Rejection: The Hard, Cold Emotion

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What Can I Say That Hasn’t Been Said?

It doesn’t take long in the writing business to see what a tsunami of good writers are out there, every one hoping for the same submission approval and/or agent acceptance as I am.

With equal size and volume are the rejections. 

“Thank you for submitting, … ” is the usual opening line of a rejection notice. I see those first four words before I even click open the email. The fifth word is inevitably “however.”

I know what will follow. I know how I’m going to feel.

Bad.

The key is what happens next?

Dealing With the Aftermath.

The first time I heard her advice, I knew it would work for me.

Kristina McBride, author of books for teens with her fourth book The Bakersville Dozen recently out in August 2017, showed her workshop session a stack of papers, about three inches thick. All held together by a very big, heavy paperclip.

What were they? The rejection slips for her first novel.

It looked like at least a hundred rejection notices to me.

And what did she do when each one arrived in her mail? She let herself wallow in self pity.

Within a restricted time limit.

After a day or two of “woe is me,” she went back at it again and again and again.

Feel Bad. Then Move On.

When my work gets turned down, I feel awful. I make up reasons why “they’ didn’t accept it. I argue with myself as to why I keep writing.

I move through the rest of the day knowing how subjective the writing world is and allowing myself to feel bad about being rejected by it.

I take it personally. But only for so long.

No later than a day afterward, I am searching through my list of submission sites and agents. I am sending my stories out again.

If I didn’t, how else will someone have the opportunity of accepting my work?

A Side Bar to Rejection.

I don’t always maintain a steady flow of submitting the same story or manuscript, mindless of the rejections.

After a certain number of “thank you but no thank you,” I pause and reevaluate my novel or short story. Maybe I do need to improve something within the text.

Once I am satisfied with how the story or manuscript sounds and feels, I send it out to more people.

One of my submissions will receive an acceptance.

One of these days, I will be riding the tsunami.

 

“When you’re following your inner voice, doors tend to eventually open for you, even if they mostly slam at first.”  ~Kelly Cutrone. If You Have to Cry, Go Outside: And Other Things Your Mother Never Told You.

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