Friday, July 31, 2009

"If you want to learn how to handle rejection, become a writer."

I don't know who made that statement, but how true, how true. I received one today from the Carus group. It was a nice form letter thanking me for giving them the opportunity to see my work and hoping I have success in placing it elsewhere. Form rejections aren't dated so I penciled in the date and the story title and added it to my rejection folder. This was the second rejection for this story and it was a revised version. I remembered how I felt with my very first rejection. Wounded, hurt, ready to quit.

If you are just starting out, you will hear over and over again that the rejection is for your work, not you. Don't take it personally. But if it's your work you are sending out there, does that mean you are not good enough or talented enough? No, it means what the letter said. Something about it wasn't right and you have to find out because they aren't going to tell you. Unless it's one of those good rejections where the editor tells you personally what needs to be changed. ( I really want one of those)

Don't bury it away. Read your manuscript critically. It's amazing what you will find to change after having been away from it for awhile. When the revised version is ready, send it out again.

Make a Rejection Folder and save them all. Several successful writers have stories to tell about how many they received and what they did with them when they finally "made it".

Rejections simply mean you are trying. If you don't send them out there, they can't be accepted.

Rotten Rejections: You'll enjoy these!
Why you get form letters:


  1. Welcome to blogland! :-)
    What a great post, very insightful and true. I remember my first rejection, too, and I reacted the same way as you. But nowadays, it just stings a bit (if it's a dream agent, maybe a little more) and then I put it away.

    Unless it's one of those good rejections where the editor tells you personally what needs to be changed. ( I really want one of those)

    I wanted a personal rejection so badly, too, when I first started submitting! Funnily enough, I got a partial request and a full request before I ever got a personal rejection. ;-) But when that personal rejection came, I was pretty happy (even though I didn't agree with the suggested changes). :-D

  2. Anna, thank you for being the first to comment on my blog. I immediately called my sister. "Someone read my blog! She left a comment!"

    I can only imagine how exciting it was to receive the requests for a partial and a full! I have a manuscript ready after being through two critique groups and revised numerous times. The brick wall is the dreaded query letter! Aacck!