisit past mistakes she hasn't come to terms with. Enmeshed in her own drama, she doesn’t notice her daughter’s troubles until it’s too late. Desperate to keep Liliana from making a mistake that will alter the course of her life, Maria reveals her best-kept secret, a story so shocking it might have the power to jerk Liliana back to reality. It could, on the other hand, alienate her forever.
DOGS WITH BAGELS is a story about the American dream gone bad. It is also a story about mothers and daughters, about female friendships, the struggle to survive in one of the world’s most expensive cities, and women’s secret desire to have wild passionate sex with their exes. A cross between Bridgett Jones’ Diary and Sex and the City - with an accent! -, DOGS WITH BAGELS is as addictive as a trashy tabloid you can't seem to put down.
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Genre - Contemporary Women's Fiction
Rating – R
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