Luckily, I had some swim buddies to cheer me up. I had gotten second, but I’d swam the fastest 500 of my life.
See, I didn’t really lose the race. I’d improved. I’d gotten faster. No matter what my coach said.
It seems like the world (or the little doubts in my head) are like my coach:
Why aren’t you published yet? If you’re not, you’re not a real writer.
Or maybe if you are published:
Why didn’t you win that award?
Why haven’t you sold as many books as X? etc., etc.
I remember reading a blog post a year or two back where the writer said that was her goal in querying was only to “get better.” If she only got more requests than last time with each book, she felt like she’d succeeded.
That’s what I’m trying to keep in mind now.
Someone’s always going to be a faster or better writer or get a book deal/agent sooner. Or perhaps someone will win an award or sell more books or make more money.
But if I’ve done better than last time, I have succeeded. So, yes, silly as it seems, I’m ecstatic that my rejections are “better” than last time. I’m getting closer. I’m getting better.Winning isn’t everything.