PDA

View Full Version : Does rejection...



The Lonely One
12-12-2011, 10:20 AM
...fuel your addiction to submitting work?

Rejection, polish, find market, click send.
Rejection, polish, find market, click send.
Rejection, polish, find market, click send.
etc.

Or am I a freak? Is indignation the correct response to the word no? :Shrug:

Drachen Jager
12-12-2011, 10:39 AM
If you want to get published it has to. You have to find something to motivate yourself to step into the next punch.

Only, to add to your list, write a newer, better story somewhere along the line too. Acknowledge that your story isn't selling because there's something wrong with it, do your best to figure out what that is, fix it if you can, or don't make the same mistake next time at the very least. Always work at making different mistakes and you'll get there.

The Lonely One
12-12-2011, 10:41 AM
Always work at making different mistakes and you'll get there.

Haha nice one. You're going in my sig.

Elaine Margarett
12-12-2011, 05:08 PM
No.

I have ADD so while taking the advice to write something new is good advice, it hasn't worked all that well for me.

I have 5 ms. My track record has been to submit to 10-15 editors/agents and despite getting pretty positive feedback (calls at home from editor; multible requests for fulls; etc) after a dozen rejections I move on to writing something new, abandoning the current work.

I found I can't submit AND write at the same time. Writing makes me feel good; rejection makes me feel bad. I tend to nurture that that makes me feel good; disregard what makes me feel bad.

Hasn't worked out for me, thus far. <g> Going the submission rounds again. Submitted to about 15 agents; have some interest (requested revisions on a full) but I fear I'm at that point again where I give up and move on. I know intellectually this is not doing me any good. But I find it difficult to muster up the enthusiasm to keep knocking on doors.

scarletpeaches
12-12-2011, 05:13 PM
Rejection is a disappointment, but it doesn't get me down. It used to, when I had a so-called friend take the attitude, "Well everyone gets rejections so you need to get over it." That may be true, but it doesn't help when said "friend" wants to open a vein and bleed all over you when she gets a knockback. :rolleyes:

These days I have a rule: if a rejection comes in, email the query back out within 24 hours. I can wallow and cry and wail all I like, but 24 hours is all I get to feel sorry for myself.

I take the attitude, "Yeah? Well I'll show you, Buster!"

Phaeal
12-12-2011, 07:08 PM
I get fifteen-thirty minutes to rant (privately) over a rejection. Then I send the MS out again and get back to work.

I disagree, however, that every rejection should make you try to revise the work in question. I only pull a story from submission stage for two reasons:

-- I have come up with an idea to improve it.

-- I get specific editorial advice I agree with.

Nor do I think you can assume a story isn't good because it hasn't sold yet. No story should leave the house until you've dressed it in technical competence -- after that, its reception is largely a matter of editorial sensibility. After all, how many times have you read a published story that YOU would never have published?

You have to keep shooting until you hit the right sensibility.

gothicangel
12-12-2011, 07:21 PM
Rejection is a disappointment, but it doesn't get me down. It used to, when I had a so-called friend take the attitude, "Well everyone gets rejections so you need to get over it." That may be true, but it doesn't help when said "friend" wants to open a vein and bleed all over you when she gets a knockback. :rolleyes:

These days I have a rule: if a rejection comes in, email the query back out within 24 hours. I can wallow and cry and wail all I like, but 24 hours is all I get to feel sorry for myself.

I take the attitude, "Yeah? Well I'll show you, Buster!"

This.

Allow myself 30 seconds of that feeling in the pit of my stomach, then think 'oh well, your loss.'

The Lonely One
12-12-2011, 07:30 PM
I disagree, however, that every rejection should make you try to revise the work in question. I only pull a story from submission stage for two reasons:

-- I have come up with an idea to improve it.

-- I get specific editorial advice I agree with.

Nor do I think you can assume a story isn't good because it hasn't sold yet. No story should leave the house until you've dressed it in technical competence -- after that, its reception is largely a matter of editorial sensibility. After all, how many times have you read a published story that YOU would never have published?

You have to keep shooting until you hit the right sensibility.

This brings up an interesting point. I should also qualify I'm talking short fiction here, for those sending queries. However I imagine it's a similarly (though amplified) frustrating process.

I probably have less saleability because I write to my sensibilities then send to markets with whom I think I have a shot, however distant. I'm much less likely to "write to a market." In reality I probably should, but there's this voice in the back of my head saying all the good authors we love have their own voice, not one that changes per market. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong on this, probably a lot of short story writers did write to market in their hay day and I don't know jack. And I'm not one of "the good authors we love," so there's that.

But by polish I mean polish to my own liking. I mean, the story is already professional and grammatically as flawless as I can make it by the time I send it off, but we're forever making our stories better, yes? So polishing between submissions can't hurt (adjusting an awkward wording you had missed or cutting something you realize may sound more amateurish than you intended, adding something for clarification).

I've had my share of bad rejection moments. I blew around $500 on a netbook (and its replacement) when a rejection came at a particularly bad moment.

But all in all I try to stay delusional about it. "This story is good, damn it. Just no one knows it yet."

Jamesaritchie
12-12-2011, 08:03 PM
Heinlein's rules. I automatically send out a story as soon as it's rejected, but I never, ever revise until and unless and editor asks for a revision, or at least offers feedback for revision that I agree with.

A rejection does not mean there's anything at all wrong with the story. It's true that most stories get rejected because they just aren't good enough, but stories also get rejected because they just don't quite fit what the editor wants, or because the magazine published something similar in the last couple of years, or just bought something similar that hasn't yet been published, or because the story has someone getting drunk, and the editor has a hangover when he reads it.

I've sold quite a few stories after numerous rejections, and without changing a word. I've even sold stories to national magazines for very good money after they were rejected by all sorts of other magazines, including some that paid a penny per word.

Until and unless an editor says "This is what's wrong with the story. Fix it", and you agree with what he says, time is best spent working on new stories, rather than revising old ones.

Shadow_Ferret
12-12-2011, 08:19 PM
Every rejection is a another piece cut out of my soul.

I can only take so much of that.

Every New Year I start with a clean slate, a renewed hope, and reinvigorated enthusiasm. I send every story out. As they come back, I immediately send it out again. This level of activity lasts until April when I final collapse under the weight of all the rejections and I withdraw into a shell until the next new year.

Drachen Jager
12-12-2011, 09:23 PM
I get fifteen-thirty minutes to rant (privately) over a rejection. Then I send the MS out again and get back to work.

I disagree, however, that every rejection should make you try to revise the work in question. I only pull a story from submission stage for two reasons:

-- I have come up with an idea to improve it.

-- I get specific editorial advice I agree with.

Nor do I think you can assume a story isn't good because it hasn't sold yet. No story should leave the house until you've dressed it in technical competence -- after that, its reception is largely a matter of editorial sensibility. After all, how many times have you read a published story that YOU would never have published?

You have to keep shooting until you hit the right sensibility.

Yeah, I didn't mean you should blindly revise. I'm not sure if anyone is proposing that.

You need some direction, either from personal epiphanies, or outside assistance. If you knew how to write it better without those then you'd have written it better the first time.

Quickbread
12-12-2011, 09:24 PM
I hate to say rejection has gotten the best of me with my short stories. I think some of them are strong, really strong, but I quit submitting and moved on to my novel. I'm trying to do everything possible to keep up my momentum to finish it, so I haven't submitted any short pieces in more than a year. Hopefully getting back on the bandwagon after the novel's done. But I hate to say that I'm dreading the rejections to come. Have to try to get past that.

Filigree
12-12-2011, 10:28 PM
I'm a little more philosophical about rejections, than I have been. I've made many submissions this year. Had one sale: the piece that Tor.com rejected was fine for another market. I've had lots of really helpful personalized rejection letters with useful advice. Three different contest honors have shown me where my work-level compares to others in my genre. Even though I've switched gears to look at publishers instead of agents, I'm hopeful. That leads to more stories written, revised, and sent.

At some point, maybe it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

DragonBlaze
12-12-2011, 10:39 PM
I have yet to experience the "joyous" pain of the rejection as I am just getting started but I would go to say revisions in the small scale are fine but I would not go so far as to abandon the work completely. Some rejections are going to be simply because they didn't feel it was good for them. On the other hand, that same work may be good for someone else and they accept rather than reject.

zegota
12-12-2011, 10:55 PM
I'm usually a step ahead of a rejection. I just assume everything I send out is going to be rejected, so I'm just waiting for that email so I can click "send" on the next round.

Jamesaritchie
12-12-2011, 11:03 PM
I'm usually a step ahead of a rejection. I just assume everything I send out is going to be rejected, so I'm just waiting for that email so I can click "send" on the next round.

Yep. I like to have a dozen markets lined up for anything I write. Even if I'm reasonably sure a story is going to sell on the first or second submission, I still like to have a dozen markets lined up. It just saves time, trouble, and worrying about why it didn't sell.

blacbird
12-12-2011, 11:08 PM
Every rejection is a another piece cut out of my soul.

I can only take so much of that.

Every New Year I start with a clean slate, a renewed hope, and reinvigorated enthusiasm. I send every story out. As they come back, I immediately send it out again. This level of activity lasts until April when I final collapse under the weight of all the rejections and I withdraw into a shell until the next new year.

You make it all the way to April?

caw