Thursday, March 4, 2010

Dark Clouds of Rejection

You'd think I'd be used to it by now. That long-awaited and always heart-breaking "thanks-but-no-thanks" letter. Or email, as the case may be.

I know writers aren't supposed to blog about rejection, that it isn't "good form." But it's the truth.

The truth isn't pretty.

And it never gets any easier.

What no one really tells you is that in publishing, there are more rejection letters than happy dances. More "It's not right for me" letters than "Send me your manuscript." Okay, they do tell you that if you're paying attention, but to be a writer is to be full of hubris and think your manuscript is better than the others in the slush pile. That it will get picked out, picked up, and rocket to the top of the bestseller list. But the truth is that even when the agent or publisher has your full manuscript, and says he likes your story... it still may end in rejection for myriad other reasons.

So why keep at it? This is a question that I'm sure many, many writers and authors struggle with on a regular - if not daily - basis. Then again, rejection crops up in many forms in many other professions as well. Is every day at school rewarding for your child's teacher? Probably not. Does every sales call or demonstration result in a deal for the company selling the new widget? Definitely not.

What keeps us going is the idea that one day, someone will "get it" - they'll sign us, or buy our product, or thank us with hugs and smiles, and make all the hard work and all the rejection worthwhile.

I just wish that "one day" had been today. For me, for you, for all of us struggling with rejection. May our "one days" be sooner, rather than later.


  1. Oh! Me too! As you know, I believe every rejection is one step closer to an acceptance, but it still sucks to get the brush-off. Now get another query out the door and wait for someone to join you on the bench - I'm sure it won't stay empty for too long :-)

  2. Thanks, Nic. I appreciate your support, and am still at it...mailing more queries out today...


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