To want it SO hard that you throw a baby tantrum when you can't get it. Not because it's shiny and expensive, but because it's you and it's your dream and you know your life won't be complete without it.
If only just wanting something was enough! Even hard work--that wholesome, old-fashioned notion--isn't enough sometimes. We'd all be writers by now if just want and hard work were all it took.
But there should be a disclaimer attached to writerly dreams: "writer" is synonymous with "rejection." You'll get rejected. So. Many. Times. And BUY ME A ONE WAY TICKET TO FEELADELPHIA, does being book-blocked start to chisel away at your soul.
But I think there IS a way to protect your heart and soul and dreams against rejection. And it takes three things (the 3Ds if you will): Determination, Dedication, and Desensitization.
The first two are obvious (cue "Eye of the Tiger"). But desensitization sounds like the start of a debate on violence and video games. And what I mean by the third D is, DON'T TAKE REJECTION PERSONALLY. And it's gonna feel awful personal, so it's no easy feat. That was your mindchild someone just passed on! How dare they!?
But sometimes a rejection truly has NOTHING to do with your skill as a writer. There are so many other factors: it's in an overly-saturated genre, your query letter didn't quite do the story justice, or maybe the agent already has too many authors in that area.
And if it DOES have something to do with your writing, be objective about it! Could you have spent a bit more time editing? Did it need a 4th or 5th draft? Could you have found a few more beta readers? Would it hurt to read a couple "how to write" books? Maybe not!
Either way, Desensitize that rejection nerve. Take the hit and then PUNCH REJECTION BACK. IN THE FACE (so much caps lock in this post... left my chill at home). Better yet, print out that rejection and stick it on your wall! Because that rejection letter is tangible proof that you're following your dreams. You're ACTIVELY pursuing something bigger than yourself (because creating something that hundreds--no, thousands--nay, MILLIONS--of people can connect to and see themselves in is soooo much bigger than just one person) and a lot of people aren't brave enough to do that.
But, keeping all that and those 3 Ds in mind, rejections are still gonna suck--no matter how objective you are or how thick your skin is. And I'm not saying you can't throw yourself a pity party. But let's not call it that. Make it something more than about pitying yourself. Let's call it a passion tantrum. And you deserve that passion-tantrum every once in a while. Just keep it brief and then channel it into something more productive when you're done. "Woe is me" does not a writer make... Unless you're Poe. He was pretty woeful.
At the end of the day, all we need is ONE yes. Even if it comes only after hundreds of no's. These authors got plenty of rejections and if they had quit at any time they wouldn't be where they are now. Success could be just beyond the horizon and quitting accomplishes nothing except to ensure that your dreams will not come true. I'm not going to quit, SO DON'T YOU QUIT EITHER (if you're thinking about quitting that is. If you're not, then crack on, my confident writer-friend!)
So while we're allowed to feel like this every now and then:
Turn it into this when you're done: