View Full Version : Getting close to thirty rejections now

01-27-2007, 06:49 AM
And some not so glorious comments on my story on the gather site about my story. I am feeling terrible, like giving up and packing it in bad/terrible. I had no idea my writing was so bad. But if the agents won't give me the time of day then that is saying something too. I think it's probably time to just give up and bow out. :Shrug:

I was talking to my hubby, I don't think I do have a thick enough skin to deal with this. If I feel like quitting like this because someone I don't know couldn't enjoy what I wrote at all. Saw no merit in its letters at all. Two people in fact didn't like it and I am wondering why I even wrote it along with anything else I've written. I'm sorry to be dramatic, but I am really having a confidence crisis like I have never had before.

It might be time to lick my wounds and move on kimosobe'. :gone:

Yup it's time to move on...I am going to stop writing....

01-27-2007, 06:55 AM
Aw Pamster, I'm sorry you're going through this. We all suffer crises of confidence from time to time. Don't make a rash decision. Take some time to think it over. It doesn't have to be all or nothing. You could take a break from writing and make a plan, set some achievable goals. Maybe taking a writing course would help build your confidence. It's also a great way to meet other writers, maybe form a supportive crit group.

Don't take it so hard. Chin up, buttercup. Take care.

01-27-2007, 07:01 AM
Giving up is one option, sure, but not the only one.

Why not take the comments you've had and look at the story again - maybe ask someone you trust to give you feedback about what works and what doesn't. Think of it as a learning opportunity - a chance to get better.

Or you could look at the story again and decide it achieves exactly what you want it to achieve - in which case, they're just darned wrong. :)

I think it would be a real shame if you gave up.

01-27-2007, 07:03 AM
Thirty-shmirty. You've only just begun. Go listen to the Carpenters and send out 5 more submissions or queries, or both.
It took Dr. Seuss 27 times. Are you as lucky as he was? I'm not. Keep at it.
Here's another piece of advice: chocolate is an unexpected but lovely compliment to beer. Try both. Send out more queries/submissions. Don't give up when you've only just started.

01-27-2007, 07:14 AM
By all means, take a break and re-evaluate. After all, it's hard to write when your hand is shaking. If you feel the pull to write, you'll come back to it. But don't let a couple of smart-asses or even 30 rejections dissuade you--I've racked up almost a hundred, and may finally be at the point of breaking through. It takes time.

Ask yourself this: would you still write if you knew the chances of publication were close to nil? If the answer is yes, you're really a writer. If not, then you're not losing anything important, anyway.

01-27-2007, 07:14 AM
Dearest Pamster, I got hashed on Gather AND the SYW thread. And I'm agented and published! You have to take these comments with a grain of salt. Some of the comments are right on, while others are nebulous and don't quite fit. Take what you can use there, dear, and nothing more. It will totally destroy you to take EVERYTHING so seriously and final.

I reached a total of 150 rejections before any of my books were fully read straight through. You've got some more submitting to do.

I dropped out of Gather checking four days ago. There's no help there. I'm very suspicious of the way the process works. It's seems the more hits on a story, the more that follows, leaving the others dragging with little or no comment.

Chin up, Pamster. Heck, we just got to know ya!


Best piece of advice:
Never give up, Anne Rice told me to keep on writing and to never give up on my dreams.

ETA: Look familiar, Pamster? It should. It's your friend, Anne.

01-27-2007, 07:21 AM
I agree with what everyone has said. But I wanted to chime in on something else. When it comes to rejection, I get very very emotional. I feel like there is something wrong with me, and really a lot of those same things you wrote about. Everyone tells you to have a thick skin, but I don't think that's it. I think what you just need is to deal with the emotions, process them, and don't let them make you give up. You are totally allowed a good cry, to feel insecure, to wonder what the point of everything is. But as long as at the end of it all, you wipe away those tears and go, "Okay. Let's move on now," you'll be okay. This thick skin thing is a simple way of saying, "You can't give up." So just don't give up. And then feel whatever you want.

01-27-2007, 07:21 AM
Well, give it a week or two don't do anything rash.

Writing skills can improve with time. The thick skin is what could be a problem. Even the most skilled writers need a tough hide as nobody ever writes anything that somebody won't complain about.

Good luck with whatever you choose.

You can always just write for fun.

01-27-2007, 07:24 AM
Have you waited at least 24-48 hours after receiving the less than stellar reviews of your work to digest it before deciding to pack it in? After a few years of getting my work out there (and receiving many less than stellar comments on it) I've learned something (okay, maybe more than one thing, but this is relevant):

negative/painful/harsh comments, like kitchen garbage, must compost before you can do anything with them, so don't try.

After a day or two, the sting will wear off and you'll be in a much better position to see if the comments have merit, or if they just didn't get/like that particular story. If a negative comment gives you a way to improve a story, that's a good thing. You may or may not thank the person, but that doesn't matter. You'll have the insight to use or discard.

Plus, your skin WILL thicken the more hits you take -- the voice of experience here. Rub some dirt on it and keep writing! :)

01-27-2007, 07:29 AM
If the worst comes to the worst, crawl under the covers with chocolate.

Saundra Julian
01-27-2007, 07:36 AM
I'm with Tri and couldn't have said it better.

I must be getting thicker skin, I actually think some of my critics are funny as hell! Sad part is very often they're telling me the truth and I realize it after the sting subsides. That doesn't mean I quit writing. It means I learn and edit, edit, edit!

Hang tough, girlfriend! :Hug2:

01-27-2007, 07:39 AM
thirty rejections, you can't have been writing, or at least not submitting for very long. Negative comments are the best kind, because they help you grow. The worst comments, if accurate, are the ones that can help you improve the most. So really, they are the best kind of feedback you can get!

Imagine if everyone told you how great your writing was, all the time, no exceptions. How much more frustrating would it be to get those rejections and say: "why? my stuff is so great!"

I know, big help right? how bout this: :Hug2:

Saundra Julian
01-27-2007, 07:40 AM
P.S. Can't wait til "Jerko" gets to my first chapter! That should be a riot... :tongue

01-27-2007, 07:47 AM
After reading your first chapter of Facets of Friendship and your query letter for it, it seemed to me that you are rushing into getting published. Although you have a good story idea, both seemed to be rough drafts, IMO, requiring several more pass-throughs before you should even think about publication.

You're not giving up on writing. You love it too much. :) But I think you'd be happier to focus on learning all you can about writing and forget about publishing for now. It's killing your joy of writing. I think you should hold off submitting your work until you know you've done the best that you can do. Then present it here for critique again, or get a reader, and take the excellent advice that is given to you. I noticed that several people, including me, helped you with your query, but your final copy looked very much like your original.

"Bad" writing only means you have room to grow. We all do, but it should be an exciting challenge, not a confirmation of failure. Take the pressure off and put the fun back in!

01-27-2007, 07:51 AM
I have nothing to add except "hang in there!" Take extra good care of yourself for a few days so you can decide your next move with a clear head. 30 rejections? That's not many at all. Remember that their rejections aren't personal -- your work isn't just what they want right now. That can all change in the future, but if you stop writing you'll never know!

As far as harsh critiques, your gut will tell you which ones you can learn from and which ones are just mean-spirited. Take what applies, use it to improve your writing, forget the rest, and keep going! I'm a musician too, so I keep using the analogy that you're *supposed* to suck as you learn the craft. I cringe when I read earlier stuff I've written. Focus on putting in the time and lots of practice to build your skills.

Believe it or not, rejections do get easier to take with time. These days, when I get a rejection slip, I shrug, re-evaluate the work to see if needs fixing and, if not, send it to the next place. I throw all my rejection slips away too, by the way. Why have that negative energy weigh you down?

Please take good care of yourself, okay? And hang in there!

01-27-2007, 08:05 AM
Yup it's time to move on...I am going to stop writing....

Well, OK then. But I've got to warn you about something. There's a very good possibility you won't be able to quit. And then what will you do?

Well I'll tell you, because I've been there and done that. You'll realize you have to accept the rejection process, because compared to not writing it's the lesser of two pains.

I suspect you're hooked on writing, hooked on achieving your writing goals, and I'm betting you'll put things in perspective and be a better, and more determined writer for it. If not today, then tomorrow, or the next day or however long it takes you to realize "quiting" isn't an option.

Case in point, last week I ran into an old friend who used to belong to a critique group with me about two years ago, before she "quit" writing. She sought me out in the checkout line at the grocery store and proudly announced to me and nearly the whole store, "Hey. I'm writing again." I patted her on the back and said, "Good for you!"

So since we all know how this is going to end . . . hurry up and quit, so you can get back to writing again with a vengeance. Why wait two years to come to the inevitable conclusion that you can't quit :D

01-27-2007, 04:44 PM
Thanks everyone, I don't know if I am gonna stop or not, still hurting from the third comment left on my crappy story. I appreciate everything everyone said, but I don't feel like going on with it anymore, it's really painful to think that something you put your heart into totally sucks.

Anyway, have a good one all. I can't say I will be back, because I don't know that I will. I had thought for years that I had talent so this is a harsh realization for me, one I don't care to repeat by writing another crappy story no one wants to read...I might drop in every now and then, but I doubt I will be half as active as I have been since joining. It's nothing anyone did, it's me. :( Just wish I could stop crying...:cry:

01-27-2007, 05:37 PM
Maybe you do have talent. How long have you been seriously writing? Even the most talented among us have to work at writing. The more you write, the better you get (up to a certain point). It's called "honing your craft", and the only way to do it is to write and write and write. At the beginning it isn't about people gushing over the beauty of your prose, it's about pure hard work and production. A lot of one's early writing has a better life lining a birdcage than lining the rejection bin in an editor's office (cuz that's where it'll end up).

I agree that you're probably showing your work and attempting to get published too soon. If you really think you can do this, hunker down and write until your fingers bleed. Now, throw all that away and write something worth publishing. If you don't give up today, that's my advice to you (I've been writing fiction seriously for about 3 years and have had nothing published yet, not for lack of trying).

01-27-2007, 06:34 PM
Thanks Caro, I feel a little better because someone else (two people actually) posted good Con Crit and I don't feel as upset now, because it is true, I did do a little too much background info and setting info in this chapter. So I probably should have rewritten the opening. Thanks everyone for the encouragement. I think I had had a really bad day yesterday and let that flamer get to me. Much better today though. :)

Sorry for the drama. :Sun:

Saundra Julian
01-27-2007, 07:23 PM
I think your book should start with the accident. The rest is backstory and can be filled in a little at a time.
Remember you need a hook in your opening chapter!

01-27-2007, 08:07 PM
Thanks Saundra, I will rework the chapter so that when I query for it after the contest it will read stronger. I didn't understand hooks in 97-98' when I wrote this novel, so I have learned a lot since then, but the accident and fight with his girlfriend need to be in chapter one, I definitely agree with you on that. :D

01-27-2007, 08:48 PM
Come on Pam, don't stop writing. Thirty rejections is nothing. I've probably had 300 or more in the course of fifteen years of submitting. I know how you feel, believe me, because every other day I feel like quitting writing. Try working on another piece of fiction or another type of writing for a bit to take your mind off the one that's been rejected.

01-27-2007, 09:37 PM
Thirty? You're complaining about thirty rejections? When you've had thirty novels rejected, you'll have earned the right to complain. When you've had 3,000 rejections, you'll have earned teh right to complain.

Did you really expect a first novel to be as good as those you see published? Do you expect a second or a third or a fourth novel to be this good?

Would you expect to be a doctor the first day you attend medical school? Would you expect to play a concert as soon as you learn to play a violin?
Would you expect yuor first painting to hang in a museum?

Writing one novel doesn't even earn you the right to complain. Writing five novels doesn't give you the right to complain. Thirty rejections doesn't give you the right to even feel bad.

William Saroyan received 4,000 rejections before making a sale. When you've approached this number, then you have a right to complain, though he never did.

01-27-2007, 09:53 PM
Aren't you something special? Gee thanks for the ego boost, just when I had begun to feel better you come in and spread your brand of doom and gloom. Couldn't resist could you James? :P

I have every right to my own opinion and you have yours, but there was no need for you to say all that malarkey. I don't need your permission to feel what I felt last night when I posted about this, I don't appreciate your attitude one bit and it's not just your post here, sometimes I agree with you but more often then not I find myself laughing...you figure it out. ;)

01-27-2007, 09:58 PM
One thing Iíve noticed is that when I start getting a lot of rejections and problems, something great comes along right after that. Iíve asked other writers Iíve met and they all say the same thing Ė they get their first ok from an agent on a terrible day when they are ready to give up or they find a great new editor to work with after months of being dumped on by a critique group, etc. After the rain comes the sunshine, so do at least consider hanging in there. You just never know what terrific writerly opportunity is waiting just around the corner.

01-27-2007, 10:01 PM
Thanks zenwriter! I was pretty low yesterday but today I feel much better and don't feel like I have been hewed up and spit out like I was feeling last night. I hope things do go my way soon, I really think that my children's stories are marketable and have since found another book put out which is similar to mine, but mine is definitely a different style of story telling, but it doesn't make it any less worthy of publication then any other novel out there. I do want to make my writing goals happen so hopefully I can with time, get to that brass ring I am seeing just out of my reach. :)

01-27-2007, 10:21 PM
Pamster, I know rejection can hurt (your writing is like a piece of yourself, exposed and vulnerable), but try to hang in there if you really love to write. And I'll echo what others have said; even while writing and submitting, do try to find some way of developing your craft--go to a conference, or take a creative writing course at the local junior college. I took 4 when I started, and was so encouraged by the cameraderie of other writers going through the same process. (Plus I learned a lot.) See also if there's a writer's group in your area that you can join; personal feedback among friends is so much easier to learn from than cold comments from prospective agents.


01-27-2007, 10:21 PM
Pamster, you know (from my earlier post) that I believe in feeling what you are feeling when rejections strike. I would at least hope you knew that. But I do have to say that while James tends to write in a very blunt way, the essence of what said is actually I think quite positive. What he is saying is that even the top famous authors out there who we adore had thousands of rejections before success. Most people consider this an uplifting thing, suggesting that it might not be their writing that causes the rejections but just bad luck. That eventually after paying their dues, their time will come. Re-read what he said, he was actually, in his no nonsense kind of way, being supportive.

And I mean let's not get too crazy here, EVERYONE needs to work on their writing. Even the uber famous authors out there. In fact I would say the mark of a truly great author is the someone who, though he/she has won every award going, still thinks there is room to improve.

Glad to see you are feeling better though! See, you just needed to work through it!

01-27-2007, 10:21 PM
Aren't you something special? Gee thanks for the ego boost, just when I had begun to feel better you come in and spread your brand of doom and gloom. Couldn't resist could you James? :P

I have every right to my own opinion and you have yours, but there was no need for you to say all that malarkey. I don't need your permission to feel what I felt last night when I posted about this, I don't appreciate your attitude one bit and it's not just your post here, sometimes I agree with you but more often then not I find myself laughing...you figure it out. ;)

Didn't say you needed my permission. You didn't need my permission to whine over thirty lousy rejections, and you don't need my permission not to do so.

Laugh all you like. You're the one thinking about packing it in because you've received thirty lousy rejections.

What I said wasn't intended to make you feel bad. The same words have made many new writers feel better. The fact that they made you feel bad shows a lot more about you than me. What I said was simply the truth. You're expecting a first effort to be good enough to publish. You're expecting to succeed instantly, no big bunch of rejections for you, by God.

You want to succeed without paying the same price almost all great writers have had to pay. If not, you'll boo-hoo and pack it in.

No, you certainly do not need my permission to feel bad because you received a pitifully few rejections, or to think about quitting because you're first effort might be a failure. What does this say about you...you figure it out.

01-27-2007, 10:44 PM
You are assuming I expect my first effort to be publishable and as soon as you said that you lost my interest so keep posting and I'll just work on ignoring it until you actually put it in a light where crap colored glasses aren't a requirement of reading....I certainly do not expect to be publishable on a first draft, but this novel is NOT a first draft, it IS however my first novel and I have learned a lot since writing it.

Why do you insist on flogging people with your words? I already said I felt better today and I am here...that should say enough about me that is all that needs said, I did NOT give up. And truth be told if you count the ones I've yet to hear from it's closer to fifty rejections so who cares? I certainly don't but getting flamed so hard last night really hurt my feelings, I've never had someone thrash me in such a brutal uncaring manner so I wasn't prepared for that.

So what? I really wish you could just leave me alone, I didn't ask for you to have a go at me and I would appreciate you not making any more assumptions about my intentions or anything about me, you don't know squat about me unless you're paying any attention to stuff I post, which so far you've left me alone so whatever. I was feeling a little lost last night, but I feel better today, so go on about your business and just leave me out of it.

Nothing you said helped so why not stop? The others? Yes, they were supportive and understanding sharing some of their own experience and that is what helped me feel better, that and a good night's sleep to just do some solid dreaming. I might not remember the dreams I had but I do remember the goals I have and I intend to keep on submitting queries and posting here as well as working on my writing. I won't let some jerk upset me anymore when I still believe in the value of what I've written and what I've yet to write. And by some jerk I mean the guy who upset me yesterday, felt clarification was needed because I am NOT saying you are a jerk James, just a little insensitive and blunt which are two things I really don't have any use for in my life or my outlook. :)

01-27-2007, 11:26 PM
What is the "gather" site? Is that on AW?

01-27-2007, 11:57 PM
That is the place holding that Simon & Schuster's writing contest Sweetlebee. You can read more here:


01-29-2007, 12:35 AM
Pamster did you read my post about James? I really think you are misreading him. And what did you expect him to do after he thought he was being helpful and you were rather mean back to him. You called what he said malarky. He was just trying to help. Trying to tell you not to worry about your situation because almost every author goes through the same thing. Maybe the tone is a bit harsh (that's how he posts), but I think it is unfair of you.

I'm sorry. I always put my nose into arguments on threads, I just hate it when people get mad at each other, especially in this instance when everyone was on the same side, and the guy was just trying to help.

Nonetheless, I am still very happy you haven't thrown in the towel! But I've said that already. Stop repeating yourself Toothpaste and go back to editing!

01-29-2007, 02:38 AM
I can agree to disagree, but that's the best I am going to do because I feel that James was being rather mean to me when I was suffering from a big flaming blow to my ego. I just reread it and it still comes across to me as an unnecessary string of things to post, telling me I earn the right to complain after thirty novels was not constructive in the slightest.

Not as far as I could see and I took offense to what he said, plus the fact that it was said after I had posted saying I was feeling better, it was like getting another flaming blow to my vulnerable ego. So we can let it go but if in the future things happen again and I feel offended I won't bother posting to voice my feelings, I will just engage the "Ignore" feature and go on without a second thought.

I know you know him better, I know I'm new, but I still don't think that excuses his insensitivity just because that is how he is or whatever. I've seen him be a lot nicer to people then that post was to me. I didn't start crying or anything but jeeze it still bothered me. It was a slap in the face and I simply called him on it, I didn't post this thread to look for a fight, you know? I wasn't mad, I was hurt by what he said.

But the point remains that I recognize now that I should have edited the first chapter some more before resending it to them at Gather and maybe this wouldn't have happened. I have completely rewritten the opening chapter and am very pleased with the changes. I was up late writing last night well into the night to finish it and it was like always, things just flowed. :)