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Old 11-10-2012, 08:12 AM   #1
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Unhappy Getting a lot of personal rejections....

and send us more work. I've been published in smaller non-paying magazines but the paying ones have liked what they've read and have asked me to send them more work.

The Mid-American Review is still reading my story. Told my creative writing professor that they kept sending me newsletters. He said, "Well, looks like you've made it past the slush."

While all this is great (Had an editor tell me I had talent and that the rest was just damn hard work) I feel.....I don't know. Happy and frustrated that I'm so close. The editor of one of the mags I just submitted to wrote me an email saying where I could improve and that she was sorry to reject the stories- they were beautiful and moved her, just were missing pieces. I honestly was in a bad way when I got that rejection. I had gotten an F on my college algebra test and 10 minutes later get that rejection. I feel the future is bright but I want it to happen now. Am a bit scared of all the positivity. What if I fall flat on my face? What if I don't deliver. Too many feels.....
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Old 11-10-2012, 08:16 AM   #2
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Don't worry so much about it. You're almost to a publishable level. That's well ahead of a lot of aspiring writers. You already know you're good. You should use those great personal rejection for motivation. You're so close. Don't ever think of giving up.
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Old 11-10-2012, 08:32 AM   #3
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Don't worry so much about it. You're almost to a publishable level. That's well ahead of a lot of aspiring writers. You already know you're good. You should use those great personal rejection for motivation. You're so close. Don't ever think of giving up.
Thanks. Expectations and failing those expectations is what I am concerned about. But thank you. No, not ever giving up. Just sitting on this stinking novel for 6 months. LOL. I'll figure it out.
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Old 11-10-2012, 08:39 AM   #4
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i got so many of those "close, but not for us" rejections that I quit submitting altogether about four years ago. I've had two stories picked up for publication from critique exposure on writer's sites (one here), never any from a standard submission. Form-rejections never bothered me, but these " . . . . . almost . . . . . " things just now drive me to drink.

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Old 11-10-2012, 12:26 PM   #5
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Don't feel bad. Writing a novel takes time and shouldn't be rushed. I've been working on my current WIP for about a year and between research and writer's block it's taken a while.
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Old 11-10-2012, 01:28 PM   #6
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Firstly, congratulations on catching an editor’s eye. You said that some have requested more from you? In my experience, editors rarely say things they don’t mean. If they love your voice, your ideas and you even moved one with your writing, I’d take that as a huge pat on the back.
Have a read through those letters and then go back over the stories. Do you agree with the suggested changes, can you see what those editors mean? If the answer is yes, then use that knowledge on your new story.
Writing toward publication is a long drawn out road full of rejection and some don’t ever get personalised feedback. I’ve been submitting to Harlequin for years and only ever received form rejection letters until January. Since then I’ve been working with the editor who gave me personalised feedback and now have my first set of revisions on a full story. She did reject another, even after the changes, but the feedback helped me get that much closer with them.
Keep at it and I’m sure you’ll be picked up by one of those dream mags soon. )
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Old 11-10-2012, 05:03 PM   #7
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You have the attention of editors. You have comments from some of these editors that address what is missing in your work. These are good things. You can wallow in the "I'm so close but not there yet" frustration, or you can roll up your sleeves and do the work to take the next step. You can view your situation as a punch in the gut or as a challenge to strive for improvement. Your choice.

This is a problem I see with receiving critical comments and reviews. I understand how they can be frustrating, but to me, they are pure motivation, even the bad ones. Anytime I can have an issue with my writing brought to my attention, I feel I have the direct potential to become a better writer. This fires me up. It doesn't bog me down in self-doubt or frustration. That's because the comments are layered on a foundation of some success. Your notes from the editors suggest you have a decent foundation for success. That shouldn't be frustrating, even when you come up just short of your goal. Strive to improve and reach for it again. This is a subjective business, but damn good stories will most often find a publishing home.
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Old 11-10-2012, 05:20 PM   #8
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As for sitting on anything for six months, that's a heartbeat in the publishing world.

I'd say you're on the right track. Take heart, keep writing.
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Old 11-10-2012, 05:34 PM   #9
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Ooh, those "we love it but...no" rejections are the worst! I got one where the editor sounded like the sweetest person ever, and it killed me to know that I came so close to being picked up by her.

You can wallow in that feeling for a while, but at some point, sit yourself down, type down in bullet points the comments that they've given you, and start working on those areas where you need improvement. Keep writing, you'll get there!
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Old 11-10-2012, 05:38 PM   #10
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Don't worry about failing to meet expectations. Just don't. I let that get the best of me and ended up on a 10 year writing hiatus. I'm still playing catch-up. And I regret it. Big time.

Just keep writing, and know with each story, and each personalized rejection, you're honing your craft and moving closer. Stephen King had hundreds of rejections tacked up on his wall. He worked for a long time to get his first book published. He got published young, but what people forget is that he started REALLY young. He put in the sweat and tears. And look at him now. You can do it, too. As long as you keep writing.
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Old 11-10-2012, 05:42 PM   #11
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Ooh, those "we love it but...no" rejections are the worst! I got one where the editor sounded like the sweetest person ever, and it killed me to know that I came so close to being picked up by her.
Not for me. What's worse are the ones that are so brief, you wonder if anyone actually read your sub. At least with a personal one, you've probably got some feedback, however small, you can use to improve.
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Old 11-10-2012, 07:22 PM   #12
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Thanks. Expectations and failing those expectations is what I am concerned about. But thank you. No, not ever giving up. Just sitting on this stinking novel for 6 months. LOL. I'll figure it out.
The "so close" rejections can be painful. But this isn't a sprint. It's cross-country.

It can certainly be rough to have high expectations (or even a 5-year plan) for yourself as a writer and not quite achieve them. Take maybe a day to feel the disappointment...and then focus on what you're doing right and how to keep strengthening yourself as a writer.

You've gotten impressive feedback. Celebrate that. Celebrate how much progress you're making. And use that to keep moving forward. And keep in mind that the publishing industry is subjective. Good luck!
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Old 11-10-2012, 10:19 PM   #13
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The "so close" rejections can be painful. But this isn't a sprint. It's cross-country Charlie Brown trying to kick that damn football.
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Old 11-10-2012, 10:22 PM   #14
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From my experience, this means you're writing well enough to be published, and telling a story well enough to be published, you just aren't writing the right stories, or getting the right story to the right editor.

It's a frustrating stage, but one most writers go through. Fit is always important, and telling the right story well instead of just a story well is all important.
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Old 11-10-2012, 11:41 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trw78Writes View Post
While all this is great (Had an editor tell me I had talent and that the rest was just damn hard work) I feel.....I don't know. Happy and frustrated that I'm so close. The editor of one of the mags I just submitted to wrote me an email saying where I could improve and that she was sorry to reject the stories- they were beautiful and moved her, just were missing pieces.
However much it doesn't feel like it...this is really good, good news. Take to heart their comments and keep trying. Success is just around the corner.
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Old 11-11-2012, 12:18 AM   #16
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You have the attention of editors. You have comments from some of these editors that address what is missing in your work. These are good things. You can wallow in the "I'm so close but not there yet" frustration, or you can roll up your sleeves and do the work to take the next step. You can view your situation as a punch in the gut or as a challenge to strive for improvement. Your choice.

This is a problem I see with receiving critical comments and reviews. I understand how they can be frustrating, but to me, they are pure motivation, even the bad ones. Anytime I can have an issue with my writing brought to my attention, I feel I have the direct potential to become a better writer. This fires me up. It doesn't bog me down in self-doubt or frustration. That's because the comments are layered on a foundation of some success. Your notes from the editors suggest you have a decent foundation for success. That shouldn't be frustrating, even when you come up just short of your goal. Strive to improve and reach for it again. This is a subjective business, but damn good stories will most often find a publishing home.
I've actually just worked on the stories. I am going to post them in the Write 1 Sub 1 forum. I'm going to post the second drafts then the third and see what everyone likes, get the gist of where these stories should go. Thanks, NeuroFizz!
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Old 11-11-2012, 12:18 AM   #17
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I know what you mean...my first attempt at querying a novel went, almost. It got attention from most of the agents I queried, i got personal rejections...etc. when it came down to it, I wasn't really discouraged, I was excited. It's hard to explain to people but those failures were successful failures. I did it. I wrote a book, I got people to read it and like it (even if they didn't want to take it on), and I committed myself to the failure. It was failure, technically, but it wasn't. It was a success. And now I can write a second novel that blows that one out of the water. At some point, I'm confident, I'll break through the barrier between "good" and "great".

Plus, I'm assuming you're young, which means...you've got time and life as an advantage. I didn't think I could write until the dean of my English department begged me to major in creative whatever (I couldn't, I needed a job! Lol) but that was....oh...eight years, one husband and three kids ago. I've been writing ever since and feel like just now I'm getting closer to what is the best I can do (of course, the best I can do keeps moving...) but all that life and practice made me a better writer. Personally, I'd rather write a few amazing books than a bunch of good books, and I'm okay with waiting and working to that. Time is your friend, and it goes fast.
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Old 11-11-2012, 12:19 AM   #18
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However much it doesn't feel like it...this is really good, good news. Take to heart their comments and keep trying. Success is just around the corner.
I hope. I am working on the stories right now. Will post them up in the Write 1 Sub 1 under flash fiction.
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Old 11-11-2012, 12:20 AM   #19
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From my experience, this means you're writing well enough to be published, and telling a story well enough to be published, you just aren't writing the right stories, or getting the right story to the right editor.

It's a frustrating stage, but one most writers go through. Fit is always important, and telling the right story well instead of just a story well is all important.
The editor was really kind about it and liked the subject of the stories (even though one was rough). I've got one of them out to several other mags and the other I am honing. Thanks for your comment!
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Old 11-11-2012, 12:20 AM   #20
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Getting a lot of personal rejections....
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They're not personal rejections. They're just personalised. Which is really quite good
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Old 11-11-2012, 12:24 AM   #21
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The "so close" rejections can be painful. But this isn't a sprint. It's cross-country.

It can certainly be rough to have high expectations (or even a 5-year plan) for yourself as a writer and not quite achieve them. Take maybe a day to feel the disappointment...and then focus on what you're doing right and how to keep strengthening yourself as a writer.

You've gotten impressive feedback. Celebrate that. Celebrate how much progress you're making. And use that to keep moving forward. And keep in mind that the publishing industry is subjective. Good luck!
I had the expectation (for my novel, not my flash fiction) that I would have it published by the time I was 35 or under and make the 5 under 35 list on Poets & Writers. Mind you, I had this expectation when I was 30 and pretty wet behind the ears. I'm not 35 yet but close. Next year. And I am only on the second draft of my novel. So looks like those two goals aren't happening. But I'm okay with that. I think.
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Old 11-11-2012, 12:59 AM   #22
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One of my goals was "Published in GLIMMER TRAIN" by the time I turned 40. Can't fully explain why that particular lit mag was my goal, as opposed to plenty of others...or, say, THE NEW YORKER, if I'm dreaming big, but it was.

Didn't happen. Took me a little while to make myself okay with that. But I am. And I'm still writing. Life goes on, and, with any luck, we keep learning from it.
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Old 11-11-2012, 04:09 AM   #23
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I had a story rejected 57 times. I waited a year, revised (slightly, not a lot), and had it picked up by someone at one of the original places I sent.

Editors change.

Readers change.

Aesthetics change.

Taking it personally is pretty counter productive (not saying you are, but for those who do, yeah . . . not good).

Lit mags can have high personnel turnover as many are manned by students/interns, etc. I always considered "warm rejections" as a huge compliment.
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Old 11-11-2012, 04:26 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by ARoyce View Post
One of my goals was "Published in GLIMMER TRAIN" by the time I turned 40. Can't fully explain why that particular lit mag was my goal, as opposed to plenty of others...or, say, THE NEW YORKER, if I'm dreaming big, but it was.

Didn't happen. Took me a little while to make myself okay with that. But I am. And I'm still writing. Life goes on, and, with any luck, we keep learning from it.
Doesn't every writer want in THE NEW YORKER??

Something will happen. I know it will. Just have to keep at it. With school and moving to a new city, it's kind of difficult. Finals around the corner. I've hit the wall. But I found some time today to get at it. Thanks.
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Old 11-11-2012, 04:29 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrastersBabies View Post
I had a story rejected 57 times. I waited a year, revised (slightly, not a lot), and had it picked up by someone at one of the original places I sent.

Editors change.

Readers change.

Aesthetics change.

Taking it personally is pretty counter productive (not saying you are, but for those who do, yeah . . . not good).

Lit mags can have high personnel turnover as many are manned by students/interns, etc. I always considered "warm rejections" as a huge compliment.
I guess they are.
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