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Update on Jessica’s #BeatRejection Challenge

In my travels I’ve been talking to authors about the #BeatRejection challenge. I’ve also been reading your comments and love that so many of you are participating. I’ve even received a few #BeatRejection queries.

One thing that’s come about because of the challenge for me is that it’s not really about seeking a “no” or asking for things that mean rejection. I think it’s about stepping out of your comfort zone and asking for things that make you nervous or uncomfortable. It’s not always about a yes or no answer, but about pushing yourself to do things that its easy for you to say no to.

So in the past week here are some of the challenges I’ve made for myself.

1. I asked for an upgrade of just a better seat on my flight. Nope.

2. A client of Jessica Alvarez’s offered to pick me up from the airport and even at my hotel during Bouchercon. Normally I would say no to something like this fearing that I’m putting someone else. This time I said yes and did confirm that she was willing to pick me up each morning and take me the conference. She was kind enough to say yes and it was a great way to start each morning.

3. I approached two strangers who were deep in conversation at the bar and asked if I could join them (I did know they were with the conference). They let me join them and I and a wonderful last day there.

4. I called a company well passed the guaranteed time to complain (nicely) about a faulty product. They are sending me a new box.

5. One of my plans was to ask a stranger at the conference to take my picture. I would love a new headshot for the website. I chickened out, or just never did it. That was a fail on my part.

6. I got my cable plan to give me half price on one of the premium channels. This might seem like a win, but I’m still trying to decide why I pay for a cable plan at all (and I asked for it for free).

I feel like I’m missing an item or two (since there should be at least seven), but that’s what I remember.

Overall the challenge is going well. Sometimes the biggest challenge is taking the time out to find something to ask for.

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5 comments

  1. Why did you chicken out on the picture? Unless you were asking a professional photographer to do it for free! I got stopped a few times in Paris and asked to take a photo of someone with the view behind them. I can’t even remember if we always spoke the same language. It was fun. And at Kew Gardens in London up on the treetops walk (which Mr. M only did under duress and then quickly–he’s not a fan of heights), I noticed a woman struggling to figure out her companion’s phone to take a photo and offered to do it for her. My good deed for the day!

    1. I’m not sure to be honest. I think ultimately it was just laziness. And as a tourist I think it’s easier. Going up to a colleague to ask them to take your feature headshot seems a little odd. Ultimately though, I just got lazy.

  2. You inspired me to commit to a similar challenge. I call mine Brave October. I note a daily act of bravery and will compile them into a 2015 list. I’ll record them in my good things book at the end of this month. I tend to forget positive accomplishments and reading them a year or years in the future is uplifting. (My handmade good things books are small treasures where I write three good things that happen each day. I’ve been doing this for years. They are little gems in my life.)

    Thanks for posting your update. Great actions!

  3. My big win was asking for feedback on my first chapter. I write non-fiction that gets read, and that I send off to strangers at the drop of a hat. Fiction is much scarier for me. I’m claiming that this is interesting enough for your free time – not just to inform, or educate you about your industry, but interesting enough for fun.

    Interestingly, letting someone else read my stuff is much harder than receiving feedback – maybe because I used to do theater, I’m used to getting detailed notes on what works/doesn’t work. It’s deciding to get on the stage in the first place that gives me butterflies.

  4. Coming in a little late (it’s been one of *those* weeks). I’m learning that what I might be nervous about asking often gets a yes (and usually without hesitation). Makes me wonder what opportunities I’ve missed over the years! I’m also getting braver at asking. Usually because I think, “Oh, if I ask, that’s my #beatrejection for the day”, but it is getting easier. Maybe by the end of the month I might be able to continue to step out of my comfort zone and ask for more things?

    Here’s my list for the week:

    Day 10: Took JFs idea and asked for a sample of the chocolate used in a chocolate fountain at an event. I got a huge piece (yummy) – yes

    Day 11: Asked at the theatre if the Barbarians and I could go in and take our seats before the doors had ‘officially’ opened (we’d been out all day walking around and were all desparate to sit) – yes (very grateful)

    Day 12: Needed to change an appointment and was told there was someone in the time I needed. I asked if it was possible to ring that person and see if they were flexible to swap times (very brave of me) – yes

    Day 13: Emailed an author I love (as a reader) and asked a question. I know this probably doesn’t seem like much, but I have never felt comfortable talking to authors as a reader. I’m much more comfortable talking as a writer. I got a lovely response – yes

    Day 14: Asked at an independent bookshop if they would stock cozies. They’d never heard of the genre (as I’ve said before, not really known in Australia), but said they would be interested to learn more – maybe?

    Day 15: Received an incorrect item from online order. Helpline said I could take it to a bricks and mortar store and swap if they had the correct item but would then have to ring back to get refund. At store they didn’t have item either, so I asked if they would process refund for me – yes

    Day 16: Eldest Barbarian starts high school next year and we received a very strongly worded letter stating we had to purchase an ipad at certain specifications. I rang and asked how he would be disadvantaged by having an android (nothing they could think of), so asked if we could purchase android instead (much cheaper!) – yes

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