Friday, February 27, 2009

Rejection: The Ugly "R" Word

I wish I had pearls of wisdom for how to handle rejection. I'd distribute those gems to myself and fellow writers generously. Unfortunately, rejection is part of the quest for publication. But at some point, when the rejections pour in, you do start to wonder: is it time to give up on this project? Or, even worse, is it time to give up on writing altogether and take up knitting?

Since I don't know how to knit and refuse to learn because I've seen someone jabbed by a knitting needle (it's not as harmless as one would think), I persevere with my writing. Two weeks ago, I received a rejection for another work Bound by Blood. Feeling sorry for myself, I went off to into my quagmire of doubt and self-pity for a bit. And because I like to depress myself, I opened up the database where I keep track of my queries to find the fifty-seven rejections I have for Sultana. That's right, fifty-seven rejections racked up between agents and publishers. Some writers might be awed by that number, others would say when I've racked up a hundred rejections, then it's time to re-evaluate. I have no clue how to evaluate the number, but I can pinpoint a few that have dented, dinged and chipped my writing soul.

Then today, I stumbled on a blog that asked a wonderful question; for those of you born to write, do you also believe you were born to be published? I've blogged about the joy of writing and I can even recall when I decided, more than four years ago, that the joy of writing had morphed into a real goal of publication. There's a huge difference between wanting to write and wanting to be widely read and receive criticism on your work. Writing can be a very self-indulgent, lonesome activity. It's another thing entirely to open up your work to the public. To invite criticism and rejection on a larger scale than a few queries could ever solicit.

When I was down in the dumps, a lovely member of a critique group helped me put a smile on my face again, with this hilarious take on how one author handled rejection.


Anita Davison said...


It's just a matter of time, you are a lovely writer and your talent just hasn't been discovered yet. However that doesn't minimise what lovely stories you write. And with me and your agent behind you - you cannot lose!

Sory for late post - flaky internet!

Emily Cross said...

Hey Lisa - ugh rejection, its the bane of a writer's existence, but like anita has said its only a matter of time

i'm sorry to bother you, but I've recently started up a community forum for writers called the The Writer's Chronicle(mainly for those who blog) where we can meet and discuss all that is writing with other 'online' writers. Also with the recent addition of some published author members we have decided to set up a section to support published writers and help them promote themselves and their books - as we all know how hard it is to get published and how its even harder to get a large readership!

I know this email is out of the blue, but i was hoping that you might drop in and take a look around and perhaps join if your interested?

I'd greatly appreciate it,


Emily Cross

Heres the link:

Anne Gilbert said...

This is for Emily Cross:

I'm a writer, too,and I'd kind of be interested in this, since I also have a blog, and I'm a writer who, like everybody else, wants to get published. I have taken the trouble of going to this website and decided to sign up. I hope you don't mind. When I send my "stuff" out, I would like a place to cry if I get rejected, too.
Anne G

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