Thursday, August 18, 2016


Rejection just plain sucks. No matter who you are, putting yourself out there is hard, and then to hear, “No, not interested” can be heart wrenching.

Rejection plays a big factor in the pursuit of a literary career. You pour your heart and soul into a story or a novel; perhaps you’ve spent years on it, perfecting every detail. You know it’s good; you know you have something special. You’re certain of it. You’re not mistaken; this time it will work out. You know you shouldn’t view your creation as your baby, but you do. In a sense you gave birth to it, nurtured it, groomed it, coddled it and now it is time to send it out into the world, for it to spread its wings.

You jump through all of the hoops, pay special attention to the guidelines, whisper a prayer and you send it off. You send it to multiple places. You try to distract yourself with a new project, because that’s what a writer does. They write. The second you finish one story, you start on another. There is no “The End” for us. But that’s fine, because it’s all part of the process.

Weeks pass, maybe even months. You haven’t heard a peep out of the literary agent or the publisher. You check your e-mail every five seconds and you stalk their twitter feeds and blogs. One part of you fears that the submission never reached them, that it was lost in cyberspace. The other part of you holds out hope that perhaps they haven’t read your submission. Or they have and they are so mesmerized, so in awe of your masterpiece. Hope springs within you.

And then an e-mail is delivered. Either it says “No, not interested” or “Thank you for sending ------- but we do not feel enthusiastic enough to represent your novel. Best wishes, etc.” Authors must bend over backwards to pique the interest of a literary agent or a publisher, but the professionals can get by with form rejections.

It’s tempting to throw in the towel, especially after you’ve received a couple hundred of these. But at this point, can you quit? Can you stop creating? This Magnificent Obsession has become so ingrained into who you are. You don’t know where it ends and you begin. If you quit now, you would be denying part of who you are.

So tomorrow, get up and try again. 

1 comment:

  1. Good post.

    I have mixed thoughts about this.

    Once upon a time, endless rejections meant The End for your novel. That is no longer the case. Traditional publishing is, and will be, changing as the market shifts. Authors can now, with little overhead expenses (beyond a good line edit and professional cover) -- simply publish their book. Throw it out into the world. Some are so tremendously successful, they turn down major publishers who want to "help" them with their sales. Of course, you need dedication and good marketing skills -- and an actually good book. But, it's a different world than the one "Jo March" lived in.

    So yes, try again. And try again. And try again, all the while knowing -- if they don't want it, after endless tries, the world can still read it. ;)