Kareem Abdul-Jabbar won six NBA championships, along with six regular-season MVP Awards. He still holds the NBA record for all-time points scored.
I promise this will lead back to writing in a big way. Just bear with me a minute.
Abdul-Jabbar played college ball at UCLA when they won three national championships in a row. He was the main reason dunking was banned in college basketball for nine years.
When he retired from the NBA, nobody had ever had more: defensive rebounds, points scored, blocked shots, games played, field goals (made and attempted), minutes played, and personal fouls.
He is widely regarded as one of the best players to ever lay a finger on a basketball.
He’s also a best-selling author, but that’s actually completely irrelevant to this post.
This post is for all my writing friends struggling with rejection. Whether you’re crawling through the query trenches, ducking your head at every rejection letter, or a published author whose last book didn’t receive all the love you hoped it would – keep going. Play through it.
How many hours did Kareem Abdul-Jabbar spend practicing and exercising for every hour he spent in a game? I’m guessing hundreds. How many times did he have to get shot-blocked before developing his crazy (in both appearance and effectiveness) “sky-hook” shot?
“You can’t win unless you learn how to lose.”
How do you “learn how to lose”? Let every rejection, every criticism, make you a better writer. Learn from them. A rejection doesn’t mean “you’re not good.” It means “you can do better.”
You can do better. You can win. But first you’re going to have to lose.