Say “Yes” to “No” in 2013

The fear of rejection can be enslaving. It shackles us to our present places in life, preventing us from moving out of our comfort zones. When we stay in this stagnate state, we stifle our emotional, physical, intellectual, and spiritual development. In other words, we don’t grow. All living things must grow; it’s a biological fact! Yet the fear of rejection can be so debilitating that millions of us will CHOOSE to remain in these self-imposed prisons.

WHY DO WE DO THIS? The fear of rejection is a natural human reaction; we are social creatures and, as individuals, we rely on the compassion and kindness of others for survival. When we are rebuffed or marginalized, our sense of survival may feel threatened, so we become defensive. The defense mechanisms we use to cope with rejection are what set us apart and determine the amount and type of success we will have in this life. There are basically two ways to deal with rejection: 1. accept it and become inspired to accomplish or 2. become defeated by the rejection and avoid it.

HOW CAN WE FREE OURSELVES? Many of us compete for the attention and recognition of others to validate our self-worth. When we don’t receive the approval our fragile egos need, we then begin the dreadful comparison game. The problem with this “merry pastime” is that when we compare ourselves to others, we will inevitably feel society’s rejection. (There will always be someone more attractive, successful, intelligent or creative in the world.) The truth is our freedom can only be found when we realize that our merits will never be fully recognized by society. Instead, our self-worth should ALWAYS come from God. He created us in His image! He definitely believes we are valuable! So this year, instead of hyper focusing on pleasing others and seeking their attention and recognition, let us give our best to God and be transformed by His approval.

SAY “YES” TO “NO.” As Christians we will face rejection many times. Christ promises us this (2 Timothy 3:12, Acts 14:22 & 1 Thessalonians 3:7). But the Lord also wants us to persevere (James 1:12 & Romans 5:3-5). Let us apply this same attitude to other aspects of our lives. This year, we challenge you to grow with us. We have officially begun querying agents. Our goal is to receive at least 50 rejection letters. We are saying “yes” to “no” in 2013. The fear of rejection has prevented us from submitting our work in the past, but our egos aren’t as fragile anymore because we’ve remembered “Whose” we are. We are going to use the rejection letters we receive as motivation to improve our writing and encourage others traveling on similar paths. If you’ve dreamed of doing something (changing jobs or careers, furthering your education, attending a new church, writing a book [that may be incredibly challenging to market] or even jumping back into the dating pool), go for it! Don’t let those pesky voices inside your head shackle you down anymore. A simple “no” will NOT destroy you if you don’t allow it. Plus, the more rejection you face, the more desensitized you will become to it, and the more likely you will be to achieve your goals!

And here’s a song that totally makes us embrace our inner-reject… “Hit Me with Your Best Shot”

Two All-American Rejects

Resolu…

To end, or not to end: that is the question. When reading a great book, how would a person prefer that novel to end? Would the reader want there to be a clearly defined ending? A nice, tidy package all wrapped up and complete? Or would the reader choose to draw his or her own conclusions? Would it be preferable to the reader to extrapolate the story beyond the boundaries the author has determined and create his or her own future for the characters? This very topic has been the center of some heated discussions between the two of us. Coauthoring a novel can be difficult, but factor in our deeply held beliefs on resolution, and it can be downright frightening!

So, one might wonder how two authors with drastically different ideas about how to end a story, actually ENDED a story. Well…it was definitely a compromise. We were both in agreement about how our story would end, but we had different ideas regarding how much information we were going to give our readers.

Cori:  Initially, I wanted our story to end very cryptically, with our main character making a decision only she knew the answer to. I wanted to force the reader into waiting until the second book to discover what choice she actually makes. I enjoy prolonging the pain! Mwahahahaha!

Lissa: I, on the other hand, could not handle Cori’s proposed ending. I am by nature NOT a masochist, thus I do not like to be subjected to mental (or physical) torture. I am a strong proponent of authentic conflict resolution! Nothing irritates me more than when I have invested hours of my precious time reading a book, only to discover that the central conflict is STILL unresolved!! No-resolution resolution is absurd!! Real life has far too many unresolved conflicts. I read to escape this hell!

Cori: Hell? Isn’t that what our book is about?

Lissa: Touché, my sarcastic, masochistic friend.

Cori: In all honesty, I do not want to subject our readers to any kind of torture (mental or physical). I prefer to think of it as giving our readers a creative license. As a reader, I enjoy the control I have when I get to decide the fate of the characters I have invested my precious time reading about. So, as an author, I wanted to give that same gift to our readers. I want our readers to talk about possible endings, debate different scenarios, and have discussions!

Lissa: I wholeheartedly agree with your last statement. However, I prefer those debates to be about the way I/we chose to end the story. I too have issues with control (as you, Cori, well know). Which is precisely why I have to be in control of our characters’ fate. A reader can draw conclusions about a story’s ending all they’d like, but they are not the authors. Therefore, as ingenious as their proposed endings may be, they are only just that…mere hypotheses. We are the creators of these characters and the story’s plot, therefore only we know the true ending. In case you haven’t noticed, I have a bit of a “god complex.” Because of this, I refuse to give our readers that kind of free will.

Cori: Free will? Isn’t our story about free will?

Lissa: Again, touché, my astute, sarcastic, and masochistic friend.

Cori: So, keeping in mind Lissa’s god-complex and my need to give free will (I guess that makes me kind of like a god, too.) we needed a way to blend our two styles of conflict resolution. The problem—how do two authors with different god-like complexes come to a compromise?

Lissa: It was surprisingly easy. We chose to end our book by resolving the central conflict. (Yay, I win!)

Cori: But, the resolution is very short-lived because the secondary conflict is very much unresolved, which sets up the central conflict in book two. (Yay, I win too!)

With the ending we have now, THE ONLY EXCEPTION will work as a stand-alone novel. There is sufficient resolution for the heroine and her love interest. However, THE ONLY EXCEPTION does have series potential. In our minds, the main character has more to accomplish before the story is completely finished.

Lissa: We’d like to know your thoughts. Do you prefer a story with a clearly defined ending or an open-ended, inadequate attempt at an ending? Please leave us a comment and take our poll. We really want to know your thoughts.

Cori: We may or may not get back to you on this topic; it’s completely open-ended at this time!

Lissa: Whatever, you know my need for resolution will compel me to respond to your comments.

(And Cori, you’re not fooling anybody. You’re far too sweet to ignore the comments of our adoring fans!)

Peace out and word to your…