Author, Uncategorized, Writing

About Dealing with Rejection

Hi Everyone, hope you’re all well šŸ™‚

Ok, so I’ve decided to write about dealing with rejection. The literary world is absolutely saturated with it, although it tends to be something we don’t prepare for.

You may already be aware that your writing will not be everyone’s cup of tea, but are you ready to be told that by a literary agent or publishing company?

Rejection is horrible, no-matter the circumstance. We wish for our writing to be loved by every reader and we want people to truly enjoy our hard work. However, the unfortunate reality is that not every reader will fall in love with our writing, let alone enjoy our efforts to entertain or educate them. But something society never tells us is that rejection is healthy. If everybody loved your writing, nobody could ever be your biggest fan. Without rejection, we aren’t given opportunity to learn and improve. Given that well-known adage “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, if everyone believes your writing is awesome, then why would you strive to make it even better? In such an instance, it wouldn’t be long before readers became bored of your work and seek out the next great author – you have a favourite song, though no-matter how amazing its composition is, you aren’t going to keep listening to that song on repeat when there are billions more out there just waiting to be discovered. Keeping your writing fresh is vital to achieving literary success.

Here is my process for dealing with rejection…

1.) Accept your feelings.

There’s absolutely no point trying to be stoic about it. Someone said they disliked a piece of writing you’ve poured your heart and soul into for months, if not years – you are allowed to feel crappy. It is acceptable to address your disappointment with some ice cream, or a walk, or whatever other way you deal with rejection in other areas of your life. Allow yourself time to deal with self-esteem-destroying rejection in the way you’ve found works best for you. We are all human. At the end of the day, if you try to suppress those feelings of anguish and disappointment, they will inevitably pop up later down the line, causing you to feel worse. Let it out, feel however you need to, then let it go. It is important to mention here that absolutely every writer past, present, and future has or will be forced to deal with rejection. You are not alone. Please reach out to a fellow writer if you’re finding rejection too heavy to deal with – I guarantee they will be sympathetic; and if you decide to reach out to me, I will help however I can.

2.) Always be polite and gracious.

Earth is a vast place, yet however infinite the reach of the written word, the world of writing is not. Since there are far more writers on Earth than literary agents or publishing companies, the laws of mathematics dictate that you’re likely to encounter them again at some point in your journey to publication and beyond. No-matter how awful a rejection makes you feel, please be polite and respectful to the person giving you the bad news. Burning your bridges is not only unprofessional and wrong, it is foolish. “Treat others as you’d like to be treated” is certainly applicable to rejection of your writing. I have worked for a publishing company and learned quickly that when our publication schedule was full, we had no choice but to reject writers – it was like removing a tether. Our concern was that leaving writers waiting too long for a response was like tethering them to uncertainty when they could be out there trying to have their work published elsewhere. Whenever a writer responded impolitely, we knew that working relationship would never be successful – so we’d forget about that person’s submission. It was respectful writers who thanked us for taking the time to consider their manuscript that we’d never forget; in fact, when our schedules cleared a little, they were the first to be contacted. Sometimes rejection isn’t down to your writing being of inferior quality, it could simply be that the literary agent or publisher has a full schedule at that moment in time.

3.) Edit your manuscript, again.

I learned this the hard way. If you’re the only pair of eyes to have read through, edited and proofread your manuscript, there will inevitably be mistakes. It is true that you could have the brightest editorial team on the planet work on your manuscript and still find the odd typo or grammatical error – I reiterate that we are all only human – but I advise you always have an editor read through your manuscript before sending it to literary agencies and publishing companies. You’ll find an array of talented editorial professionals in the “Helpful Resources” section of my website if you don’t already know an excellent editor. Even one extra read-through of your manuscript by someone else can help catch plot-holes and errors that might be costing you opportunities for success with literary agents and publishers. As a perfectionist I had issue comprehending that my own abilities were not enough, after all, it was my writing so why shouldn’t I be the best person to edit it? Though rejection taught me that no-matter how meticulous I was with my manuscripts, I’d never find success until I accepted constructive criticism and honest, helpful feedback. Now, I thoroughly enjoy the editorial process – even if a manuscript is rejected, at least my editor enjoyed reading through it! And if an editor doesn’t like something I’ve written, they’re gifting me the opportunity to improve that manuscript until it is of a high enough standard to submit to literary agencies and publishing companies. I’m happy to read through manuscripts and offer advice, though because time is precious, it tends not to be something I’m able to complete free of charge – sorry!

4.) Move on.

It is easy to reside in a spiral of self-doubt and misery after countless rejections, but please don’t. The world needs your writing. So, the longer you spend sulking because a handful of people out of the 7 billion+ on this planet didn’t decide to publish or support your work, the less likely it is your manuscript gets into the hands of readers who will become your biggest fans. Keep writing, revising, and sending submissions, because humanity requires your writing talent – you just haven’t found the right home for it yet.

I hope I have helped you feel better about rejection in the realms of writing. Please feel free to reach out if I can be of any further assistance in your journey to publication šŸ™‚

Wishing you a happy Monday! <3

Best wishes,

Dannika

Author, Uncategorized, Writing

About Defeating Writer’s Block

Hellooo! šŸ™‚


How are you coping now lockdown is easing?


I have been using this time to inspire myself and my writing. After nearly 30 years of writing, I have learned many things. One is that writing can solve a multitude of problems; whether that’s writing the book you want to read because you’ve never been able to find it, having an outlet for creative inspiration, or helping to work through anxieties by journaling. Another is that writing is as beautiful, breathtaking, and life-giving as it is fulfilling – in my job as a ghostwriter, I love enabling someone to make their dream of publishing a reality, by putting their ideas in writing. Though the truth is, writing can also be exhausting. Writer’s Block can strike at any moment, and it’s with that in mind I am arming you with the skills to defeat Writer’s Block…

1.) TAKE A BREAK
Yes, I did mean to shout that. I know it feels the complete opposite of what you’re supposed to do in this situation, because, if you’re like me, you want to just power through and get that writing done. I get it. But more often than not, that doesn’t work. However, I do have good news for you; walking away from your project works wonders! It gives you time to breathe and think about something other than the undiscovered intricacies of this project circling your sanity. It relieves the pressure, and reminds you that there’s more to life in the moment than clambering over the ever-growing wall of Writer’s Block. You’ll surprise yourself when you step away and allow that wall to crumble, freeing your mind to welcome a return of free-flowing ideas šŸ™‚

2.) Go Outside!
This follows on from the previous point, but I think it’s necessary to highlight this. Going outside is soooo helpful. Take a walk around the block; go eat a picnic in your local park; spend time with your pets; go horse riding; try wildlife or landscape photography; do something outside whilst enjoying fresh air. Immerse yourself in the beauty of nature. Our world is inspiring, though you’ll never truly feel that if you never get outside to experience it šŸ™‚ Something doesn’t have to have a divine or profound effect on you to be worthy inspiration – it can be the way a bird splashes in a birdbath, or sunlight dancing through leaves when looking up from the base of a tree, or even seeing a dog sliding on muddied grass to fetch their toy. Inspiration can be drawn from anything if you take the time just to look.

3.) Read.
I love to read. It inspires us to write, because something someone else has written has moved us. Whether that first realisation of this was twenty years ago, or five minutes ago, it is still so important. Ultimately we cannot learn or grow as writers without reading, it teaches us our craft. Don’t feel guilty about reading when you’re struggling to write – just read something you enjoy and fall back in love with words.

4) Write!
This is my final tip. This is one of the most useful tips for me. Forget what you’re currently trying to work through and write about anything in the world. It can be about your day, or your love of hats; or about a word you can’t get out of your head. You can Google search writing prompts, there are so many out there! The great thing about using writing prompts is that no one has to see it. It can be the worst piece of writing ever, but there’s no pressure. It is then that you’ll find writing becomes fun again – that’s the beauty of it šŸ™‚

When you feel like the colour has drained from your writing, please don’t give up. Keep in mind that you are not alone and that wall will break. I’m rooting for you! <3

Best wishes,

Dannika

Author, Uncategorized

Pros & Cons of Lock-down

Hellooo šŸ™‚

I hope you and your loved ones are staying safe and well <3

So, my lovely boyfriend gave me the idea to write this blog post.

People around the world are feeling the effects of lock-down. Currently, here in the UK, we’re at the beginning of week 3 in lock-down; which for us involves home-working where possible, restaurants/non-essential shops/pubs/clubs/leisure centres/sporting facilities/event venues etc. closed temporarily, all sporting/entertainment events cancelled for the foreseeable future, non-essential travel stopped, and one form of outdoor exercise a day is allowed with your household only.

There are positives and negatives to be taken from this situation. From my perspective, these are in a kind of balance – with a leaning toward the negative end of the spectrum.

In keeping myself busy I’ve been completing ghostwriting projects, studying toward my university assignments, achieving CPD certificates from online courses, caring for my dog and horses, as well as reading more.

Basically, I’m trying to accomplish inspiration from isolation.

I will share with you a Facebook post I added to my own page (as opposed to my author page) yesterday, which I believe clarifies that the stupidity of a large section of the general public are the reason this pandemic is still in full force…

“** Public Announcement **

LOCKDOWN IS NOT AN EXTENDED BANK HOLIDAY!!!! STAY IN!!!

From Cai and Iā€¦.

We were quietly enjoying our one form of outdoor exercise for today, Cai remaining on a lead so as to avoid risk of contact with anyone else, though our efforts to keep ourselves, our loved ones and others safe were in vain.

On our very brisk walk (because there was nowhere to go without being within 2 metres of people!) we encountered:

  • A drunk guy downing cans, then peeing in a hedge.
  • Plethora of dog-walkers with every dog – aside one – off their leads.
  • Countless numbers of people, in groups, hanging around the local lake (I understand families will be exercising together, but from what I could see, there wasn’t much social distancing going on between these households).
  • People who had travelled by car to walk around the area (one particular dog walker I’ve spoken to a while ago and know for a fact lives in St Fagans – come on, there’s no way she can claim there’s nowhere to walk around St Fagans!!!).

I am staying away from loved ones, such as my Grandparents and Gareth, to protect them and everyone else around both them and myself. The sacrifices we are being asked to make are challenging, but not as challenging as having to hide in Anderson Shelters, fearing for our lives because of deadly bombing raids.

Come the f*ck on – please Please PLEASE, stop being selfish. All you’re being asked to do is stay in, chilling out on the sofa, to watch Netflix. It’s not difficult. Every person I know is sticking to the instructions given, to them I say – wholeheartedly – thank you. To every person putting thousands of loved ones at risk because they can’t follow simple rules I say, take a good look at yourself. Stay the heck in!!! Read books written by survivors of Auschwitz, study what life was like living in the trenches experiencing untold horrors to protect your loved ones, find out the stories of immigrants going through hellish situations whilst escaping war-torn countries to save their children.

Please, stay in, stay healthy, stay safe. Remain positive and consider others; if you cannot consider others, realise that you are at as much risk from COVID-19 as anyone else.

Rant over! Haha.

Infinite thanks to all who are following instructions and all those working tirelessly to keep us safe, fed and well ā¤”

As you can see, my tone was pretty frustrated. I do understand the challenges of not being able to enjoy being outdoors and spending quality time with loved ones, but it is incredibly important that directives are followed, else we are all at risk of losing loved ones.

Sacrifices made during the darkness of today will ensure a brighter, safer tomorrow.

Distancing from loved ones is the aspect of lock-down I am struggling with most. I haven’t seen my amazing grandparents or brilliant niece, nor have I seen any of my other great relatives, let alone any of my fantastic friends. Though, the person I have become closest to, who I am feeling deeply the effects of distance from, is my wonderful boyfriend. We’ve been keeping in touch by telephone and Skype; however, I don’t have to tell anyone going through this that it just isn’t the same. I’d love a good cwtch with him right about now…

However, I saw on a news program last week an interview the UK’s eldest gentleman, who told his story. Having lived in 11 decades, he said the greatest moment of his life was meeting the lady who was to be his wife. They only met briefly, as she was travelling to be a volunteer nurse in Ghana, whilst he was destined for Taiwan to become a volunteer teacher. He told their story of a relationship maintained by the written word, with letters taking as much as 8 weeks to arrive. They maintained this for 4 years, before getting married and enjoying over 60 years of joyful marriage. Having lived through wars and financial disasters, this inspirational gentleman was so full of resolve that humanity will make it through this pandemic by working together, that one couldn’t help but feel inspired.

The Queen’s address to the nation yesterday was poignant, yet empowering.

It seems sometimes, distance gives us opportunity to gain a thankful perspective. Despite the fact I make efforts to be grateful every day for all I am fortunate to have, I for one know that I am going to emerge from this lock-down with a brand new appreciation for absolutely every aspect of awesomeness in my life.

If you’re struggling with lock-down at the moment, here’s a list of resources you can contact, as shared by South Wales Police on Facebook yesterday:

ā˜Žļø Mind Cymru 0300 1233393
ā˜Žļø Samaritans 116123
ā˜Žļø Anxiety UK 03444 775774
ā˜Žļø Live Fear Free 0808 8010800
ā˜Žļø Age UK 0800 0556112

There’s also a useful list of mental health support services on the NHS website.

Should a telephone call not be your ideal form of accessing help, here are some other ideas for accessing online help:

And for meditation, the NHS provides some useful information, or, you could always try any of the following apps:

Don’t forget to keep in touch with family and friends through FaceTime, Skype, Zoom, etc. – isolation doesn’t have to equal loneliness.

And, as always, please feel free to send me an email at d.e.kendall@outlook.com should you wish šŸ™‚

Please keep washing your hands and staying home as much as possible, follow guidance and we’ll get through this all the stronger, sooner.

You are not alone.

Best wishes,

Dannika