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:

Thursday, July 30, 2009

One Writer's Journey

I'm a children's writer. It's something I always wanted to be someday, when I had time. I think some of you know how that goes.
Now, I'm blogging because in this day and age writers are supposed to be making use of the internet and all it has available to sell themselves and their work. Gee, what happened to the good old days? Real writers sit at home in a quiet room, create a middle grade masterpiece on a computer, print it and mail it off. Then they are discovered by a major publishing house and become famous and rich. Right?
Five years ago I joined the Society for Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, attended two conferences in San Antonio, and came home much wiser. During the second conference I signed up for a one on one with an editor from a major publishing house who had time to look at my wonderful first chapter of the book that would astound her. She was very kind and very honest and I had a lot to learn. That manuscript for a middle grade mystery is in a drawer. I decided to start writing: stories; articles; anything. During the next three years I worked hard and I have had modest success.
Stories for Children was my first acceptance after numerous rejections. How thrilled I was that this new online children's magazine wanted MY story, "Meg's Mistake" and then they accepted "We Just Click". My third story, "The Mystery of the Secret Name Taker" will appear in the November issue. V.S.Grenier, the founder and publisher, has been a boon to newbies. She and her staff not only work with their contributors but they have turned Stories for Children into a well respected children's magazine.
In the meantime I also sent out craft ideas and three of them have been published in Pack-o-Fun in the February, July, and soon to be released October 2009 issues. Annie Niemiec, the editor, is a delight to work with and so professional.
Peg Kehret said in her book Five Pages a Day: A Writer's Journey one of her goals was to make sure she submitted something every Friday. That made me think about what I was doing. I would send one or two things out and wait for weeks, months, before a response. I don't do that anymore. I have made a spreadsheet to keep track of my submissions and right now I have several things out there. I can't do something every Friday so my goal is two new things each month--that doesn't include taking a reject, rewriting it, and sending it off to find a new home.
This blog will develop slowly but my goal is to share things for the other new writers out there, things I have learned, other blogs and sites that helped me in the past and are still helping me, and hopefully learn a few things as I plod along.