The Hardest Part of…

One of the things I struggle with as a writer is the waiting… and waiting … and waiting. What am I waiting for?

My rejections, of course.

I finish my current or ongoing project.  I summarize the entire story in a synopsis (no mean feat). I then create a pitch with a few snappy sentences designed to intrigue the editor or agents I’ve targeted through my research.

Easy peasy.

And I’m selling beachfront property in South Dakota.

I send out stories to be evaluated by people who may or may not have the same aesthetic as mine.  The editors and/or agents then make a judgment on the project in front of them and decide whether or not it will work in their grand scheme.  Then they will send out either a happy acceptance letter, or a rejection letter.

Acceptance and rejection is part of this world of writing we’ve chosen to participate in.  To me, either one means feedback.  Feedback is good.

Like warriors of old, who looked at their battle scars as badges of courage and bravery, I view rejections as the same thing.  Yes, they sting and are sometimes painful, but are, ultimately, non-fatal.

Each one represents feedback (yes, even the pithy, apologetic form letters).  They are my badges of honor from the trenches.

Through the entire process of conceptualizing, writing, editing, beta-reading and formalizing our projects, there should be input from people outside our heads (no, the voices in your head do not count as readers and editing partners).  We need to reach out and bounce our ideas off others to help the conceptualization and the execution of our vision. The rejection can be viewed as a building block that makes us better writers and people.  Wishing won’t get you the results of hard work and perseverance.  Rejection is just part of that road.

Plenty of authors who came before us and will come after us have survived the rejection process.  Like Darwin’s theory of evolution, the writer who works through their rejections and adapts will survive.  Otherwise, like the dodo we’ll end up stuffing someone’s pillows and ending up in large stock pots.

I am not a dodo, I am a writer.

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8 comments

  • I used to get dreadful form rejection letters, with not a hint of why my story didn’t make the grade. How I used to long for just one or two handwritten words telling me something I could use to improve! I reckon I wrote around fort stories and sold one in the year or two I was trying to break into the fiction market. That’s why it was such a relief to fall into play writing!

    • My favorite rejection so far has been ‘I’m all dragoned out, good luck with your project’. This business is not for the squeamish. 🙂

      • Since I was submitting over a decade ago, I was sending out physical manuscripts, and when they came back they would usually be too dog eared to resend. I got depressed about the stack of MS’s, so I tore them up and paper mache’d them onto a coffee table I had built. That way you got snippets of dialogue and story appearing at random all over the tabletop – I coated it with clear varnish, so it would be wipe clean. I wish I still had pictures of that table….

        • That is a fabulous idea. I love it and will have to try it. 🙂

          • It’s bad for the trees, but it was good for my soul. I had a table made of words, and they were my words. Maybe I mean ego, not soul…Heh heh heh!

  • It is rough out there, but truthfully just about everything in life follows the same principle. If you want something bad enough, you have to be willing to get knocked down a few times (or more). 😉

    • Love it! 🙂

    • It's all about determination. I'm determined! :)

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