If you’re a writer, you probably cringe at the mere mention of the word rejection. If there is one word we all hate, that’s it. Today, I’m going to talk about how I cope with those dreaded emails and letters. You know the ones: “Sorry, but your story doesn’t fit our needs.”
For me, these words often translate into something has to be wrong. I know that isn’t always the case,
but my way of coping is to take a look at the story and try to figure out what I can make better, what can I improve on. I’ve done this twice now in the past few months. And each time, I’ve liked what I ended up with. The stories are better, my writing crisper, the characters richer. I’m still learning, and I swear, every day I learn something new regarding my craft. I usually tackle looking at the story the same day I receive the rejection. When I was new at this game, I’d sulk for days after getting rejections, and then I’d want to give up on the story. In fact, I did give up on my first book. It languished on my hard drive for two years, until a friend (non-writer) who read the story, encouraged me to send it out again. He (yes, it was a guy who read the romance) was honest and said the book needed a major edit, but the story was a great one and he loved my characters. I rewrote the story, and I’m glad that I did. When the rewrite was rejected, I found a new determination. Damn it, this story is getting published if it kills me!
And that, I’ve concluded, is the best way for me to deal with rejection. Not to see it as rejection, but as
an opportunity to make the book even better. (Well, that’s what I tell myself to believe :-)) Sure, that word still hurts. It still sucks that someone didn’t like my baby, but if I don’t keep trying, then I’ve given up on my baby and that isn’t an option. At least, not for me at this point in my career. Maybe if I was doing this as long as some of my friends, I might see things differently, but I never liked to sulk. I’m too stubborn and upbeat for it.
How do you deal with those dreaded letters?