This past Wednesday, I had the pleasure of attending the “Debut Novelists” talk in the Bryant Park Reading Room. The tent was packed with talent (Julia Fierro, Mira Jacob, Courtney Maum, Ted Thompson, and Tiphanie Yanique) and an extraordinarily committed audience (virtually everything at Bryant Park is designed to make it easy for workers on tight schedules to dip in and out of events).
With a billing with “debut” anything, it’s no surprise that the audience questions tended to revolve around coping with rejection. I was buoyed by Tiphanie Yanique’s suggestion to consider all those rejection letters as a form of constructive criticism, tools that will help you to, ultimately, create the best piece you can. She suggested that hearing “no” is not the worst outcome but, rather, a subpar version of your vision being irretrievably set in stone as it.
It was a powerful perspective. Will I be able to keep it in mind once my rejection letters start flowing in? One can only hope!