The Many Uses Of A Rejection Letter…

Hello once again Readers!!! What! Darth Vader is next to me? And I’m smiling?! Well yeah, we’re cool like that. He supports type-one diabetes so he’s no longer a villan in my eyes. Huh?

So how was your weekend? Eventful? Boring? Both? My weekend was crammed full of cleaning and disciplining the youngins. Yay…(note the sarcasm).

I digress.

So today I felt that I’d share my woes of being rejected. I went through many before I found the final yes. I felt the pang of disappointment every time I opened my email, only to find the opposite of my hopes. My total rejection count neared 20. My ending request count was one request for my manuscript from an agent and three from publisher’s (one of which, I signed with and one who was a scammer), so I know how long and painful the road can be.

But there’s something you should know.

Every writer experiences rejections. And there are many variables as to why:

  • You didn’t sell yourself in your query to meet their standards.
  • You chose the wrong publisher or agent to submit to.
  • You didn’t do thorough research about the one you queried.
  • They had a bad day and felt like saying no…a bunch of times.

Rejections aren’t sent to discourage you and make you feel like your career is over. Rejections are a rite of passage. They are all a part of becoming an author. A learning lesson, a stepping stone. It means it wasn’t meant to be with that particular company.

But I have good news. I have found the light behind the cruel, cold rejection. I have found how we, as aspiring authors, can turn that frown upside down! Rejections can be recycled for the greater good. So let me fill you in on what you may be missing out on:

  • Build a fire. Fire has so many different meanings to so many different people, but we all can agree on one thing: fire warms us when we are cold. When you need kindling, print out that lovely old rejection letter. Maybe even write a few hate words on them or curses, and then toss them in, Voila! You now have a fire and revenge.
  • Paper airplanes!!! Need I say more?
  • Coloring paper for the little ones. Turn what was once a heartbreak into beautiful art! As a matter of fact, color one yourself. Draw a sun or some trees, or the middle finger if it makes you feel better.

Is this for real? Well, no. We were rejected for a real reason. And the above is just an attempt at lightening the situation. It’s how I got through it. It helped me stray from the breaking point.

To deal with a rejection the right way, you must learn how to self-evaluate. Go back through your query letter. Go online and read other people’s query letters. Get some ideas on what sells. All you need is a foot in the door.

And find the right publisher or agent. Don’t just submit to any and every one. You have to keep in mind that a career in writing is viewed as a long-term relationship. They want to be able to rely on you. They make money when you make money. But more importantly, you have to get along in order for it to work. Not every agent or publisher wants to fight for someone or something they don’t believe in. Their job is to sell. They can’t sell what they aren’t passionate about. Just like no one will notice you if you don’t believe in your own work.

And now I’m rambling. I meant for this to be a strictly humorous post, but there is a reason we receive rejections and the sooner we learn how to accept them and learn from them, the sooner we will find success. I know this because I have learned a vast amount and not just because I finally landed a contract. Looking back, I feel a bit naive in my attempts at querying. There was still so mcuh that I needed to learn. I was just lucky I suppose. My publisher showed me mercy.

Now to leave you with a question: Does this help you at all? Do you have any other questions? Or any helpful advice for those who are just beginning their journey?

Echelon out ♥

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29 thoughts on “The Many Uses Of A Rejection Letter…

  1. Some very good points and something I need to take to heart. I’ve only ever submitted twice. The first time was when I was 16 and the story, while not bad in of itself, was highly derivative of other works. When the rejection came, I swore never to “write in another’s style” and have been pushing my strange imaginative works ever since. I’m gearing up for submitting again, having not done so in a long time, but I’m expecting the worst, since my creations often venture into what I call “markets most peeps don’t want!” Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  2. Oh yes – the miserable thud as your manuscript hits the floor. And even if you are in another room, you know it is your m/s because that is the only thing that could make such a resounding thump on the doormat. Poor bruised little thing.
    Pick it up, brush it down and open it up.
    Sometimes it looks as though it’s been used as a dishcloth for the last month.
    Occasionally it looks as though someone took it out of one envelope and simply stuck in back in another, so pristine is its condition.
    And then there are the letters. Even when they are incredibly helpful, it is still hard to knuckle down and keep going.
    But somehow we do.

  3. Perfect timing as I’m currently querying. I wish I could find the original quote I like to have rolling in my head during this process — it’s actually a list of famous people and how many times they tried, and failed, before they found success. It’s important to remember we are not alone! :)

  4. I have been submitting for 13 months now and have clocked up around 90 or so submissions. About two thirds of those actually replied. These (agents) were all targetted using current website info and the Writers & Artists Yearbook.
    It’s said that the more rejections one accumulates, the better the odds of getting published.
    Really? Not convinced. To me, that means yet another person who doesn’t like the ms.
    Sydney Sheldon, famously, didn’t get published until he was 55 – I don’t wanna wait that long!!
    Has anyone had any success in targetting Publishing houses rather than just (as I’ve done) agents?

    • I chose ten of both to submit to. I only had one response from an agent and she read the entire manuscript and decided to pass. Sometimes, it’s easier for new authors to get in with publishers than it is with agents. But that’s not always the case. I know the bigger publishing houses won’t even take unagented manuscripts….

      I guess it’s a bunch of things. Luck, talent, timing, good day vs. bad day…?

  5. Didn’t Stephen King use his to paper his study? I think it’s good to keep them to remind you, when you’re a successful writer, how far you have come and how much work you had to put in to get there. May keep you grounded.

    • Yes! I was thinking of writing that as well, but then I thought who’d want to stare at that and how well would paper do as wallpaper lol.

      I think framing them or putting them in an album would be a great idea, that way when you do make it, it shows the start of your journey and how you struggled and never gave up on your dreams.

      • I think it’s supposed to be a bit like when you were a teen and plastered your bedroom wall with posters. I actually did make sure there wasn’t any wallpaper showing – I had that many covering mine. I even covered the ceiling with windchimes and posters! haha.

        I do think keeping them is a good idea though, however much it may hurt to receive them in the beginning.

      • I don’t even have that! I’m barely at home these days though, so that’s probably why. I have a desk (“inspiration station”) with images and quotes stuck to it though.

      • Me too! Providing they mean something. It annoys me though when people regurgitate lines so frequently that they end up coming across as vainglorious. They may not be, but often sound it.

      • Exactly! Ones like Dawna Makova (sp?): “I will not die an unlived life. I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire,” Dr Suess, of course: “We are all a little weird and life’s a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love” and “What you create doesn’t have to be perfect… Don’t let fear of failure discourage you.” – Dieter F. Uchtd. They’re my favourites.

      • I like those! Especially Dr.Seuss! My fave is “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” Thomas Edison.

  6. Story of our lives! :)
    Loved the way you wrote this. Really nice. The easy flow of the beginning got me interested [not to mention Darth, gosh! What has he been eating? ;) ]
    Nice points to keep us going on… Nice writing and of course, what’s next?

    • Thank you! Half the time I’m just rambling from sheer boredom. When I can’t focus on my edits I end up on here lol. But I appreciate the compliment! Makes me feel like I’m doing something right!

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