My good friend and mentor Rob Gilbert has a new theme for his 2013 Success Hotline (973.743.4690): It’s “NO.” As Rob puts it, he wants his callers to “Give more nos and get more nos” this year. Giving more nos is about saying no to people who want to rob you of precious time and encourage you to “major in minor things” when you should be focusing on what matters most to you.
And getting more nos is about having the courage to take the nos that will come your way when you really get out there and go for what you want.
Consider this: Pete Rose holds the all-time Major League record for Hits (4,256) and Outs (10,328). You’ve got to be in it to win it as the lottery pitchman says. In other words, to get those hits, you’ve got to be out there swinging — and striking out. You can’t hit a ball or get to base standing on the sidelines.
As with baseball, so with writing. As writers, we are going to have to endure a lot of Nos to get to Yes. Sure we can play it safe by holding back, by not putting ourselves out there, but what’s the point? Why leave our writing in the drawer or on the shelf, when it’s meant to be shared?
Recently, I’ve had the pleasure of reading a blog called “Joe’s Musings” by Joe Owens (joeowensblog.wordpress.com). After years of writing, Joe recently made a decision to set a goal for himself of getting his work out into the world and submitting it for publication.
In a recent post, he wrote that a comment he read had a life-changing impact on his writing. The comment was: ”If you are not getting rejected, you are not trying!” Here’s what Joe wrote about these words:
“Rejection is not anything a writer desires to see, but in those words I realized I was living on the fringes of the real writer’s community. Since that day I have changed my focus to finding opportunities and outlets to submit my work for critical examination. I know I can write, I have proven that. The next step is to find my place in the legion of authors in this world. So far in 2013, I have submitted about a dozen pieces to various web sites devoted to publishing works from unpublished authors. Have I seen rejection replies? YES! Am I unhappy? NO! Because now I know I am truly part of the process.”
Bravo, Joe! May we all take fresh joy and inspiration from your decision to move out from the “fringes” and start swinging and sharing your work! Just remember our pal Pete: To get the hits, you have to brave the misses. And here’s what Rob Gilbert says: “Don’t quit, can’t fail.” You’re already a winner, Joe! Write on!
Inspired. Thank you. NO I will not waste my time or intellectual energy doing things that don’t advance my interests or the values that I have for creating good in the world. And if a NO comes my way on the way to YES, then it’s all good!