I’m at the hair salon and a young woman walks in who has just returned from Hollywood. She says she had a tryout on American Idol and got on the show. However, she didn’t get as far as she had hoped.
As she’s waiting for the manicurist to start her appointment, the salon owner congratulates her and asks if she was disappointed. She says, “No. I learned a lot being on the show. Now I know where I need to improve.”
I liked the upbeat attitude of this young singer. She felt she’d had a victory in spite of not winning.
This same philosophy can be adopted by writers when getting feedback on their work. I recently joined a writing group that I found through meetup.com. The members include a screenwriter, horror fiction writer, poets, writers of period dramas, and bloggers.
Each week I get feedback from them on excerpts of my novel. As I check my email account on a regular basis for responses from publishers to my novel—which has included rejections or no response at all—I can feel good that the feedback I’m getting from the group will make the manuscript stronger and a more viable work for publication.