Thursday, July 19, 2007

Wallpapering with Rejection Slips

Rejection is one vital step on a writer's journey. It is actually one that is fairly advanced, but any writer who is serious about wanting to be published will, at some point, submit something and be rejected. There is no easy way to handle the sense of failure that looms over these little rejection slips. Writers over the centuries have dealt with it in many different ways.

It is important to remember that rejection is not personal. It is hard, from this side of the process to accept that. We put so much of our heart and soul into our writing that it can sometimes feel like a stabbing pain to have it rejected by others. The truth is, publishers/agents have many submissions pass across their desks and reject many brilliant works.

Publishers and agents are always looking for something specific. They need work that meets their lists; they pay attention to genre, length, fashion and fancy; luck and timing also play a vital role in the potential for rejection. Publishers are pressed for time and often have to make judgments based entirely on gut instinct and first impressions. The adage, "Don't judge a book by its cover", is one publishers cannot adhere to. They must judge by the cover, or at least the first lines and pages.

The most vital thing to remember is that rejection is a way to learn. While most publishers won't include specific information the rejection is the first step to examining your manuscript for problems. A rejection is the opportunity to grow and develop. Decide if there is any reason they may have been right to reject that peice and if there is, fix it, before submitting it to the next on your list.

Of course, you could simply try Dylan Moran's technique:

However you handle rejection know that a rejection is always better than having your work languishing in a closet. Each rejection brings you closer to acceptance and publication. Keep polishing and submitting your works and eventually, with dedication and effort you will find a publisher. Meanwhile, keep writing!



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