So you received the dreaded rejection letter. Well it was bound to happen. You are in great company and I wasn’t talking about me. If you are a writer, then rejection will be a part of your everyday life. Author David Eddings said, “If you don’t have callouses on your soul, writing isn’t for you. Take up knitting instead.” Funny but true.
When you get your rejection letter and odds are you will, treating it as an insult and allowing it to bring out the worst in you will stall your dream of becoming an Author.
Those who are successful as novelists, recover and learn from their rejection using it to motivate them to become better writers. They recognize that rejection hurts but see it as part of the process. They don’t take it personal. Writers like this do the following.
- Wallow then write – Give yourself thirty minutes or so to get the rejection out of your system then get back to the keyboard.
- Learn from the critique – Attempt to understand what you did wrong and correct your mistakes.
- Try to understand where the publisher is coming from and why your novel didn’t work.
- Remember publishing is a business and publishers are in the market to make money. It’s not personal.
I received rejection letters from four different agencies. I hated the ones that said ‘Thank you but this isn’t what we are looking for’. What do you do with that? Fortunately one saw something in my manuscript and while she said it wasn’t ready for publishing, she offered suggestions to make it better. As a matter of fact, that particular agent has offered me advice on three separate occasions. That’s why I started this blog. She informed me I needed to build a solid platform.
I took all of her suggestions to heart. I researched, took classes to make me a better writer and I started this blog to begin building a platform. If you’re not sure what that is, I have written about it in previous blogs and you can google ‘building your platform’ for more information. I recommend reading some of Michael Hyatt’s stuff. The man is very knowledgeable on the subject and easy to follow.
I hope this helped somebody. I would love to hear from you. Any comments or questions would make my day.
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4 thoughts on “The Dreaded Rejection Letter”
I’m not looking forward to this eventuality, but I know it’s coming. No matter how hard or perfect my work, it’s coming. I’m hoping the fact I have read great posts like this one, and other books and sources talking about rejection, that I will be more prepared for it.
I’m a planner. So I plan for failure. I have plans on top of plans for getting an agent. A book with a complementary novella, the blog, short story publication, and general research. I’m also patient. So I’m not worried about rushing to publication. My hope is these things paired together will assist in the process.
Regardless, thanks for sharing this post. It got me thinking and that’s always a good thing. I will check out Michael Hyatt as per your recommendation.
My initial thought was as great as you are doing on your blog, you could probably give him some recommendation. He actually is great at not only building your platform but building you.
I did another post months ago that I may bring back on the number one characteristic of published writers, It’s perseverance. If you have a great premise, that’s well written, don’t give up. If I remember correctly the Author of The Help-got 60 rejection letters but she kept pushing forward and found an agent on her 61st try. Her book was on the New York times bestseller list for almost a year. Of course there are numerous other authors that I site in the blog that went through the same.
Doesn’t necessarily make it any easier but at least you know you’re in good company and it’s not the end 🙂
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I guess it’s like learning how to be a butcher, and never expecting to get cut. Writing, in its own way, is also a bloody business. One of my favorite parts of this blogging thing is meeting people like you who have insight and encouraging words to offer.
I sometimes imagine how hard it was for writers back when they truly were writing in vacuum. In this way, we are pretty lucky to have this collaboration.
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