My daughter at BYU is going through all the typical woes of the lonely single at a university so attuned to matchmaking that mere 19-year-olds feel there is something wrong with them if they are not yet married. Remember the symptoms? Those feelings of unworthiness, listlessness, and self-doubt that make it hard to get up in the morning because you're certain a new day will only bring a new round of rejections. And everything begins to seem like rejection. A guy speaks to you at FHE, but doesn't follow up and ask you out...REJECTION. A guy smiles at you in the library, but doesn't come over to talk...REJECTION. You go to a party and all the guys seem to be hovering over another girl...REJECTION.
Writers know all about REJECTION, too. And it got me thinking. There's not a whole lot of difference between the unpublished (or pre-published) writer looking for an agent/publisher and the single looking for a lifetime/eternal partner. In each case, you're trying to find that right fit--someone who understands you, appreciates you, brings out the best in you, is loyal to you, and shares the same standards AND for whom you reciprocate all these qualities. The more we get rejected, the more we doubt our abilities, lose our focus, and feel less worthy of publication.
But here's the good news: Pre-published writers, like singles, have certain advantages that were pointed out in a recent blog posting here. We have the freedom to explore any genre, write anything we want, and without any time deadline or expectations (except our own and, perhaps, those closest to us). Think about it. Once you're married, your world becomes much more tightly focused on your partner and the family you grow together. You have new responsibilities that generally keep you close to home. Your free and easy single days are over. It is the same with publication. Once you have an agent and/or a publishing contract, your genre is pretty much delineated and you have to begin meeting all kinds of deadlines and responsibilities. In other words, you have to grow up from being a free and easy writer to a professional author.
Whether you're single looking for that one love...or a writer looking for that one agent, don't waste your time moping (and I'm speaking more to myself here than to any of you). Enjoy and use your freedom exploring new worlds and possibilities. You never know when it may end.