Thursday, April 28, 2011
Food for Thought
Everyone who has received a rejection letter knows it’s the ultimate kick in the parts that hurt. No one likes working every hour god sends on their manuscript, editing it until their eyes cross over, only to receive a standard ‘Thanks, but no thanks letter. If feels like all your hard work has been for nothing.
So, what do you do when your work is rejected?
Years ago I used to cry like a baby. And that’s not a joke! It’s fine to feel emotional. No one really understands the pressure your under. Not unless they are a writer themselves. Here is where your writer’s groups/loops become a handy tool. Here you can vent your feelings, and they will all understand and commiserate.
When an editor says they hated something that took you months, even years to perfect, it is okay to feel bad.
Once you have got the tears out of the way, now you party.
Seriously, when you receive a rejection letter, it puts you firmly in the league of “real writers”. You wrote a book! Congratulate yourself. Millions have tried and failed. Now you have just entered a whole new world.
Rejection letters can really strip you bare, but please don’t stop writing.
A lot of new writers make the mistake of not writing ever again. What a waste of a talent. There are thousands of writers who have been rejected over and over again, only to eventually find the right editor who loves their work. I for one had a letter of rejection for my book The heart of a warrior in one hand and a gushing acceptance in the other. There are successful authors who wrote for years and years before they get their ‘call’. Catherine Cookson, Joanna Trollope, J.K Rawlings to name but a few.
So stripped bare and bleeding, what can you learn from rejection?
Evaluate it for what it is. It is NOT a slur on your family name, your character, your first born baby! Read what the editor/agent said about your work. If it’s a bog standard rejection letter, you probably won’t get much feedback. So then you just file in the container marked ‘bin’ and move on.
BUT, if you are lucky to get feedback, do take them seriously.
Editors and agents don’t have time to heap false praise on someone that is not on their listings. But if one has taken time to give you detailed feedback of any kind, it means something about your story or your writing touched them. Well done.
Also, sit up and take notice if an editor asks to see more of your work. If they say they’d like to see your manuscript again if you make some changes, drop everything, make them and send it back. QUICKLY! Same thing if they ask to see something else from you. Do it. Send it. . They don’t ask for more work lightly.
Writing is a minefield. Occasionally we will get blown up, sometimes get stomped on from other authors who have a hidden agenda to murder you. Other times, we will just get down about the whole thing. It will pass, we can and do, mend ourselves. Without us, the world will never get to see those stories that touch the imagination, melt the heart or just get the pulses racing.
If you have any ideas on how to deal with rejection letters post here with your web addy and I’ll put your comments on my writer’s blog.
I’ll be back next Thursday with more Food for Thought.
Posted by Margaret West at 5:31 AM