A Little Bit of Green

Today we drove across the northern Cascades on our way from a family wedding to catch an airplane in Seattle heading for the Write To Publish Conference. We drove through an area recently devastated by a landslide. Lives had been lost and many homes destroyed. I had seen it on the news, but those pictures didn’t come close what I saw today. The emotional response as we drove was much stronger. One interesting thing I saw was new sprouts and leaves on stumps of trees which had been broken in the landslide. This sight actually brought feelings of hope. It is the miracle of rebirth and new life.

While the rejection we can feel at a writers’ conference is nothing compared to what these people lost in the landslide, I was reminded that even in rejection there is hope. But sometimes in our hearts that rejection can be emotionally devastating. I have sat with authors who have stayed up an entire night crying because an editor said their manuscripts needed to be rewritten. I have talked to authors who feel no one has or will ever like their work and there is no way their books will ever be published and even if they do self-publish, no one will buy the book. I have watched authors walk away from a pitch appointment and run to the bathroom to cry. At least one author I know was ready to pack his bags and leave a conference believing he didn’t have what it takes to be an author.

What can you or I do for those authors who have lost their hope? We can be that one person who gives confidence and encouragement. The author who packed his bags was confronted by one person who believed in him and he is now a multi-published author. One woman I who felt after several conferences her work didn’t have value found one person willing to affirm her and she is moving forward. At a conference breakfast table, one author who had cried all night found other authors encouraging her by telling stories about moving on from rejection.

Just as I saw new green sprouts among a landscape of dull brown and grey ugliness and destruction, we can give and receive hope. We can be the one person who reaches out with encouragement and affirmation. Even in the worst of manuscripts we can find always find one thing to compliment and use that as a springboard to help that author grow. This lesson can be used in every aspect of our lives, not just our interaction with other writers.

Be a little bit of green. Reach out and help someone else.

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