The first piece I ever wrote was a letter. I consider this my first piece because it was the first time I wrote something deeply emotional and vulnerable and shared it with someone else. Before then, I had a hidden shoebox filled with papers in which I wrote about heartbreak, anger and the many things I didn’t understand starting as young as at 11 years old. I always remember my sisters spending their time writing; my older sister wrote poems about love and heartbreak while my middle sister wrote super angsty (and scary) letters and poems about love and life that she would hide but never good enough that I couldn’t find them. I used to be fascinated by their writing and I never questioned why they did it, I just loved that they did.
I started High School in 2005 and there I met a boy. This boy wasn’t my first boyfriend but he was the first boyfriend I wanted my family to meet and in order to do that I had to convince my very strict mother that 14 year-old me was ready to have a boyfriend. So I wrote a letter.
I wrote a letter to my mother in which I explained to her that I was ready and old enough to have a boyfriend my main argument being that my sisters had been allowed to have boyfriends at the same age. The next morning as I headed out to school I put the letter in my underwear drawer and as I arrived at school, I called my mother and told her to go look for it. I spent all day daydreaming about my heroic act of standing up to my mother and imagined her welcoming me as I got home with open arms and giving me her blessing to go fall in love with a boy she had never heard of until that day. In reality, I arrived home to my mother yelling at me and telling me there was no way I’d be allowed to have a boyfriend because “all boys want in this country is to have sex and get girls pregnant.”
And there it was, my very first rejection on my very first piece. It was 11 years before I shared a piece again. I had tried my own blog in college but I only gave the link to my two best friends and from there my best friend asked me to guest write on her lifestyle blog. It seemed like a low-risk since I was writing for somebody else’s blog and if anyone thought my writing sucked I’d be protected by the fact that it wasn’t my idea. As I wrote for her blog over the years I began to fall in love with the action of sharing my writing, allowing others to read things that belonged to me but that they could relate to and soon it became my favorite thing ever.
The more I wrote, the more I shared and the more I shared the more I placed myself outside of the box around me that I had built purely on fear, judgment and failure intolerance. I began submitting pieces to big publications and small ones. I got more noes than yeses and still do but every yes has been enough to fuel my desire to publish my writing and touch as many humans with it as I can.
I’ve joined communities that inspire me to keep writing, I share my writing in all my social media platforms and when I get noes from publications that make me feel like my career would take off if I got a yes, I remind myself that nothing and no one can make my career but myself and then I write a different piece and continue to submit to it knowing it’s only a matter of time before I write the right piece for them. That original piece that got rejected? It continues to get submitted to other places until that one gets a yes.
My writing career began with rejection which is a nice reminder for me to believe in my art, myself and what has been destined for me as my passion. Rejection reminds me that my goals don’t end at no, they’ll be alive for as long as I tell myself yes and deeply believe that there is always more. Rejection will never be comfortable. Vulnerability will never be comfortable. Sharing my art will never be comfortable. The desire of culminating the opportunities that the universe has for me beats any feeling of wanting to remain comfortable.
So there it is, the secret to sharing your work confidently is simple: Get comfortable with rejection and train yourself to keep going over and over again. The possibilities are endless.
¡Viva la Ughvolution!