August 21, 2011

Win or lose, but play the game

Have you every heard the phrase that "everyone is a winner"?

Well, I hate to burst your bubble, but that's a load of hogwash. Not everyone can be a winner, and it implies that if you're a loser you must suck dirty dishwater to be so bad.

I hate that.

Everyone needs to learn how to lose and these days people don't seem to realize that. The most obvious example I've seen thus far would be a couple schools(mostly for the younger grades) who play their sports with the notion that points don't count, and nobody wins or loses. Now, I get what they're trying to do, but it won't work. No matter that the adults have thrown out the whole winner/loser deal, you can bet the kids are paying attention. And since there are no "winners or losers" they aren't being taught how to lose gracefully or win and be humble about it.

The same thing goes for writing and authors. Rejection is a part of the game we play to reach our dreams. You can "lose" for an average of 5-8 years before getting that "win" of signing with an agent. Then you're back in the game(usually after lots of edits with said agent) and facing more "losses" as you strive for the next "win", and so it goes.

The point?

We need to learn how to lose. It serves so many purposes for us that most people don't even realize. Losing teaches us to grow a thick skin and know that things don't always go according to plan. It keeps us humble, yet hopeful so when that big win does finally come we can truly savor it without making a fool of ourselves. Losing forces us to look at ourselves, find what's holding us back so we can fix it and leave the earth behind as we find our wings to soar.

So the next time someone tells you your book sucks, or you get a rejection, try not to take it so personally. If you can, ask them why they think that and then file it away to consider later. They may have a point, but then again, it may be they just don't like your work. 

It happens.

~Sun and Moon

*Post inspired by Janet Reid. Go check out her blog post on rejection at

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