Thick Skin Required

In a recent post (see Inquiring Minds Want to Know), I referred to people who aspire to be authors as “wannabe” authors.

One reader took offense at this phrase. He sent me a note saying that he wondered why I had to put others down to make myself feel better and since I had degraded potential authors to wannabe, he was no longer going to read this blog.

I can only assume that this reader is a potential author. I did send the reader a note in response. I apologized for inadvertently offending him and that I meant no offense by my use of the term “wannabe.” I did not mean to be derogatory; actually, I called myself a wannabe author before I became a published author.

What I did not say to this potential author is that if he really wants to be an author, he needs to develop thicker skin. Anyone aspiring to be an author should not be so easily offended by words others write.

A thick skin is needed because potential authors seeking publication by a traditional publishing house will experience many rejections when submitting manuscripts to agents and publishing house editors for review for publication. If a potential author crumbles at the first rejection or criticism he receives, he will never become a published author.

I received rejections from over ten publishing houses before one choose to actually publish my first book; sending me on the journey to being a published author. There are many stories of best-selling authors who received many more rejections before a book was published (i.e. consider The Shack by William P. Young).

Even after a book is published, authors can count on criticism and negative comments about their work. Not all reviews are favorable, and not every reader will appreciate your book. I can guarantee that if you become an author, you will get some form of criticism about your book.

So, potential (wannabe) authors, it would serve you best to grow a thicker skin and not be so easily offended by the words others use in conveying an idea. Take some time to consider the intent of the writer. After all, what goes around comes around, or – in Biblical terms – you reap what you sow.

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