How do you deal with rejection?
Rejections are a real part of every writer’s life, a legacy of the subjective world of creativity that we choose.
There are numerous reasons why publishers reject novel submissions: their lists are full; the genre is wrong; they don’t gel with your characters; you haven’t adhered to their submission requirements; story isn’t fresh or original or they simply don’t like it; writing style, etc. etc. The list is endless…. And for the most part, we receive no explanation, just a standard response.
Honestly, if my rejection pile was compared to my acceptance pile it would crush it outright. So, how do we turn them around? Here’s my way:
- Don’t take rejections to heart – we are in a subjective business, what one editor hates another loves.
- Revisit your manuscript – is it the very best you can produce? Sometimes we can get too close to our work. Is it worth getting an outside opinion, a professional edit or perhaps having your writers group critique it?
- Keep trying – if you believe in your book, then try again elsewhere. Remember, Jeffrey Archer was rejected from 13 publishing houses with his first novel ‘Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less’ which went on to become an international bestseller.
- Don’t be wounded by your rejections – we may lose minor battles but eventually, with courage and persistence, we’ll win the war.
I recently shared with you my stats. – out of a dozen submissions to independent publishing houses I received three standard rejections, five didn’t respond, four expressed an interest, two contract offers. Why am I telling you this again? Because, if you keep that self belief, persistence really does pay!
Also, a plethora of rejections make the successes, when they arrive, feel much more special!
Jane Isaac is very much a Newbie, she doesn’t even have a website yet (one day…) and with a day job, a family and a very demanding black Labrador, she squeezes her writing into every spare moment she gets. Join her on the rocky road from pen to publication – hopefully!