Don’t Let Setbacks Set You Back

We’ve all had moments where things didn’t go quite as planned. We’ve all had times when it seems like the world is plotting against us. Responding positively to these challenges is critically important and often extremely hard to do.

Case in point, I interviewed JC Hutchins for ‘Get Published’. I must confess that I was really looking forward to talking with JC. We connected via Skype and started talking. Five minutes into the conversation, JC dropped off. I called him back and we picked up where we had left off.

About 25 minutes into the interview, increasing amounts of distortion crept into JC’s side of the talk. I should have halted the session, reconnected and proceeded. Unfortunately, I thought maybe the problem was with my system and I hoped (fingers crossed) that it would clear up when I started mixing.

Alas, I could not clear up the distortion and unfortunately JC was too busy to rerecord the second half of the interview. It would have been so easy to throw the entire interview into the garbage and move on. I didn’t do that; JC gave me an hour of his time and had many interesting and useful things to say. What did I do?

I split the interview in half. The first half became episode 10a. The second, largely unintelligible half is destined to become episode 10b. I’ve now completely listened to it (several times, in fact) and transcribed it to the best of my ability. I recorded JC’s side of the conversation and it will be released later this week.

Is it a perfect solution? Hardly, but this way, my listeners will still hear what JC had to say even if it isn’t in his voice. Kludgey, yes, but better than throwing it away.

The same is true of submitting stories to agents and publishers. You send it out and it gets rejected. Time to quit? Not on your life.

Send it out again, and then again. Set yourself a limit to the number of rejections (but be realistic; 1 isn’t a big enough number and neither is 10). If you hit your number, try something different. Maybe hire an editor to work with you to fix it up. Or perhaps join a critique group. Your story may be fine and just need some polish. Or maybe it IS bad and you need to use it as an apprentice piece and move on to the next story.

The point is, you don’t tell yourself you suck and quit. The difference between many a failed author and a published one is perseverance. Learn from your setbacks/mistakes and move forward. I know for certain I will do other interviews. I also know that if distortion starts to creep in, I will stop the session and reconnect. In the end, the interviewee will appreciate that I am trying to present them in the most positive way possible and I won’t have to find a way to make it work.

The same holds true of my writing. Let the rejections come in. There are other ways to get the work out and one day it will be published. Count on it.

Personal Update

One of my first readers did a once through on my fantasy novel and gave me some great feedback. I will be sending it off to my publisher in the next week.

Also… ‘Get Published’ is a Parsec Award finalist (I may have mentioned this before but it bears repeating). Wish me luck.



  1. I’m an atheist, but let me just say, AMEN, brotha! When the going gets tough, the tough get creative – a fantastic inspirational message that I desperately needed to hear today – THANK YOU!!

    ~Liz (@CelticGoddess13)

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