…rejections. At least, I don’t think anyone does. Well, I suppose if you were about to break up with someone and didn’t know how and then they broke up with you first, you might welcome a rejection. But that’s a rare circumstance, and besides, I’m talking about rejections of writing.
This post is for writers who want to be published (including me, because I need this reminder too!)
We work so hard on our writing—we plan, think, write, revise, seek feedback from others, revise some more, proofread, research potential agents and editors, write and rewrite query letters, and then after we finally submit. check our inboxes every day. All that, only to—
—get an email back saying “Thank you for your submission” and perhaps “The writing was charming” or “I enjoyed reading it,” followed by the dreaded big BUT…”But I’m afraid I don’t feel it is as strong as it needs to be…” or “But I’m afraid I’ll have to pass” or “The marketplace is crowded…” or “But opinions are subjective and others may feel differently,” etc. You know the refrain. And unlike that song from the ’90s, no one likes these kind of big buts.
Now here comes another one— BUT you gotta submit again. Yep, you really do. Maybe a rejecter just accepted a book with a similar theme. Or had a bad day or is already overwhelmed by their swollen client list. Or has terrible taste in literature. Try someone else! Try lots of someone elses!
Keep in mind how many rejections these wildly successful books received before eventually being published:
Harry Potter — 12
A Wrinkle in Time— 26
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance—121
And Chicken Soup for the Soul was rejected…wait for it…134 times!
Look over your submission and query letter again to see if there are any improvements you can make to improve it. Then submit again! And one day your inbox might have an email that makes you feel like this—