Sunday, December 30, 2012

A Few Words About Rejection

So you got rejected. As a writer you should understand this is all part of the process. It’s not like this is something new. We have experience rejection since we were old enough to draw on a wall with a crayon. We saw it as art, but mom saw it as a reason to hide the crayons. It doesn’t mean it wasn’t art.
We put pen to paper (or actually fingers to keyboards) with the idea of one day standing beside those literary giants that inspired us to do more with our thoughts and imaginations than just daydream. We toil over a keyboard for what seems like an eternity. Editing, then editing again. Reading, editing, moving this, adding that, until we are certain we hold within our hands exactly what the world has been waiting for–the novel all future novels will be compared to.
With the query written, and the first chapter attached, the email shoots off into hyperspace in search of a worthy agent for such a masterful work of fiction. You start the next book, certain your offer of representation is being drafted simultaneously. Maybe just one more cup of coffee as you await the email alert indicating your invitation to success has arrived.
Then it happens. You open the email and, with little more than a polite salutation, your heart is ripped from your breast. It’s a short paragraph, and the only word that stands out is – ...unfortunately.
No need to read on. That same feeling comes over you. The painful vision of mom collecting up the crayons and carrying them off to another room flashes through your mind. You weren’t old enough to understand then, but you should now. Even though mom took the crayons away, you didn’t stop finding ways to express yourself or finding an audience for that expression. You continued on despite the rejections you faced. For those who didn’t give up, the roots of those scribblings blossomed into true artistic expression.
Remember, as with every artistic expression, it’s not suited for everybody. Patience and a belief in what you’ve produced should keep you to task. I read somewhere 90% of writers don’t become published authors because they quit after the first sense of rejection. If you look at this from a glass half-empty/half-full perspective, what really happened is 90% of your competition has been eliminated. You can certainly compete with the other 10%.
With the New Year upon us, it’s time for a new resolution. You felt strongly enough about putting those fingers to the keyboard, now keep at it until your query lands in front of the right person at the right time. Do your research, continue to develop your writing skills, and get the next idea on paper and out the door. There is an agent out there waiting for you’re your submission, don’t disappoint them.  
A very bright and Happy New Year to all the soon to be authors out there!