Monday, October 11, 2010

I Love Rejections



(Above: my favorite clip ever on making the most from rejection.)

Yes, I love rejections. Think I’m being sarcastic? Not at all. While we all want to see that magical ‘Yes,’ rejections are an essential part of writing. I’ve received many rejections in my career as a freelance writer. I’ll be honest: the first few I cried over, the next fifty or so required margaritas and chocolate. After that, I learned to study rejections and even take away some encouragement, especially with personal rejections including a quick note from the editors. Did the editor have a specific idea or suggestions in mind? Ask me to submit again? Receiving something besides a form rejection became a chance to improve my work.

When I began my adventure into the world of book publishing this year, I discovered rejections are almost considered door prizes. Querying an agent has become ridiculously easy thanks to e-mail, and most agents take e-queries. Some only take e-queries. But the huge amount of queries stuffing inboxes (I imagine the inboxes swelling, cartoon-style, until you hear a ‘Pop!’ and words explode out of the computer like confetti) means that many agents will only contact you if they’re interested in your project. I completely understand why this is done, but for the hopeful writer, it can suck. A polite ‘No thanks’ can give a writer some closure and let you move on.

This is why I love rejections even more these days. It’s a notch in the belt, a bit of experience earned. Form rejections are fine; personal rejections with comments or suggestions are wonderful. Some agents are so good at form rejections, you’ll think it’s a personal note written just for you. To learn the difference, I highly recommend signing up with QueryTracker.net, where other seekers often leave examples of form rejections in the comments section so you can compare notes.

As for me, the search continues, but these days my lip doesn’t even quiver when a rejection shows up in my inbox. I know someone took the time to reply to my query, and I’m one more step closer to that ‘Yes.’

3 comments:

Stacey Graham said...

I take rejections as a trial by fire. All writers get them but it's what you do with the information that counts. Besides, it just proves that I'm in the game, baby...

Skyraven said...

Hiya Plaid. Great post! Unfortunately for me, I haven't received many rejection letters. Of the ones I did receive, it was mostly "we'll keep your info on file." I'm hoping to get one that'll help my writing along. :)

Beth Bartlett said...

Stace, absolutely! It's part of the business. I can't believe the difference in my reaction to rejection from that first time years ago to today. Now I get more upset if I miss a favorite TV show, LOL. And even the agents who don't respond are fine by me, too. I've read some of the blogs detailing what they get in those inboxes. I would need an open bar in the office! ;)

Sky, that sounds like a good rejection letter to me!