After the Fall is an acclaimed picture book released last year, but older readers, please stick with me!
Author Dan Santat follows the journey of Humpty Dumpty after he fell off the wall. What do you think happened? If you fell off a high wall and broke every bone (or egg shell) in your body, how would you feel about walls?
Well, if you are anything like Humpty Dumpty, he now has a great fear: of heights. Can you blame him? But the problem is: he still enjoys what he could see from the top of the wall: the birds. He just can't overcome his fear to get up there.
Do you ever feel like that? In life? In your writing? I do. I love to write and tell stories, but after rejection after rejection, it's sometimes easier to admit defeat than to keep trying...again and again, again and again.
Rejection is a major part of a writer's life. That's just a fact. Every writer will tell you that. It's rare that a writer sells a best-seller with their first manuscript. It just doesn't happen. The key is to keep trying. Each project gets better and better. Our writing gets better and better. Like everything else, writing well takes practice!
Are you ready to fall? If you are not, that's okay. Keep writing in a safe place until you are ready to fall. Eventually, every published writer took a leap of faith and submitted their work to an editor, publisher, or contest. Every single one of them fell along the way. The difference between them and the ones who have never published is this: they got back up and tried again.
This week, brush off a project that you put away some time ago. Look at your writing style. Compare it to how you write now. Have you improved? Great! How can you polish that project and make it shine even better. You are growing. Take courage in the progress you have made.
Check out After the Fall in the children's department of your local library. The ending is nothing short of amazing!