Friday, August 24, 2012

HOW TO HANDLE REJECTION

You’ve been hounding your postal carrier for weeks, begging for The Letter, the one that’s going to put you on the road to success. Another trip to the mailbox. You slide your hand in and CRAP!

Nothing.

Again.

But wait! What’s that stuck inside the newspaper advertisement you usually toss in the recycle bin without reading?

Holy Royalties, Batman! It’s from the publisher.

Correction.

It’s from your publisher.

With shaking hands you tear open the envelope and draw out the letter. Hey! Where’s the contract? You spread the envelope apart praying it’s stuck inside.

Nada.

Okay, okay, they’re probably going to send it after you accept their offer.

Grinning ear-to-ear you flip the letter over and read;

“Dear Author,
We are sorry to inform you…”

Yep, that’s pretty much how a rejection letter starts off.

So, what are you going to do about it? Sit there and cry? Gorge yourself on junk food until you’re ready to puke? Those reactions are typical. Very few writers entertain thoughts of suicide. And if you do, baby, you need some serious help.

This is the best advice I can give you on rejection; Get Over It. You're not the only one and no one likes a whiner.

Sure no one likes to be rejected, be it from a lover, friend, or an editor. But there’s ways to retain your rationale without going over the edge.

Read your rejection again, after you come back from your blue period. If it’s a form rejection, without a real clue as to why your book was deep-sixed, then you’ll need to talk with someone in your writer’s or critique group for insight. Forget family. They're either convinced you're the best writer since Shakespeare or they're so jealous, they're ecstatic you were rejected.

If you are fortunate enough to have an explanation of the rejection, study it. Learn from it. Editors are not evil. They don’t wake up every morning and plan which writers to destroy as they dress for work. Editors want talented writers with a fresh voice. They are all looking for that one author who can make the editor’s career. They want you to be the one.

Treat your rejection as a challenge. Frame it. Hang it right over your desk. Look at it everyday and promise yourself you will do better. Then, make it happen.

Read your story again, edit it again, fix the problem areas and make that baby shine. When you are positive it’s the best you ever wrote, ship it right back out the front door. It’s just like falling off a bike; you have to get back on to overcome the fear.

Folks, I’m always glued to my computer, so if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email me at sloanetaylor@comcast.net. I'm happy to help in any way I can.

Have a wonderful weekend. I'll be back Monday with Paul Stansfield. Until then...

Happy Writing!

Sloane Taylor

16 comments:

  1. Gorging yourself on wine and cheese helps! Great post, Ms. Blogess, will share and tweet.

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    1. You're making me thirsty. lol. Thanks for the support, Sharon.:)

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  2. I would never ask my sister how my writing is. She's convinced my entire life is a failure and would probably secretly gloat about any rejection letter in an 'I told you so' sort of way. She actually got drunk enough to say it to my face once. I'm still pissed about that. I've stopped looking for an agent though, and went straight for a publisher. I haven't regretted it.

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    1. Oh, Anna, talk about the ultimate rejection. I'm sorry your sister is so jealous of you. She has a serious problem. That said, you should be extremely proud of yourself for being the better person. My favorite saying, "Hate destroys the hater". I never hooked up with an agent either. I preferred the direct contact as well.:)

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  3. Oooh, those rejections can sting!
    I once received three rejections, all for the same book, within a half hour of each other. Of course, it was a complete quirk of the universe that such a thing happened. While it sure felt like I was being kicked while I was down when they rolled in one on top of the other like that, what could I do? I poured myself a big glass of something cheap, white, and chilled, and moved on.
    By the way, the very next email I received about that book was an acceptance, so sometimes you just have to be patient while you look for the right home for your book.

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    1. Oh, Vanessa, three within minutes, how awful! But I bet it sure made the acceptance all the sweeter.:) Thanks for sharing.

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  4. You're not a writer if you haven't had rejections. They suck. Then we put our big-girl panties on and go forth. (Or big-guy boxers?)

    Onward and upward!

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  5. My best antidote has been to be so deeply immersed in my next book that I honestly didn't care that much. I just figured the publisher wasn't a good fit for my book. But I will save your advice for the inevitable one that burns.

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    1. I like the way you think, Rhea! Creating the next book is better than therapeutic. It proves to the author that they are a professional.

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  6. I have had my quote of rejection letters. It is tough, but you just keep on hangin in there. The way I see it, it is their loss. =)

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    1. You have the right attitude, Bradley. The right publisher will come your way.:)

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  7. Nice post and excellent advice. Different strokes for different folks, is what I always say. Never take it personally and glean what you can from it. Tweeted (:

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    1. Definitely, Clarissa! Too many authors do take it personally. We're in a tough business and have to develop the hide of a bison to make it.:) Thanks for the tweet! I appreciate it.

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  8. Great advice, Sloane.

    It took me two years to find a home for my historical romance. I had to completely rewrite it several times. _Lady in Deed_ is set to come out December 17th from Musa. If I'd have given up on it, I'd have never forgiven myself. Quit is never an option in my life.

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  9. Glad you like the advice and doubly glad you're not a quitter, Ann! Please let us know the buy link when Lady in Deed releases. It will make a perfect Christmas gift for several friends.:)

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