Monday, March 25, 2013

How do you handle rejection?

I'm wondering how many of you have experienced this situation before.

You finish your book. You revise, you polish until it's sparkly and clean. Your critique group and beta readers love it, so you know it's good. You write a killer query letter and perfect your synopsis.You've researched the perfect agents and get brave enough to send a few queries out just to see what happens...

A few days later, you get an e-mail. It's a reply to one of your query letters. Your stomach drops as you read which agent it's from. This could be it. The agent who will love your book as much as you do. Your heart feels like it's going to beat out of your chest and you shake as you click on the e-mail to open it.

Dear author,

You sigh as the words hit you. It's a form rejection. And even though it's only one, it still hurts.

Anyone who's queried has been in this situation. Querying is not for the weak. Every rejection makes you feel like you're the worst writer in the world at first. It does to me at least. But as you get a few requests, you'll realize everything is so subjective. Different agents like different things. They're people with different tastes. It's just like when you read a book and absolutely love it, but someone else hates it. It's just like querying. Not every agent will love your book. Most will reject you. BUT, all you need is that one person who loves your voice. One person that will give you a chance, and you'll realize all that rejection was worth it because you found the right person to represent you and your work.

You'll never get away from rejection. Even after you get an agent, editors will reject you. Readers will reject you. But you'll also have people who will love your books.That's what keeps me going. Even if I touch one reader, all this rejection and disappointment will be worth it.

17 comments:

ilima said...

I agree. Rejection is so hard and you face it at so many levels as a writer. But when someone reads your book and gets it...that love makes it worth it.

J. A. Bennett said...

It's so hard to be rejected! Especially when you really wanted that agent or publisher. But in the end, it makes us all stronger. I'm sure Love, Lucas will be sold, becasue you're just that awesome :)

Jessie Humphries said...

I think I would rather get punched in the eye by a angry woodchuck than face anymore rejection! But since woodchucks don't have hands and I will inevitably face more rejection, I better find a way to get tougher skin! Candy helps. :)

S.P. Bowers said...

Chocolate, maybe a little self pity, then you get back up and try again. Keeping my eyes on the goal helps.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Rejection always sets off a mini "writer identity crisis"...who am I fooling, I must stink sort of feeling...but then when smart, talented people like yourself say you get rejected too, I feel better. That may be sad, but it's true!

Julie Luek said...

Well Jessie took my "being punched in the eye by a woodchuck" comparison... but yes, as Elizabeth wrote, it does indeed set off an identity crisis. It's good, in a weird way, to be reminded that all published writers have faced rejection. It seems to be the inevitable path to success.

Nick Wilford said...

Just one positive reaction is gold! The last time I was being rejected was two years ago from my first novel and short stories. (Not to say I've had acceptance since then, just haven't queried!) But that was before I knew another writer, let alone any CPs. Friends definitely cushion a lot of blows. :)

Tasha Seegmiller said...

I need to remember this in the future. Great post.

Angela Cothran said...

I love the idea of remembering not everyone loves everything. That really helps :)

Krista McLaughlin said...

Rejection really can be hard and it doesn't end. I have an odd method of dealing with it. I listen to the song "Everybody Hurts" in silence and then I go watch cat videos to make me laugh. Eat some chocolate and move on. :) Odd, but different. :)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Good attitude! It doesn't matter how many say no. It's the one that says yes that counts.

Samantha May said...

A couple spoonfuls of Nutella, then you pick yourself back up and keep going :)

Gina Gao said...

I totally agree. Its the same feeling with college rejection letters.

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Alexandra Lanc said...

Agreed! Rejection is terrible, but it's a part of life -- writer or not. I've thankfully had some good queries, though I've had my share of bad, too. One was really nasty, and very unprofessional, but then one sounded like she genuinely liked my book, but the agency she worked with wasn't looking for the demographic at the moment, so that was nice. But the biggest thing is readers. If they like it, then I'm happy!

And more importantly, I'm happy if I like it, too.

Alexandra~

Brandon Ax said...

It is a strange time to be a new author as well. There are books now that are looked over that would have easily been published a few years ago. I think as the industry starts to understand the new landscape of readers and eBooks and just the publishing world as it is today agents will once again go for things that they enjoy not just ones they think will be an easy sell. Just my opinion. :)

Melanie Fowler said...

I have yet to be rejected, but the day is coming soon. I'm preparing for the worse and hoping for the best!

Michelle Merrill said...

Great post! I'm going through this right now. And it's killing me! Even though I understand it's subjective, it still drives me crazy. I haven't gotten any requests through a query yet. It makes me wonder if my friends, CP's, and beta readers were just being nice. Maybe my beginning and query aren't stellar...oh, so many things to think about! You've read the one I'm talking about. It's gotten so much better since then too. Gah! This post is the story of my life, and every other writer at one point or another. Thanks for sharing :)