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tiny
11-01-2005, 09:18 AM
Five rejections in the past few days just makes me want to snap my computer in half and sink back into clay. When I was a potter at least I knew I was good. I have pieces that sat in galleries, pieces that graced museums, and one teaset in a permanent collection.

It's like starting over. I feel like I did when I first tossed a lump of clay onto the wheelhead. It came out all lopsided and crappy. Mom loved it. She loves everything. Everything I make, everything I write... well, that's not entirely true. She's pretty hardcore when it comes to reading and pulls no punches when it's crap (even if it's mine).

Dang though. Five. 5. Hey, I can still count my rejections on one hand. Wooohooo.

-chris

Storyteller5
11-01-2005, 09:49 AM
That's five steps closer to getting published! I know it's lousy, but try to stay positive and keep trying. You'll get there! :Hug2:

maestrowork
11-01-2005, 10:01 AM
Look at it this way... I have had 65 rejections. And now I'm published...

I hope this makes you feel better. And if it doesn't... I hope knowing that I used to make 6-figure salaries doing something I was darn good at (I was kind of a "golden boy" at the fortune 50 firm) and now I'm starting over again... might just do the trick.

Send your ms. out again!

Jamesaritchie
11-01-2005, 10:47 AM
Five rejections in the past few days just makes me want to snap my computer in half and sink back into clay. When I was a potter at least I knew I was good. I have pieces that sat in galleries, pieces that graced museums, and one teaset in a permanent collection.

It's like starting over. I feel like I did when I first tossed a lump of clay onto the wheelhead. It came out all lopsided and crappy. Mom loved it. She loves everything. Everything I make, everything I write... well, that's not entirely true. She's pretty hardcore when it comes to reading and pulls no punches when it's crap (even if it's mine).

Dang though. Five. 5. Hey, I can still count my rejections on one hand. Wooohooo.

-chris

Five is nothing to complain about. How well did the fifth lump of clay you threw on the wheelhead turn out? If you're normal, you probably worked with a few hundred lumps of clay before you produced anything worthy of a permanent collection.

Writing is no different. Each new story is nothing more than a new lump of clay. Darned few potters expect their first hundred attempts to produce anything lasting, so why should writers expect to get it right in five tries?

William Saroyan received nearly 4,000 rejections before selling a single short story. Erskine Caldwell wasn't far behind him.

Seriously. Did you say "Dang though. Five. 5." after your fifth attempt at pottery?

kristie911
11-01-2005, 02:30 PM
I've got over 30 rejections and I'm still trying. I'm hoping to beat Ray's 65 rejections...

We all need to have goals, right?


I used to make 6-figure salaries

Show off! ;)

blacbird
11-01-2005, 06:36 PM
That's five steps closer to getting published!

I hate to say this, but I also hate this oft-repeated (il)logic. No straight, non-informative rejection ever got anybody "closer to getting published." The odds remain exactly the same the day after getting a rejection as they were the day before. Some people (I won't name names) get dozens, hundreds of rejections, get them forever until they die, and never get anything published. There is no "closer" involved.

bird

awatkins
11-01-2005, 08:07 PM
:Hug2:

Pat~
11-01-2005, 08:12 PM
Five in a row can hurt. :Hug2: But just remember, Stephen King got 200 rejections on his first book (Carrie)--and look where not quitting got him.

September skies
11-01-2005, 08:16 PM
It's like starting over. I feel like I did when I first tossed a lump of clay onto the wheelhead. It came out all lopsided and crappy. -chris

:) Exactly! Remember? And now look at you? Imagine if you had given up after that first lopsided little piece of art.

Hang in there. Your writing pieces, too, will develop. Just like your pottery.


I have pieces that sat in galleries, pieces that graced museums, and one teaset in a permanent collection. -chris

Julie Worth
11-01-2005, 08:23 PM
In the almost three years since I switched professions, I’ve written six books, gone through two agents, gotten hundreds of rejections, and I’m still not published. But that’s good, in a way. Because I’ve rewritten my early books, and now they’re so much better. If they’d been published the first time, God! I’d be so embarrassed!

Storyteller5
11-01-2005, 08:33 PM
I hate to say this, but I also hate this oft-repeated (il)logic. No straight, non-informative rejection ever got anybody "closer to getting published." The odds remain exactly the same the day after getting a rejection as they were the day before. Some people (I won't name names) get dozens, hundreds of rejections, get them forever until they die, and never get anything published. There is no "closer" involved.

bird

What I meant was this. If you never ever submit, you never get published and, all the ENCOURAGING people I have ever met, have made me feel that you just keep trying and eventually you get there.

Thank you for mocking me and making me feel totally unwelcome on this site.

Jamesaritchie
11-01-2005, 10:26 PM
Five in a row can hurt. :Hug2: But just remember, Stephen King got 200 rejections on his first book (Carrie)--and look where not quitting got him.

I keep hearing this, but it isn't true. King received no rejections for Carrie. Doubleday was the first publisher that saw it, and they bought it. He did receive several rejections for the four novels he wrote before Carrie, but nowhere near two hundred, even with those four combined.

paprikapink
11-01-2005, 10:34 PM
The legend I like, don't know if it's any truer than any of the others, is that Steinbeck went through an alphabetical list of publishers, starting with A.

He was eventually published by Vanguard (or some V publisher -- please, let's not get bogged down with details.) And there was probably more than one publisher per letter on the list. Okay, true, some letters probably had none. Geez, you people are worse than my kids. It's the spirit of perseverance that we're trying to get across here.

And think of all those lucky folks who's fame came posthumously. So don't let death discourage you either!

Jamesaritchie
11-01-2005, 10:39 PM
I hate to say this, but I also hate this oft-repeated (il)logic. No straight, non-informative rejection ever got anybody "closer to getting published." The odds remain exactly the same the day after getting a rejection as they were the day before. Some people (I won't name names) get dozens, hundreds of rejections, get them forever until they die, and never get anything published. There is no "closer" involved.

bird

I'm not sure what's illogical about it. If getting accepted were a lottery, you'd be right, and the odds wouldn't change. But it isn't a lottery, and every story your write adds to your skill level. And every story you submit should add to your knowledge level of what editors do and don't want.

There are no odds to getting accepted, so saying the odds don't change is illogical.

It's true some writers will never get accepted, but this in no way changes the fact that the vast majority who do get accepted get there by working their way up, by improving with each story written, and with each submission made.

Rejections mean you're submitting, and there is no such thing as a non-informative rejection slip. The plain, form rejections are often the most informative of all.

jackie106
11-01-2005, 10:54 PM
I hate to say this, but I also hate this oft-repeated (il)logic. No straight, non-informative rejection ever got anybody "closer to getting published." The odds remain exactly the same the day after getting a rejection as they were the day before. Some people (I won't name names) get dozens, hundreds of rejections, get them forever until they die, and never get anything published. There is no "closer" involved.


But Tiny Terror is closer to being published. In previous posts, she wrote that she was too frightened to submit. Finding the courage to send in her work is a big step in the right direction. If she didn't send in her work, she would have zero chance of being published.

Tiny Terror, keep believing in yourself. Not every agent or editor will want to buy your work, you just have to find the right one. Good luck!

Jackie

blacbird
11-01-2005, 11:21 PM
What I meant was this. If you never ever submit, you never get published and, all the ENCOURAGING people I have ever met, have made me feel that you just keep trying and eventually you get there.

Thank you for mocking me and making me feel totally unwelcome on this site.

Story,

I by no means intended to "mock" you or make you feel unwelcome. I just see this shibboleth tossed out repeatedly, like an "olé" at a bullfight, and it carries about the same amount of meaning. You can find it on a hundred writers' advice sites, repeated ad nauseum. I even used to believe it.

Sure, if you're writing, and submitting, and improving your writing as you go (although it can also be difficult to define "improving", if you're not getting any feedback from editors), you "improve" your chances of acceptance. But the rejections themselves, unless they communicate something specifically useful about what you submit, don't do doodlysquat at bringing anybody "closer" to publication.

And I, of all people, have a lot of reason to know that.

bird

dragonjax
11-01-2005, 11:23 PM
I received two pieces of advice about writing, both of which I will share.

"Never be daunted." -- Alice Orr

"Write like no one's watching." -- Martha O'Connor

pepperlandgirl
11-01-2005, 11:25 PM
I keep hearing this, but it isn't true. King received no rejections for Carrie. Doubleday was the first publisher that saw it, and they bought it. He did receive several rejections for the four novels he wrote before Carrie, but nowhere near two hundred, even with those four combined.

King probably did receive close to 200 rejections over the course of his entire writing career--and he started writing and submitting to magazines at a very young age, I think 12 maybe? But that's the problem with throwing out the number of King's rejections to make you feel better...yeah, he got a lot of stories rejected...how much do you want to be those stories sucked? He probably wasn't writing anything brilliant when he was a kid, but he was still sending it out there.

Jamesaritchie
11-02-2005, 12:08 AM
Story,

I by no means intended to "mock" you or make you feel unwelcome. I just see this shibboleth tossed out repeatedly, like an "olé" at a bullfight, and it carries about the same amount of meaning. You can find it on a hundred writers' advice sites, repeated ad nauseum. I even used to believe it.

Sure, if you're writing, and submitting, and improving your writing as you go (although it can also be difficult to define "improving", if you're not getting any feedback from editors), you "improve" your chances of acceptance. But the rejections themselves, unless they communicate something specifically useful about what you submit, don't do doodlysquat at bringing anybody "closer" to publication.

And I, of all people, have a lot of reason to know that.

bird

Those form rejections give more valuable information that just about any other type. They are communication something very specific. When you keep getting them over and over and over, they say loud and clear, "You aren't even close yet. You need to stop what you're doing, go back to square one, and start over." This can be the most valuable message any writer can receive, and too darned many ignore it completely, and keep going about business as usual.

It means you need to get serious help from serious writers or writing courses.

Unfortunately, too many take it as "They aren't telling me what I'm doing wrong, so how can I improve?" With this attitude, you probably can't.

blacbird
11-02-2005, 12:15 AM
When you keep getting them over and over and over, they say loud and clear, "You aren't even close yet. You need to stop what you're doing, go back to square one, and start over."

I have a cabin built on square one, spend a lot of time in it, never stray very far from it.

bird

Honey Nut Loop
11-02-2005, 12:27 AM
so you have five rejections. Now launch your puppy back into the fray. Have you posted your query in the query letter critique section of share your work?

tiny
11-02-2005, 01:19 AM
Wowzeewow, did I start this storm? I was just pissing and moaning, I tend to do that when I can't get over to the gym to spar.

Yeah, five is a pretty small number, I know. I know it's way less than most who have been writing for years. I know it's way less than it's going to be if I ever do make it onto the shelves. Just griping. They all came bing, bing, bing.

I do plan on rewriting my query (it sucks, I know that now). And the book, well I want to tweek it again after hearing back from some of my beta readers. They gave me some great ideas to add depth (I like epics, lots of sub plots twisiting together).

You're right Jackie, I did finally send stuff out. Made me sick. But I got past that one. And I have learned one huge lesson. I will never ever wait to write my synopsis until the novel is finished. It's just too huge.

Maestro, you're just a god, man. Thanks, did make me feel better. And James, my fifth lump of clay looked pretty darn good. I took to clay like I'd always done it. Sounds strange, but my hands were born to be dirty. Too bad people would rather have a machine made coffee cup in their hand than a handle pulled by a person with heart.

Everyone else who took time to be supportive during my fit, thanks.

Again, I was just stamping my feet about, having a tantrum. Bring on the bananas -- :banana: :banana: :banana: :banana: watch them dance.

Got to go, I have a class to teach tonight and I have to polish up my kickoff from the guard.

-chris

Pat~
11-02-2005, 04:13 AM
I keep hearing this, but it isn't true. King received no rejections for Carrie. Doubleday was the first publisher that saw it, and they bought it. He did receive several rejections for the four novels he wrote before Carrie, but nowhere near two hundred, even with those four combined.

This info came from a Harvest House editor at a conference session last week...I don't know how to go about verifying it, though; just figured he knew what he was talking about.

maestrowork
11-02-2005, 04:17 AM
Show off! ;)

But I make zilch now. ;)

Or at least until my book sells a million copies... I can dream, right?

maestrowork
11-02-2005, 04:20 AM
I keep hearing this, but it isn't true. King received no rejections for Carrie. Doubleday was the first publisher that saw it, and they bought it. He did receive several rejections for the four novels he wrote before Carrie, but nowhere near two hundred, even with those four combined.

That's correct. He mentioned in it "On Writing." I think he personally knew an editor at Doubleday, didn't he? He got $2500 out of the deal. But when he sold the paperback rights to Dell, the rest is history.

I think the 200 rejections is Clancey. The story I heard is that he had over 200 rejections before the military backed him by helping him publishing Hunt of the Red October...

story, story, story

Someday I'd be interested in what kind of rejection stories people are telling about me... ;)

scarletpeaches
11-02-2005, 04:26 AM
I don't know if this will be any encouragement, given that I'm unpublished, but I got form rejections for every query I ever sent out - about 25 - and after I joined AW and worked on my query letter (in the Share Your Work forum), I got a bite on the second letter I sent out. This really is a great place to learn and get encouragement - not only encouragement, but help. Honestly. And please don't give up. You'll always wonder "What if?" and those are the two most painful word in the English language. Besides adverb and passive, of course. ;)

maestrowork
11-02-2005, 04:31 AM
I'm not sure what's illogical about it. ... It isn't a lottery, and every story your write adds to your skill level. And every story you submit should add to your knowledge level of what editors do and don't want... It's true some writers will never get accepted, but this in no way changes the fact that the vast majority who do get accepted get there by working their way up...Rejections mean you're submitting, and there is no such thing as a non-informative rejection slip. The plain, form rejections are often the most informative of all.

James's right. We have to take the "awful writers who will never get published" out of the question first. Given that your book is indeed good, I truly believe that the more you submit, your chances of finding the right agent or publisher will improved.

Every one of my rejection helped me move forward to acceptance. Either I improved my queries, or updated my ms. based on repeated suggestions, or I learned to target better. Also, it made my skin so much thicker. By my 25 rejections I was submitting like clockwork, efficient and without any kind of "oh geez, they really don't like me" self-doubt. I also learned to look for the right agents and check all the guidelines. By rejection #40 I was a lean, mean submission machine.

lrs
11-02-2005, 04:52 AM
I understand the pain! So maestrowork, with your many rejections, did you redo your query letter, or keep it the same when you got published? Just wondering, even if we think our query letters are good, when we get so many rejections if its a sign we need to give up on the book idea or just redo the query.

maestrowork
11-02-2005, 05:06 AM
My queries are constant work in progress. You should have seen my first query -- oh lord, I had no idea what I was doing. And it got NO bites. Not one. Then I revised it based on what I'd learned, and I got a full ms. request out of that one... it's a continuous work in progress, I tell you.

scarletpeaches
11-02-2005, 05:10 AM
Post proof or retract!

;)

Jaycinth
11-02-2005, 10:08 PM
I just tell myself that I'm collecting rejection slips. Oh goodie! One more!! Gee golly, gosh, wow!!! A hand written note on it? Even better!

And THAT is one fiction I never-ever let slip. ( oops pun).

Blue
11-03-2005, 04:05 AM
hey man,

everyone hated my Blitz Theory manuscript. so i published it myself.

it now continues to pay my rent.

none would publish my novel CARDS. it's just now raking in good cash.

(you can check them out at www.cardsnovel.com (http://www.cardsnovel.com/))

right now none want to publish my children's short story book.

I GAURANTEE IT WILL BE MAKING ME MONEY IN THE NOT SO DISTANT FUTURE.

my point: with confidence and good reason i believe the agents and publishers to be consummate fools.

--if your stuff is good, and you want it published, dont let any of these TOTAL IDIOTS deter you.

a large part of the reason they are in their positions is because they are too untalented and uninspired to be pro writers.

jesus, i've gotten so many rejections, i don't even notice new rejections anymore, i treat the emails like spam.

as a matter of fact, i got a rejection today. i honestly forgot about it. lol.

be chill my friend.

scarletpeaches
11-03-2005, 04:06 AM
Okay then, lend me thousands of pounds to print my novel and you've got yourself a deal!