Sunday, February 11, 2007

Rejected - I'm Running With The Big Dogs Again

A reputable publisher turned me down the other day.
He was nice about it. It was a kindly worded rejection about my manuscript not fitting into the company’s current need.
This was followed by a bit of form letter encouragement inviting me to try with a different project later on, and a hearty wish for my good luck in placing the current manuscript.
We writers need a thick skin and a proper-sized ego that lets us to believe that people will spend their hard-earned money on what we create. Rejection thickens the hide, steels the backbone, kicks us in the head to learn more, and keeps the ego in check.
Every writer gets rejected. It’s how we learn.
Certainly some authors do get accepted right away. Some have been picked up at the first place to which they submitted.
Eeek. That’s not good, because it likely means they submitted to a vanity press or author mill. Exceptions exist, of course, but not many. Vanity press authors are printed, not published, and it’s not what I want.
Good writers get rejected. And rejected. And rejected again until one magic day when their talent, perseverance and skill pays off. They go from obscurity to having a book face out on the end caps at a book store.
So rejection is good. In my world I’m running with the big dogs when I get turned down. It’s something worth celebrating.
Ah, rejection. It makes me feel like I belong.


Marilyn said...

That's a great way to look at it! I think I'll try to keep that in mind the next time I see my own handwriting on an envelope in the mailbox...

Thanks for the perspective-check!

Anonymous said...

You have a wonderful attitude! :) Yes, the rejection gauntlet can be tough, but as you say, it's a necessary part of the writer's journey -- and it serves, ultimately, to toughen us writers up along the way, and that's a darned good thing, too.

Leah J. Utas said...

Thanks Marilyn and Thomma Lyn for your supportive comments about my attitude.

Talia said...

I think getting a personalised rejection is really positive.

Good luck with future submissions

Unknown said...

My favorite author, Jasper Fforde, was rejected 76 times before publishing his first novel.

I have a tally going in my office with his rejections tallied next to it.

Keeps things in perspective.

Leah J. Utas said...

Thanks for the luck wish, Talia.

I like your perspective on rejection, Scribbler.

Saipan Writer said...

I agree that rejection strengthens the writer. So I'm very strong!

There's a thread in the NaNoWriMo forums started by a young woman who says get up, get published, yawn-what's the big deal. She got a contract for her journal before she was out of her teens. She thinks it's easy, because it has been for her so far. I don't think she's very strong. And not very helpful, either.

Running with the big dogs is a nice title. Puts our striving in perspective. Also pertinent when we (finally) write something that separates us from the pack.

May we all get stronger.

(Found your blog through Scribbler's.)