I’ve written ideas for humorous greeting cards for more than twenty years. Acceptance letters from Hallmark, American Greetings and other greeting card companies always brightened my day. My heart skipped a beat whenever I saw an envelope from one of them in the mail. It was exciting to rip it open and find out which of my card ideas had been accepted.
The rejection letters? I liked them too. They provided a constant source of inspiration. If the editor rejected all of my ideas, I’d get even more determined to brainstorm even better ideas that he or she couldn’t resist. Either response—home run or strikeout—inspired me to step my game up.
It’s a head-scratcher to me why virtually every writer I know sinks into the dark depths of despair at the slightest hint of rejection. What a waste of time, energy and productivity! Is your goal to become better at your craft or do you just want people to fawn over you and tell you how wonderful you are? If you want unconditional love, get a dog. If you want to become a great writer, then rejection, especially when its accompanied by constructve criticism, is manna from heaven.
Allow me to present Exhibit A: my first book, The Big Book of Small Business, which I coauthored with Tom Gegax, founder of the Tires Plus chain of stores. After an intense year of writing, rewriting and even more rewriting, we proudly sent off our baby to our agent, who fired it off to ten publishers. The verdict? No one was remotely interested. What’s more, a few of the publishers referred to the quality of the writing as “average.”
I admit I was taken aback. I thought my writing was tight and professional. After consulting with our agent and a number of smart, savvy professionals in his network, Tom concluded that we needed to chuck our masterpiece out the window and start over. He also brought in a hired gun—his son Trent, a senior writer at Newsweek. After completing each chapter, I’d e-mail it to Trent for his corrections.
Every chapter came back from Trent awash in red ink. Here I had tweaked and tightened every chapter until it sparkled and Trent was heavily revising virtually every line. Was I taken aback? Yes, for thirty seconds. But then I regained my equilibrium and started reviewing his changes. Sentence after sentence, page after page, Trent was right on. I saw how changing just one or two worlds and deleting others brought each sentence to life. I was fascinated, and determined to learn how to “Trenterize” my work to bring it up as close as I could to his level.
The next year and a half were grueling. But with a great team effort, we crossed the finish line and produced a book we were enormously proud of. Better yet, I emerged from the experience a much better writer. Working with Trent was akin to earning a master’s in tight, precise writing.
Working on that book confirmed my belief that rejection and constructive criticism are gifts. Without them, I would have continued to bask in complacency and wouldn’t be half the writer I am today.
The secret? Don’t take rejection personally! Editors aren’t rejecting you as a person. They don’t even know you. All they can see are the words on the pages in front of them. So get over yourself and let rejection spur reflection. Never forget this: It’s all about the work, it’s not about you!
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ABOUT PHIL BOLSTA
If you feel more stressed than blessed . . . if you have more confusion than clarity about how to live your beliefs . . . if you long to live a richer, happier, more meaningful life . . . you will find a wealth of insight and guidance in Through God’s Eyes: Finding Peace and Purpose in a Troubled World.
Through God’s Eyes is a road map for living a more peaceful, beautiful life. It’s the only book that explains how dozens of spiritual principles interact, how to weave them together into a cohesive worldview, and how to practically apply this spiritual wisdom to daily life.
Readers everywhere are discovering that when you challenge yourself to look through God’s eyes, the world around you changes, and so do you.
Who will benefit from reading Through God’s Eyes?
Anyone who is on a spiritual path, or wants to be.
Anyone who loves life, or wants to learn how to.
Anyone who is happy, or wants to be happier.
Click here to visit the Through God’s Eyes website.
Click on the link below to download a FREE 28-page chapter!
SEE EVERY MOMENT AS A GIFT
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Here is a two-minute video introduction to Through God’s Eyes.
• an overview of the book
• the complete table of contents
• the Foreword by Caroline Myss
• my Introduction
• chapter excerpts
• a sample end-of-chapter story
• endorsements from authors and thought leaders
Just click on the link below to download your free PDF sampler!
THROUGH GOD’S EYES PDF SAMPLER
Schedule a Mastery Mentoring phone session with Phil to learn how to apply principles of spiritual living more effortlessly and effectively. Priced affordably! Click here to e-mail Phil for details.
Phil’s eBook, The Logic of Living a Spiritual Life: Supporting a Life of Faith Through Logic and Reason, is now available for 99 cents.
Order it at GodIsLogical.com.
In this eBook, you’ll find answers to questions like:
• What is the cornerstone of a spiritual life, and why?
• What is the secret to liberating yourself from other people’s judgments and expectations?
• How do you reconcile the “free will vs. Divine Will” conundrum?
• Why is there an exception to “Everything happens for a reason”?
Those who worship logic instead of God are only half right. Not only is it logical to believe in God and to live a faith-based life, the existence of a loving, benevolent God that governs all creation is perhaps the only systematic worldview that explains every aspect of life.
Phil is also the author of Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything, a collection of 45 inspiring, life-changing stories from prominent authors and thought leaders he interviewed. The roster of storytellers includes Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Neale Donald Walsch, Caroline Myss, Larry Dossey, Rachel Naomi Remen, Bernie Siegel, Dean Ornish, and Christiane Northrup. Sixty Seconds has been translated into four languages: Italian, German, Spanish, and Portuguese. Reading this book is like spending a few minutes face to face with each of the contributors and listening to their personal stories.
Click here to order Sixty Seconds.
Learn more by visiting the official Sixty Seconds website.
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Here is a three-minute video introduction to Sixty Seconds.