Thursday, August 16, 2012

Handling Rejection for Dummies...I Mean Writers

I am nearing the completion of the final draft of my second novel, Matters of Convenience. Rather than self publishing such as I did with my first novel Patches of Grey, my plan is to start off on the traditional route. That means querying literary agents, hoping that this results in requests for the full manuscript, praying that it ends up in representation and that this eventually yeilds a publishing deal with one of the major players in the industry. Then all that's left to wish for is that a respectable number of copies get sold so things might go a little smoother the next go around. Along with querying and submitting and hoping and praying, also inevitable is rejection that must be shrugged off, perseverance that needs to take place. Nothing is guaranteed but the chances are great that an answer of NO (followed by multiple echoes) will be encountered prior to that elusive YES. If after some yet to be determined period of time a YES fails to materialize, Plan B goes into effect. But optimists don't think much about Plan B until Plan A has been exhausted. And optimism is the only option for a writer. Therefore the likelihood of rejections must be faced head on. Oh, did I mention that this year I'll also be looking to get a publishing deal for a children's book I've written that my wife will be illustrating? That means two separate channels of rejection will be in place. Not very pretty to picture. I need to motivate myself, and if any fellow writers/artists find their way to this blog posting, perhaps you will find encouragement as well. But what can I say that hasn't already been said eloquently by others? Not much. So I'm handing it off to them and that's what you'll find below, words of inspiration by those who fought the good fight and emerged victorious. Rejection doesn't discourage me, it just hardens my shell to help me bust through the wall. Also invaluable, having a sense of humor and an inflated ego. There will be no second person who believes in you and your talent if you aren't the first. The only way for a writer to handle rejection is self imposed amnesia. Then, even if you need to close your eyes, take your next shot.

"I discovered that rejections are not altogether a bad thing. They teach a writer to rely on his own judgment and to say in his heart of hearts, "To hell with you." (Saul Bellow)

"The vital point to remember is that the swine who just sent your pearl of a story back with nothing but a coffee-stain and a printed rejection slip can be wrong. You cannot take it for granted that he is wrong, but you have an all-important margin of hope that might be enough to keep you going." (Brian Stableford)

"Believe in yourself and in your own voice, because there will be times in this business when you will be the only one who does. Take heart from the knowledge that an author with a strong voice will often have trouble at the start of his or her career because strong, distinctive voices sometimes make editors nervous. But in the end, only the strong survive. Readers return time and again to the unique, the distinctive, storytelling voice. They may love it or they may hate it, but they do not forget it." (Jayne Ann Krentz)

"This is for writers yet to be published who think the uphill climb will never end. Keep believing. This is also for published writers grown jaded by the process. Remember how lucky you are." (Terry Brooks)

"You must keep sending work out; you must never let a manuscript do nothing but eat its head off in a drawer. You send that work out again and again, while you're working on another one. If you have talent, you will receive some measure of success - but only if you persist." (Isaac Asimov)

"If you've FINISHED writing a novel you are amongst the elite!!! You ARE NOT A FAILURE IF YOU CANNOT LIVE OFF YOUR BOOKS. You only fail by NOT TRYING." (Nadia Cornier)

“Whether you think you can, or think you can't, you're probably right.” (Henry Ford)

"All writers are crazy. So never mind what the editors and your family and your critique group tells you. Submit your manuscripts and keep submitting until you get an offer. Then you can be crazy, with a paycheck." (MaryJanice Davidson)

“I will act as though what I do makes a difference. (William James)

“There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it's going to be a butterfly. (Buckminster Fuller)

Multiple volumes of Independent Author Index Short Story Compilation are now available to download. Featured in the compilation are two short stories of mine - "Decisions" and "The Kiss". Check it out! No really - Check it out!

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