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!
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.
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.
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;
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. I'm happy to help in any way I can.
Have a wonderful weekend. I'll be back Monday with Paul Stansfield. Until then...