I had never wanted a job so desperately in my two years of searching.
Every writer has their dream niche, and I wanted mine to be science writing. It was a credible, well-respected publication that had millions of readers. I didn’t have enough science writing experience, despite being as close as I’d ever been to an MS degree. I was slowly gathering more samples, but the timing wasn’t right. I worked on my cover letter for over an hour. I did everything I could, but I wasn’t right for the job (yet), and I knew it.
Yet that rejection email hurt, as most if not all of them do. It hurt to be reminded that I wasn’t “good enough” yet. It hurt to realize that I was working as hard as I could to become a better, more skilled and experienced writer, but had up to that point done virtually nothing to strengthen my credibility in a specific niche.
It was frustrating and overwhelming. There I stood, with two choices in front of me: give up on the science writing niche and stick with a broader writing focus, or start setting more specific goals to establish credibility in the niche I wanted to write in.
I chose both.
The problem with setting goals is that many of them take time, and have prerequisites, and we want things NOW NOW NOW. Yet if you want something strongly enough, you will make it work. You will learn patience. It took another rejection, one that really tore apart my confidence for awhile, to realize that just because you’re not the right fit doesn’t mean you never will be. Or that you won’t be somewhere else.
That realization comes after many, many rejections and failures and years of feeling ignored and discouraged. That’s why you should never give up after only one try. Eventually you learn that rejection is a good thing. It still hurts and it’s still disappointing and yes, it even still makes you wonder if trying again is even worth it anymore. But eventually you come to a point where you realize you haven’t given up yet because you never intend to. No matter how many times you might fall flat on your face.
It’s only April and I’ve failed plenty of times already this year. Do I feel good about those failures? No. I really don’t. And at some point I’ll be able to talk more openly about them. But they haven’t stopped me from pushing forward. It’s embarrassing and frustrating and I’ll be honest, you will never become immune to the urge to quit. But it might take plenty of rejections to come to the conclusion that you’re not going to succeed at everything you do. It’s still worth trying.
I’m probably never going to get that specific job, and I’m slowly getting over it. I still get to write other things daily, and that’s not a privilege everyone can say they have. I’m glad I at least have that, and can continue to help you with your own writing struggles as we figure out how to navigate this journey together.
Off to work. Again. Get back to writing!
Image courtesy of Shutterstock.