Friday, November 11, 2005

Dealing With Rejection

It’s never an easy thing to open up your email or mailbox and see that rejection letter. Especially if it’s from an editor you really wanted to sell to. But such is the way of things in the life of a writer. We’ve all been rejected at one time or another, even the big name authors – JK Rowling and Stephen King, for example.

Getting that form letter can be a crushing blow. We want to read between the lines, search for hidden meaning if there was no feedback. “Do I suck as a writer?” “Am I just not good enough?” “Will I ever sell?”

I have first hand experience with rejection, too. Most of them I expect. Some of them I have high hopes for an acceptance only to receive that “It’s good but…”. Good, not good enough.

Seeing that made me want to throw my hands up in the air and shout to no one in particular, “What’s the point?” Why should I keep trying? Keep going? When all I’m going to get is the “good, just not good enough” rejections. The only silver lining, if you can call it that, is the fact the editor said she wanted me to keep them in mind for my future work.

Writers have to deal with rejection in their own way. Maybe you need to sit in a alone in a dark corner with a beer in one hand and a bowl of peanuts in the other. Or take that rejection and burn it in a bonfire. For me, I need to wallow in self-pity for a little while, eat chocolate, and whine to my writer friends. One time I suggested I would stop writing altogether if I got rejected again. The response I got were gasps of horror. Of course, I have no intention of quitting. But for one brief moment in time…I considered it.

Really… a rejection just means no. That’s all. Just no. You don’t suck, you are good enough, and you will sell. Those are the positive reinforcements you have to keep in the back of your mind when reading those rejections. Because no one can take the dream away from you. Only YOU can take away the dream. YOU are the only one who are in control of what you write and when you write.

Don’t let anyone ever steal the dream.


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