Recently I got a rejection e-mail for the first thing I’ve submitted in a while, but even though I knew my chances were slim, I still got that feeling of a sick, diarrhea, gagging dog, before I clicked to open.
It’s the most exciting, and cack worthy moment EVER, apart from actually reading the feedback- if you’re lucky to get any. But you know what? I felt uncommonly good- Hey, I’m not saying that this is the response I was looking for, but I just felt fine Step away from from the hack saw.
It’s weird, for me- and I’m NOT just saying this as an unpublished, slightly bitter understudy, stabbing pencils into her thighs, I’m kind of not thinking about the ‘Publishing thing’ too much, if at all. I’m just seriously enjoying the writing process, and by god, I’m making some gawd awful mistakes along the way, but I’m sooooo happy to be in a place that I kinda get, and that kinda gets me…Or indeed pretends to. It’s taken a while to get here, and it. is. good. Even when it’s bad.
When I was younger I was incredibly self critical, I absolutely loathed losing to anyone or anything, but most of all failure was my biggest fear.
Ha! I don’t sound like the typical six year old do I? But hey that was me.
Now that I’ve grown up-a bit- I’m glad to say that the fear of being rejected has considerably reduced, although my relentless persistence is still just as, relentless. I wanted to write this post to flip rejection on its steely back, and instead of boo hoo-ing for hours about what went wrong, focus on the positives and ask ourselves what went right.
1. Send you back to the drawing board to research and improve your manuscript, query letter, pitch etc. Allowing you time to do it better.
2. It’ll give you the rhino skin needed once in the profession or just until you get another letter of …rejection.
The garden of eaden
3. It’ll pose the question if a writers life is actually for you. No use wasting time right?
4. It will test your courage, your patience, and your triple box of Kleenex.
5. It will prepare you for when they no longer reject you, and yes they’ve said yes! Giving you time to clean, edit, get others opinions, attend conferences, workshops and generally learn loads more about what you’ve signed up for.
6. It will open doors to other routes, you may not have otherwise considered to get your work out there like self publishing, readings at library’s, school events, blogging!
And finally [ish] a word of warning…
7. Rejection will always have the ability to give up on you. That’s its job.
8. Our job doesn’t involve any of that!
So whether you’ve just been dumped by your publisher, your agent or your boyfriend, I don’t suspect you’ll be feeling up for a party any time soon; and quite rightly so, you’ve been hurt dammit! However, telling the story of how you reached your goals in the face of adversity, now that’s the kind of success story we all love to hear.
So put down the tissues, and go face this muscle Marvel character of rejection, and remember don’t take no for an answer.
[I’ll definitely be sending more stuff out there, but I’ve got to get it super sound proof before I do. Hope to be joining a critique group soon, and will be putting the time in to get the work structurally sound, will keep you updated obv’s lol]
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How has rejection shaped your learning? Would love to hear your stories! :-]