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:~: Tuesday, February 27, 2007 :~:

Rejection

This is a subject that's been on my mind a lot lately. Partly because I'm getting them as I'm submitting my current project to agents, and partly because I've been reading through an online workshop about rejection.

My most rejected book garnered 56 rejection letters (mostly from agents) and my second most rejected book has received 48 to date. After that, I stopped counting. *grin* After five years, I think I've developed a pretty thick skin. Most of the time, I can put the rejection out of my mind and move on to the next query or project, but there are those times when getting the rejection still sidelines me for a little while.

The one thing I've learned to do is take what I can from them. I don't make changes to a manuscript based on a single opinion, but if a handful or agents and editors comment on the same thing, their comments give me something to look into to hopefully improve the book. I've given up on analyzing them to try and find hidden meanings. For me, I find that definitely blocks the creativity. I have a file in my desk where the letter goes once I've read it over a few times, and there it stays.

How do you handle rejection? What do you do to get past it and move on to the next project?

8Comments:

Blogger Elisabeth Naughton said...

I have a file too, Elisa, though I've never counted how many on each book (or total for that matter). I think that would just depress me too much.

There are some rejections that don't bug me, and then there are ones that are really hard to take. Most agent rejections didn't bother me, but I'm finding the editor ones stay with me longer. Maybe it's because there are infinite numbers of agents out there, and only a handful of editors who can buy my genre. So every R from the editors means one less ultimate "buyer". I had one in December that really hit me hard, and I moped for a few days until DH said, "Why aren't you writing? Get back to work. You can't sell if you don't write." It was the kick in the ass I needed.

For me, just talking about it with my CPs usually helps (J's da bomb at picking up my sorry butt and dusting me off). It's just one more reason I think critique partners are invaluable.

9:24 AM  
Blogger Joan Swan said...

Elisa,

Timely subject for me, too. Not Rs from editors/agents at the moment, but even when someone reads work you think is ready to go, revised and revised and time to be printed and says, "It still needs a lot of work." is an R to me.

I'm with E on how some Rs bother me, some don't. I also find the editor Rs harder to shake than the agent Rs.

Before I found my agent, I racked up over 350 Rs on 3 different manuscripts. Those were all from agents.

I don't have a file. I kept them for a while, then trashed them. They were mostly form Rs with no valuable content.

9:55 AM  
Blogger Elisa said...

The editor Rs get to me more than the agent ones, too. I think it's what you mentioned, E--there are so few editors while there are so many agents. I usually send out a whole bunch of agent queries at one time.

The ones that really get me are the ones from editors I already work with. I had 2 last month--from 2 different editors--and one of them hit me *really* hard.

I absolutely agree on the CPs, too. People who don't write don't always understand how tough this business can be. It's so important to have people to talk to who understand what you're going through.

12:11 PM  
Blogger Linda Winfree said...

Interesting topic . . . and one every writer gets to deal with. I agree, some rejections simply matter more or hurt more than others.

Elisa, it's those rejections from editors who know my work that I'm afraid of -- I have a couple of subs with my new editor and I'm terrified she won't like my writing as much as the editor to whom I originally subbed.

J, I did keep a file, but I finally tossed it. Got too fat, took up too much space in my desk, LOL.

4:25 PM  
Blogger Theresa said...

So far, the rejections I've been collecting haven't been bothering me. They are all from agents though, not editors. So maybe I'll feel differently when I start querying editors.

TBH-- my contest critiques and scores used to bother me alot more than the agent rejections have.

Maybe because the contest scores and comments could be really negative. The particularily harsh ones would rattle my confidence, None of the agent rejects have done that to date.

10:33 PM  
Blogger Theresa said...

So far, the rejections I've been collecting haven't been bothering me. They are all from agents though, not editors. So maybe I'll feel differently when I start querying editors.

TBH-- my contest critiques and scores used to bother me alot more than the agent rejections have.

Maybe because the contest scores and comments could be really negative. The particularily harsh ones would rattle my confidence, None of the agent rejects have done that to date.

10:33 PM  
Blogger Edie said...

I'm always working on another project, and that ususally helps. I don't sulk too long. I don't keep them in my office either. They're negative energy. I keep them with my taxes. Paying taxes is already negative, lol. And this way I have proof that I sent them out in case I'm ever audited.

6:34 AM  
Blogger Liz Kreger said...

I'm with Edie. Keep going on a new project. Once I'm immersed, I really don't think all that much about any rejections that are coming in. Yes, I open the envelope, say "oh, sh*t" and move on.

It's been awhile since I've submitted to agents, but I'll be doing that again in the near future. I have two books with Samhain ... for which I don't feel a need for an agent, but I do have some manuscripts that I think would fit better with the big boys and would definitely want an agent for that. Sooooo ... I'll be sucking it up, sending out again and waiting patiently for those responses.

1:22 PM  

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