I have a confession to make.
After my book was published, I was disappointed.
At first, I felt on top of the world. I couldn't believe my manuscript was going to be a book. This feeling was an indescribable high after travelling the incredibly difficult road to publication. But within a months, disappointment sailed in like clouds gathering before a storm.
I wasn't upset with the way my book turned out. Disappointment came in the guise of rejection (as if I hadn't had enough rejection before my book was published) Surprisingly, this rejection came from family members.
It was shocking for me. Though I wished otherwise, I found some relatives less supportive than I had expected. These family members did call or email me. They did not come to book signings. They did not buy the book or even read it. So, I found myself grieving because I felt let down.
Behind the smile I felt sad and angry. I wished things could have been better, that my loved ones would understand and care more. However, the lack of support could be due to complicated dynamics, jealously, or just plain ignorance.
I know, I know, we can't change our people. We are the ones who must change when we are faced with this kind of rejection.
Here's what I did to ease the hurt:
- Recognized and accepted that this was another form of rejection
- Talked about my feelings with others
- Released the pain through forgiveness
- Shielded myself by limiting contact with unsupportive people
- Immersed myself in new projects
Though it is incredibly painful and mind-boggling, being rejected by family can be common. A fellow writer once told me that her mother didn't read her newly published book. It's comforting (and sad) to know I'm not alone.
After a while, I figured I had to move forward and not dwell upon the negativity because it drained my creative energy.
I thought about the neighbors who inquired about my book. I remembered the friends who bought my book and the young fans who showed up at the signings. I tried to concentrate on all of the good things about publishing a book, the wonderful lessons it teaches and the joy it brings to young readers. When I focused on the positive, the hurt of rejection softened and slowly, the clouds of disappointment drifted away.
My biggest supporters, my husband and daughter♥
The Maggie Project is published twice a month