Dramaquill's All Things Writing

July 31, 2009

The Positive Side of Rejection

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Okay, I know most of you read the title of this post and said, “come on, what’s so positive about another rejection?”

There’s a positive side to everything, even rejection, if you look for it.  Here are a few I’ve come up with after years of submitting (many acceptances but many more rejections):

1.        You’ve submitted to publishers that aren’t suitable for your piece.
            Read published works by houses to get a feel for the tone/style/
            voice/subject/length etc. already published by them.

2.        What was the reason for the rejection?  I received several rejections
            from a popular national kids’ magazine but when I started getting
           the reason (enjoyed your poems but unfortunately this issue is full),
           I knew they liked my work and resubmitted until I finally got 2
           acceptances.

3.        At least rejections mean you’re subbing.  Many writers write but
            unless you sub, you’ll never realize that dream of becoming published.

4.        Did the editor or agent give you feedback?  Take the hint, revise and
            rewrite and sub again.

5.        If one of your pieces continues to get rejected, perhaps it isn’t ready
            to be subbed out.  These rejections can wake you up to the fact that
            a particular manuscript may need reworking before it’s ready.

6.        Who’s doing the rejecting?  If you’ve subbed to high end publishers,
            try smaller, less known presses first.  You have to start somewhere
            and the bigger the publisher, the harder for a newbie to break in.

7.        Did you follow the guidelines?  Some writers get rejected because
            they didn’t send what the publisher was looking for.  Don’t let that
            be you.  Do your research.

8.        Remember, they aren’t rejecting you, they’re rejecting one of your
            many pieces.  Don’t give up!  Keep subbing.

I will even go as far as to say that rejections can be a good thing.  For me, rejections make me push harder to do my best possible writing and to keep subbing.  If I hadn’t followed that advice, I wouldn’t have many of the acceptances I have managed to receive.

I don’t have a publisher for my debut suspense novel…yet.  But I’ve put it through a critique group twice, hired a professional author, published repeatedly in the same genre to critique it and I’ve revised and rewritten until I’m now certain it’s my best version of this story.  I’ve also researched publishers and agents.  I’m currently tweaking my query.  I’m not taking the chance of getting any unnecessary rejections.

Rejections are tough to handle – some more than others.  But take heart and learn what you can from them.

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