My son is going through a phase where he immediately crumples to the floor and is ready to quit the second he sees someone that is kicking his butt in a game. This morning we were playing rock-paper-scissors and I was winning. Well, that fun, friendly game before school nearly turned into an all-out whine session. "I quit, you're winning!" I took a deep breath, sat my precious son on my lap and decided it was time for an important lesson. I told him if he were to quit now, he'll never know if he was going to win. But if he kept going, and played with the attitude that he'll try his hardest, well he just might win. But the other thing I said to him is it's often not about winning in the end, but how hard we try when we're playing. Sometimes we need to lose, to learn what we can do better to win next time. When we give up, we always lose. Well, this time the pep talk worked and my son played, and played hard. In the end, he won, by one point. He was grinning from ear to ear. And he told me, "Mommy, I won, I didn't give up!"
I was thinking about this lesson at my desk this morning, and I realized that writers are often just like that six year old boy who was ready to quit. We revert back to childhood when we get a rejection letter in the mail. Do you throw your hands up in the air and are you ready to quit when you get one? Maybe we need to think back to when we were kids, and remember that it's not about whether we win or lose; it's about giving it our all and never giving up. Sometimes we'll lose, maybe a lot of sometimes, but all it takes is a couple of wins and we've made it.
Remember that the next time you get a rejection letter in the mail. Maybe you're just one more rejection letter away from an acceptance letter, but if you give up you'll never know.