Saturday, April 21, 2012

Dealing with Rejection (Letters)

I love days when life flows from one moment to the next. Who doesn’t? (Well, there are those lovers of life drama, but that’s a subject for another blog.)

Then there are those days when life is full of bumps. Or more appropriately - since I was at a track meet earlier - hurdles.

The crazy drivers cutting everyone off on the freeway.

The unbearable temperatures – high or low.

Whining children.

The rejection letters.


Did I mention the rejection letters?

I thought I was used to rejections from my days of pursuing acting work. It was relatively easy for me back then to brush them off and tell myself that I just wasn’t right for the part.

Having my writing rejected is another story. It’s like having my soul rejected. (Okay, I’m being a bit melodramatic.)

So after allowing myself a short “pity-party” session, I went off to read about authors who had their work rejected. Countless times. (Thanks to Michelle Reynoso for this link.)

At least the box that was checked on my form letter rejection said my work was rejected because it was “not suited to our present needs.” And there was a handwritten message thanking me for thinking of them. I guess it could have been worse.

So now I brush myself off and continue the process of sending and sending and sending out my work.

Hopefully, my fate won’t be the same as that of William Saroyan, who reportedly received 7,000 rejections before selling a short story.

And I realize these hurdles are preparing me for larger ones to come, whether they are other crazy drivers, heat waves, or rejection letters.

Or something else. (Writing deadlines?)

Now, do yourself a favor and check out the blogs of these great people/writers.

Also, keep your eyes peeled for the upcoming post on the Mouse Tales Press Blog about some small adjustments to our submission guidelines.


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  1. As a writer I definitely connect with the "It’s like having my soul rejected." feeling. As an editor, I feel like I'm crushing a writer and it feels a lot worse. I hate both feelings.

    Sometimes when I receive a rejection letter I become even more ambitious about sending out poems. My muse throws me all sorts of ideas and I stay up all night writing and submitting! If rejection letters lead to this delicious feeling, then I don't want them to ever stop. Could you imagine 7,000 bursts of enthusiasm?

    ;) All in favor of brushing off work and writing more and sending more? I think we're all with you on that.

  2. Thanks for the shout-out Linda! All we need is one yes in the see of no's. Here's hoping we all get our "yes" soon enough. :)

  3. Aaawww... thanks, you guys! Definitely channeling that "rejection" energy into positive efforts. And yes, looking forward to all of our acceptance letters! :-D

  4. Maybe rejection letters are just editors way of toughening us up to prepare us for the editing process (like fattening the pig, maybe?) Seems like a good time to get credit for MNINB Day's my celebration of my first rejection letter: Enjoy!

  5. Rejection is the worst! I think the best way to counter-attack a rejection letter is to take another look at what you've submitted, make some tweaks, and send it right back into the world again. At least, that's what I tell myself when I'm hiding under the covers with a large bowl of mint chocolate-chip ice cream.