Thursday, September 22, 2011

Ah Rejection, How I Love Thee, Let Me Count the Ways....

Yep, I just got my first official proposal rejection. Sigh.

Strange, I thought I'd feel more dejected. But part of me felt like I'd just joined the ranks of the most esteemed authors who've been rejected before they finally landed an agent and published that long dreamed about first book. Like a right of passage into a club or something.

OR, I'm just delusional, and writing fiction will only ever be a fun hobby with great friends, fun conferences, and a wonderful network of other servants of God. That's not so bad either, right?

So, what's lost? Only my pride. Richard Rohr says we should pray for at least one humiliation a day--not to destroy our self esteem and render us incapacitated servants, but to keep us from prideful self destruction. I figure my first rejection should count for a whole weeks worth of pride-ectomy don't you?

So now what? I did take the liberty to ask the editor for some feedback--not an in depth critique mind you. But more like this:

Dear Mr. Editor, 
Did you reject my proposal because it was:
--written by obviously inexperience writer who needs lots of craft work, vs. this idea stinks, wouldn't sell.
--I loved your premise, I'm too busy to take it on, but you should shop it around.
--I loved your premise, but you really need to pay a professional editor to fix it first.
--it stinks, would never sell, its been done before, vs. needs plot restructure--keep polishing.
--great idea, but shop for an agent, and look to a different publishing house.
--shelve it and never look back, then take a class--writing 101-- before you start book 2.
--keep your day job, and pray for those who can.

So, what have you done when you've received a rejection?


  1. How do you measure or objectify a rejection?

  2. You're in good company, Anne! I've never been courageous enough to try to publish anything--the entire process seems too intimidating! I only dabble in journals without looking to be published, and I blog a bit about the dogs online. At least no-one can reject a blog! Still, I have deep admiration for people like you who blog, write, edit manuscripts, submit them and deal with the rejections before landing something great! Don't be discouraged.

  3. Thanks Rose, and thanks for taking the time to give me some feedback on my manuscript.