Thursday, February 10, 2011

FUELed-UP Rejection

Writing can be a lonely place. When an idea first hits you, the thrill is almost exasperating, choking the breath from your lungs. You want nothing more than to share it with someone. Who better than a close friend or relation? Yeah, most of them just look at you like you have three heads with green mist circling your eyes.

Feeling REJECTION #1 - Realize they aren't wired like you. Be Thankful that you are.

You start writing the story. An annoying mind bump throttles you, bringing your thought process to a halt. You call a writer friend and order an intervention. A chat ensues, but your writer friend's observations are not what you expected. "This isn't working because..." You panic. Think you have no abilities.

Feeling REJECTION #2 - If you trusted this particular writer enough to call them, than be brave enough to listen, truly hear what they are saying. Be Thankful you have them.

As a member of a blessed writing community, you upload your query letter for critique. The results catapult you out of your writing space, down the hall, and out the door of your house, sure you'll never touch your laptop again.

Feeling REJECTION #3 - Skim the comments. Sift through what is valid and what is a bit much. Now this takes time. You need to find your gut and learn to be Thankful for it. It's yours, given to you as a guide. Use it.

As a possessor of a now alluring query letter, you muster up the gusto and begin to seek an agent. Skittish at first, you send out seven, maybe ten. You receive a few requests for material, (YAY, you!!), but also some rejections with comments like:

- Your plot is interesting and even exciting to me, but I just don't think this is the right manuscript for me.

- I've enjoyed your query letter, but the state of the market in (said) genre is my concern, right now. Please feel free to query me again at a later date.

- I'm very interested in this, but after meeting with my colleagues at the agency, it's been decided that we will pass. (Of course, I could go on here. And yes, these examples were a bit personal from me.)

REJECTION # 4 - Nothing in the above examples says you're a bad writer or that you should padlock your laptop and close up shop. The agent just wasn't YOUR agent, the one waiting to find you, too. There are words of wisdom in those replies. (Heck, the agent replied.) Tuck them into your heart and soul. See them as a step closer to your goal. Be Thankful for each and every one of them.

REJECTION is not FATAL. When seen with an open mind, heart, and eagerness to jump over that next writing hurdle, it can be fuel.

On behalf of the upcoming Valentine's Day holiday, here's an image to make you feel better. Despite where you are in your writing career, know there will always be obstacles set in your path. Challenge them. Grow. Be Who You Are Meant To Be.

In hindsight, what rejection pushed you to grow as a writer, friend, mother/father, etc..?


  1. Wow. Great post! I love being able to put a positive spin on something seemingly negative. :)

  2. I have tried to live by the mantra that every rejection weeds out the agent who wasn't right for me and places me closer to the one who will be.

  3. Love this post. I haven't gotten to the rejections stage yet but I'm looking forward to it. Crazy right? To me rejections mean someone (other than loved ones) is reading my work and that means I've really done something.

  4. The patched up heart image is really funny.

  5. L.A. Colvin, great attitude!! AND Jessie, poignantly put.

  6. ARGH! Ugly, ugly rejection. *shakes head in disgust*
    It's all part of the game. If you're not getting rejected by agents, you're gtting rejected by publishers, if not publishers, critics. Writers will ALWAYS be rejected in some form or another. It's what we signed up for.
    My fave is when an agent rejects my story because they "didn't feel passionate enough." Or "didn't fall in love like they'd hoped."
    It means the story is satisfactory, but not explosive. That's challenging to fix. So I take it to mean, that someone else may find it as explosive. We have to keep trying, because it's in most cases, getting published is about persistence.

  7. Great post! I got a rejection once that was so nice it actually almost made me feel good. Almost.

  8. See, that's the thing, PK. When one agent doesn't find it 'explosive', does that mean you need to rush out and 'fix' it? Or was it just that agent's personal opinion? Fine lines are drawn everyday all over the publishing world. The one that we need to steadfastly adhere to is persistence and perseverance.

  9. I think as a writer, you have to be positive. You have to put a good spin on everything or the world will tear you apart! Great post!!

  10. Wow, I'm there with you on this one. I think it's great you have someone who understands you to call for support. There are others, like me, ready to explode from...all this. And we do keep moving forward. Honestly, I just want to write the next one. Good luck!

  11. Lovely and right on. Really hit the bulls eye on this post.


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