|I'm the one in blue. Photo courtesy of Megan Brett|
So why do it? There's something very empowering about learning to hit someone with a stick correctly as hard as you can, while knowing that you're not going to hurt them (seriously). I haven't been able to go out and fight since being pregnant / nursing / primary caregiver of the daughter, so I've got 2+ years of rust on the tiny amount of skill I'd managed to accumulate before getting sidelined by my girlybits. I've missed it greatly.
But getting out there is work. I have to suck up my courage every single time I step into the list, and face opponents who are almost always better/bigger than me, and who can/will club me like a baby seal. Going to practice occasionally isn't enough for me to get good. I have to lift weights regularly in order to build enough muscle that I can move my shield defensively and quickly. I have to do cardio in order not to give up my main advantage. (I'm small, and hard to hit in the legal target areas if I'm defending properly. If I run out of wind to keep moving and blocking, I'm dead.) I have to eat properly. I have to do pell work drills.
|I am about to get killed here. Photo: Megan Brett|
So, when I read about how crushing authors find rejection, I can't help but think they're looking at it the wrong way. You're learning to battle, fellow authors. You're new. You're going to suck. You're going to get clubbed like a baby seal, and you're going to have to get up, and get back in line to go another round. You know why? Because eventually, you'll beat your opponent once. And you'll be so pumped from that one small win, that you'll go out another hundred times. And maybe you'll win a couple more times. And you go out a thousand times more, and maybe you win less than half the time. You'll have great days where you'll win 9 out of 10 fights. And you'll have bad days where you'll get your ass kicked by people who started fighting yesterday. You'll get bruises that you'll take pictures of and show off to your friends and family so they buy you a beer. You'll swear that you had to be out of your mind to start this crazy thing that takes hours of your life and seems nuts to everyone who you tell about it, and that you're going to quit. But you're not.
Because you aren't doing it for everyone else. You can't. You're doing it because you love the game, and because there's nothing better in the world than those few seconds where you soar on clouds of victorious glory.
You have to fight so you can fight. Rejections are just reassurance that you had the courage to get in the game.