It only takes one yes. That’s what you’re supposed to tell yourself, right? Because it’s true. But on a day like today, when I sit down to work, only to be greeted by yet another rejection letter, that message can be difficult to internalize.
I love writing, but it’s hard to know whether or not I’m chasing after a lost dream. Even though everyone experiences it, rejection can make me question why I’m working on my computer instead of washing the pile of dishes currently sitting behind me on the counter.
This week has been tough. My children seem to be permanently sick. My 5 o’clock alarm has gone off several times in a row, only to be ignored. I’m tired. And my internal assurances haven’t been enough to motivate great or even mediocre strides forward in my manuscript.
But sometimes outside help finds you at just the right moment.
I got an email saying I needed to moderate my website, which was surprising. Because even though I’d vowed to keep posts coming, I’ve already fallen behind. The email contained a comment in my About section, from my Dad.
“As I write this, I am thinking how proud your grandfather would be that his granddaughter is a writer!”
My grandpa, Robert T. Reilly, is one of my writing idols. He could do funny, serious, novels, poetry, articles. For children and adults. You name it, he could write it. And, as a child, every time I shared something I’d written, he’d ask for a copy and add it to the file he kept of my work. I loved seeing him slip my white sheet into that manila folder. Since his passing, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wished I could share my latest projects; see him add them to my file.
It made me happy, picturing him smiling down at me, his granddaughter, the writer.
So thank you Dad for reminding me, that even in the tough weeks (or months), and even though I can’t send him anything to critique, I have to keep going. Because I have a legacy to live up to. And someone on the other side who’s waiting to put my first novel on his shelf.