Feeling really low today over some rejections that I have received, and the fact that writing isn't producing me any money, I decided to Google "rejection". 59,000,000 hits for that one dirty word. It turns out that you can be rejected socially, in love, at work, and even your body can reject food or say, a
transplanted organ. There are games out there to deal with rejection, articles, books, and videos. Rejection is a part of life but knowing that doesn’t make dealing with it any easier.
So, why do the rejections that I am receiving for my written pieces gutting me? I have been asking myself this every day and can’t seem to come up with an answer. I know, I know, every writer says that rejections are not only part of the process but necessary. The other day someone on twitter posted “I truly believe that with enough tenacity, anyone can get traditionally published eventually...but not without a lot of rejections first.” I wrote to her and said (jokingly): “how many is a lot?” Her response? “A lot, a lot.”
Although, I knew what she was saying. I need to do my time, pay my dues, have those rejection stories
to tell when I become published that will inspire non-published writers to keep writing. Whatever. And, I know what she is saying about tenacity, and trust me I have it, but getting someone else to see that I have what it takes to be a successful writer is like trying to find a contact on a pile of bubble wrap.
Honestly, some of my rejections are quite nice and none have been nasty but when they arrive in your email each day it is hard not to begin to wonder: why
am I doing this to myself?
Here are some of my recent rejections:
“Sorry to say, Kathy, that we will not be using this submitted work, and do wish you the best of luck with it elsewhere.”
“Thank you for your query. Unfortunately, I'm afraid this project isn't right for me, but I wish you the best of luck in your search for representation.”
“Thank you for your query regarding your novel,
LAGUNA. Unfortunately, based on the information you provided, the project does
not meet our needs at this time. Best of luck in your future endeavors.”
And my personal favorite …….
“Thanks so much for being in touch. I’m flattered that you thought of me for this, but it just didn't quite strike a chord. I do admire the quality of the writing and the execution and I’m sorry it wasn't a fit for me.”
I love that this agent took the time to write such a thoughtful note. I will be printing and framing this one. Her rejection give me a glimmer of hope that maybe it’s not my writing that stinks but the fact that I really didn’t make an impression.
Now, I know, I know, if I quit than I will never know the fruits of my labor. BUT writing is hard. No, like really, really hard. Let me explain. Imagine your
job whatever it may be. Now imagine spending months, years even, working on a huge project, or trying to land a business deal and finally you have a
breakthrough and complete the project. Now, mind you, you have worked these months, or years, for FREE in the hopes that you will be rewarded with a big bonus upon completion of this project. Excitedly, you bring your good news to your boss that you have completed your project (or landed that deal) and he looks at you and says, “No. We aren’t going to use this. Thanks anyway.” No money. No recognition. Nothing. That’s a writer’s life.
I have been doing a lot of research lately by reading tons of short stories and studying structure and prose. The stories that I am reading are “the best”
out there and are written by some of most acclaimed writers, and yet I am not impressed. AT ALL. This business is very subjective and finding that needle in the haystack agent that actually “gets” you is the hard part. I have spent the last few months writing and writing and writing. For what? To get rejected, that’s what.
Every day as a writer is different. Some days I’m flying high and some…I feel buried underground. Today is an underground day. Talk to me tomorrow, I may be flying high.