PDA

View Full Version : How do YOU deal with rejection?



gilesth
02-15-2010, 05:49 PM
Dexter (the TV show) and video games. And, of course, more query letters and blogging (though not the negative kind where I alienate everyone I've ever known and could possibly ever work with...really...read it yourself and you'll see...).

Anyway, what do you do when you get a long string of rejection letters? NOTE: I'm trying to AVOID taking up alcoholism as a second hobby :D

Mr Flibble
02-15-2010, 05:56 PM
Blow raspberries at them, cackle evilly and then use them to line the cat litter tray.

Then carry on writing.

alleycat
02-15-2010, 05:59 PM
Think of it as practice. You didn't learn to ride a bicycle, or drive a car, or type, or play the piano, or color within the lines in a day. It can take a while to learn to do anything well.

And just what's wrong with drinking to excess? (Just kidding. ;-)

Phaeal
02-15-2010, 06:00 PM
First, I say "Shit."

Second, I study the rejection letter to see if it offers any specific advice. If so, I file that advice away for further consideration.

Third, I update my submissions log.

Fourth, I send out another query for the novel or sub package for the short story, that same day.

Fifth, I do my daily stint of writing on the current project.

Sixth, over time I consider the rejections for each project and the project itself and determine whether I can revise to make the novel or short story stronger. If I think I can, I revise.

Seventh, I resub the revised projects.

There could be some Dexter (or currently Caprica or Property Virgins) in there, as well as some wholesale slaughter of the Diablo II monsters. Really big rejections call for chocolate and Jane Austen therapy.

spike
02-15-2010, 06:14 PM
I don't take it personally. I like to remember all of the famous works (http://susiesmith13.tripod.com/id12.html) that were originally rejected. Here is another list (http://www.deniseturneronline.com/2009/06/famous-rejections-whos-crying-now/). Not all are literary, but they show you that these people are not gods with great insight. They are just people and they make mistakes.

And of course my favorite is from Aaron Russo, producer of the movie Dirty Dancing (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dirty_dancing). His reaction at the end of screening DD was to say simply, "Burn the negative, and collect the insurance."

There is no reason to feel sad or depressed. This is the reality of publishing. But the good news is that you aren't defeated until you have exhausted all avenues.

I continue to work on my current projects, submit and resubmit.

CheekyWench
02-15-2010, 06:17 PM
Initially, I give myself about 30 minutes to feel really bad for myself. I go through all 12 stages of grief in 30 minutes. After that, I tell myself to shut the hell up, suck it up, and reread the rejection for anything constructive. Address those issues, and usually forget that it happened about 2 hours later. :D

gilesth
02-15-2010, 06:25 PM
Lol! You guys are awesome. I'm glad I'm not the only one who moves on and uses the rejections as motivation :D

MarkEsq
02-15-2010, 06:32 PM
I don't take it personally. I like to remember all of the famous works (http://susiesmith13.tripod.com/id12.html) that were originally rejected. Here is another list (http://www.deniseturneronline.com/2009/06/famous-rejections-whos-crying-now/). Not all are literary, but they show you that these people are not gods with great insight. They are just people and they make mistakes.


This is precisely what I do. I think about the future, when someone will encourage a new writer with these words:

"Did you know that [MY NOVEL] by [Me] was rejected by thirty agents? Bet they feel silly now!"

stormie
02-15-2010, 06:35 PM
For some reason I find that shrugging my shoulders helps a lot. Strange, but it does. Then I move on. :)

Treyfan
02-15-2010, 06:40 PM
Same.

If I dwell on it, I only get depressed. It doesn't serve a purpose to wallow in self-pity, so I shrug it off and move on.

Rejections don't get me down for more than an hour or so. :D

Kitty27
02-15-2010, 06:43 PM
I say okay and on to the next agent. It doesn't faze me at all.

C.M.C.
02-15-2010, 07:08 PM
It doesn't bother me, since I never really expect anything good to happen.

scarletpeaches
02-15-2010, 07:09 PM
Rejection? What's that? :D

Adam
02-15-2010, 07:25 PM
Read it, shrug, take note of any criticism/suggestions, move on. :)

Chris P
02-15-2010, 07:30 PM
Acknowledge and move on. Take whatever advice I feel is fitting, disregard the rest, and be open to changing things.

Wayne K
02-15-2010, 07:32 PM
I'm saving them all so I can rip them up as I jump up and down on Oprah's couch.

Jamesaritchie
02-15-2010, 08:23 PM
Rejections have never bothered me, but I think that's largely because I keep so much material in submission that something gets accepted on a regular basis. One acceptance wipes away a whole stack of rejections.

Proach
02-15-2010, 10:27 PM
Well, so far, I've submitted to 27 literary agents, got 13 rejections, which is enough to change my gameplan. I'm not discouraged at all by the rejections I've received. In fact, I've had agents encourage me to query widely, wish me all the best in finding an agent as dedicated to my work as much as I am. I've even had one agent say she's passing at her own risk. These agents have all read between five and fifty pages of my book. Yet, I still had one agent who gave me a very negative response. But that one negative response happened to be the 13th rejection, so now I'm going straight to the publishers (not the big ones of course). I'm sticking with the small, medium and emerging presses.

Anyway, to get to my original point, not all rejections are bad. Learn from the positive and the negative, and if you have any agent telling you your writing is crap, or your book is unpublishable, ignore it, thow it in the trash, and keep trying. You've worked so hard to complete your book, so no one has the right to tell you that your work isn't good enough, even if it does need more editing and revision.

If Stephanie Meyer's Twilight sagas can sell millions of copies, and her writing isn't superb (so I heard) so can yours. Remember, it takes the right person to take a chance on you, and it is that person who will make all the difference. I believe it will happen to you, and I believe it will happen to me. Sometimes, though, you have to change your gameplan once, twice or more times before you win the Gold medal.

Good luck :)

________________________
My personal website www.deannasonlinewriting.com

Proach
02-15-2010, 10:46 PM
[ I'm trying to AVOID taking up alcoholism as a second hobby :D[/QUOTE]

I'm also finding myself drawn to alcohal lately, more than I've ever been before, but trying my best to tell myself that it isn't going to help my situation one bit.


______________________
website www.deannasonlinewriting.com

Polenth
02-15-2010, 10:56 PM
I note it down and carry on. I commented on this recently on my blog... rejections are just a normal part of the day, so I don't pay much attention to them. It's acceptances that throw things off.

PoppysInARow
02-15-2010, 11:55 PM
I take it in stride. Work on my query, enjoy some chocolate, coninue writing.

Always keep going.

Shadow_Ferret
02-15-2010, 11:58 PM
I withdraw from all human contact.

CheekyWench
02-16-2010, 12:00 AM
Got a rejection just about an hour ago. http://www.gatalks.com/style_emoticons/default/sadcheer.gif

CheekyWench
02-16-2010, 12:05 AM
Though I didn't have time to mull it over long. I sent it this morning.. so, I'm over it!

http://www.gatalks.com/style_emoticons/default/cheer.gif

stormie
02-16-2010, 12:21 AM
By the way, when I say I shrug my shoulders, I literally shrug my shoulders. I swear, that little bit of action when I read the rejection really helps me to move on right away. A strange quirk, but it works for me. Keeps me from getting all stormy. :D

.

triceretops
02-16-2010, 12:26 AM
There are so many rejections that are pointless, where the book has been glossed over, speed-read, or not read at all. You can find yourself a casualty by having your query kicked to the curb, or rejected solely on the basis of your subject line heading. If your voice doesn't leap off the page; if you've crossed genres. Sheeze, I've heard 'em all.

You just have to weather it out and continue onward and upward. Take what you can out of each commented rejection, revise if you feel the need, and press on.

Tri

blacbird
02-16-2010, 01:07 AM
If Stephanie Meyer's Twilight sagas can sell millions of copies, and her writing isn't superb (so I heard) so can yours.

Unless, of course, it's even worse.

Which, of course, it must be.

Otherwise, of course, it would have been accepted.

caw

cate townsend
02-16-2010, 01:55 AM
Someone on here mentioned once that after hitting a successful point in her career, she papered her walls with all the rejection slips she'd received over the years, then had a big party. When a rejection comes in, I file it, then forget about it.

gilesth
02-16-2010, 05:26 PM
Someone on here mentioned once that after hitting a successful point in her career, she papered her walls with all the rejection slips she'd received over the years, then had a big party. When a rejection comes in, I file it, then forget about it.

I decided early on that, even though the wallpaper idea sounded cool, if I didn't just make a note of the rejection and then throw out the letter, I'd go insane. There's no ill will, I just have minor OCD and an addictive personality, so holding on to all of those nos could potentially lead to serious depression :)

The one partial request I've gotten really made me excited, though!

Jamesaritchie
02-16-2010, 09:00 PM
If Stephanie Meyer's Twilight sagas can sell millions of copies, and her writing isn't superb (so I heard) so can yours. Remember, it takes the right person to take a chance on you, and it is that person who will make all the difference. I believe it will happen to you, and I believe it will happen to me. Sometimes, though, you have to change your gameplan once, twice or more times before you win the Gold medal.

Good luck :)


________________________
My personal website www.deannasonlinewriting.com (http://www.deannasonlinewriting.com)


Only if you can tell a story and build characters as well as she can. One person can give you a chance, but only your story and your characters can turn that chance ito something like the Twilight success.

Phaeal
02-17-2010, 01:17 AM
Twilight hit the right nerves with a core group of potential readers. When this group got large enough, readers in adjacent groups took notice and gave it a shot. Eventually it got enough publicity and word of mouth that it got the attention of readers who would have never noticed the novel under normal circumstances. Snowball effect.

Ditto Harry Potter and The DaVinci Code and Eragon and the list goes on and on.

Stellar writing is not necessary for big success. Hitting the right nerves, however, is mandatory.

Jamesaritchie
02-17-2010, 08:44 PM
Twilight hit the right nerves with a core group of potential readers. When this group got large enough, readers in adjacent groups took notice and gave it a shot. Eventually it got enough publicity and word of mouth that it got the attention of readers who would have never noticed the novel under normal circumstances. Snowball effect.

Ditto Harry Potter and The DaVinci Code and Eragon and the list goes on and on.

Stellar writing is not necessary for big success. Hitting the right nerves, however, is mandatory.

That's what always happens with any book that sells well. The story and teh characters entice agents and editors, and teh word of mouth turns the book into a bestseller.

Though I wouldn't put the Harry Potter books in the same group. That is stellar writing at it's very best. Great story, great characters, and extremely good writing.

scarletpeaches
02-17-2010, 09:06 PM
You and I clearly have different ideas about what makes writing stellar.

That's definitely not 'very best'. Sure, they're entertaining but I've read better.

CaroGirl
02-17-2010, 09:19 PM
Move on. But how quickly I move on, these days, depends on what kind of rejection it is. If it's a personal rejection on a full or partial, it takes longer to get over it because I had more riding on it. It's a more emotional rejection (don't they know that just one acceptance would change my LIFE?!). I barely pause to notice a form rejection on a query and moving on is virtually immediate.

erazmus
02-19-2010, 12:21 AM
I sub the work out again elsewhere, immediately. Useful comments get put in the story's comment file, useless comments I ignore. I make a note as to who just rejected that piece, and a note in my market file if they've indicated certain preferences I want to remember when I sub there in the future.

Even a harsh rejection is mere validation of the marketing process, and I try hard to take them as that and only that. The only way to avoid them is to not submit, which is also the sure way to not be published. If they really upset me, I go write.

if they don't I go write anyway.

Mike

Don Allen
02-19-2010, 12:32 AM
You'll never know success without rejection and you'll never appreciate the work you've accomplished until you fought hard enough to get published. Rejection doesn't bother me because it means I have to get better and walk that tight rope until somebody recognizes what feat I've accomplished, when they do,, I'l know I earned it.....

BenPanced
02-19-2010, 02:41 AM
The form rejections I received this week actually have two angles I can probably learn from: one basically said my query wasn't interesting enough to make them ask for more, the other said they didn't think they could sell it in today's market. Not sure if everybody who submits to these agencies get them as standard or if I'm a special snowflake, but they're definitely something to think about.

Right after I respond to their responses. :flamethrower

Sassy3421
02-19-2010, 03:54 AM
Personally I'd rather some sort of rejection as opposed to silence (no response). At least I'm being acknowledged lol

stormie
02-19-2010, 04:19 AM
Right after I respond to their responses. :flamethrower
^ :ROFL: ^

Nutellanut
02-20-2010, 09:28 PM
Today, I received my SASE from Ethan Ellenberg. It took a little over two months.

I opened it up and inside was my manuscript............with no feedback or response at all. Not even one of those standard/form responses.

I find that to be even more insulting.....to not even bother with sending some sort of response. :( I mean, isn't it? I did my research regarding manuscripts, cover letters, what have you. I typed up manuscript/cover letter according to guidelines. I followed the submission guidelines. Included a SASE...........and in the end, no feedback/response at all.

I'm not going to let his unprofessionalism deter me from pursuing my goals. This weekend, even though I have so many papers to grade and lesson plans to write, I will make some time for myself to send my manuscript to other agents. But I've definitely lost respect for Ethan Ellenberg.

mkcbunny
02-21-2010, 05:32 AM
I just started submitting, so a lot of queries are still in the waiting stage. I've received five rejections, all of them form replies. So it could be the query itself, the pages, the wrong agent selection, and most likely the fact that I've written offbeat literary fiction—which no one in their right mind would be writing because it can't sell. Har.

Until I get more rejections, particularly replies from agents who have 50 pages and a synopsis, I'm just trying not to beat myself up over guessing which of the above is the reason. I have been altering the query with each batch to see if I get any bites using a different letter, but I think the bottom line is that I'm pitching an apple in an orange market, so I have to keep digging to find an apple vendor somewhere. Those longer submissions are the ones I'm really waiting on.

Meanwhile, when I get a rejection, I note it on my trusty query spreadsheet, print it, attach it to the original query, and move that agent into the Rejections folder.

Curiously, I find that the above often comes with a chuckle, as in "What were you thinking by querying this agent?!" Then I go look for someone new to query.

mkcbunny
02-21-2010, 05:39 AM
I should add that what's actually depressing me now is not the rejection; I was prepared for that. It's not being able to get the next thing underway. But I guess that would be a different thread.