Friday, November 7, 2008

Giving the Slip

Rejections, yeah I’ve had a few. Ok, maybe more than a few. Fine, I’ve had dozens of the nasty little suckers. Though, I don’t think I ever quite hit the triple digit mark, I know I had to come close.

Rejections are a part of every writer’s life. If you don’t develop thick skin early on, you will crumble. The majority of my rejections were the coveted form rejections, but I’ve been lucky enough to receive several offering advice and even a couple that were down right inspirational, but all made me more determined than ever to get published.

What seems like a lifetime ago, I wrote the greatest book ever to be unleashed on the human race. How could it not be? I poured my heart, soul and tears into this thing. It didn’t take long to realize (yanno, in publishing time, which was seven or eight months) not only was it not ready to be submitted, but it was crap. Oh, don’t get me wrong, the basic concept was fine; the writing was the problem. Yeah, I was a sucky writer with delusions of grandeur.

I skinned my knees a couple of times early on in the submission process. It sucked, but I began to learn. I developed a vague sense of just how much I didn’t know about the biz. It grew. I queried far and wide. Looking back, even my query letters sucked. I received stacks and stacks of form rejections if I received any response at all. The really cool thing about mass submissions? Walking to your mailbox to find ten or more rejection letters waiting for you. Now if that don’t make your day, I don’t know what will.

So, I read. I learned. I grew. I put my first attempt under the bed. I set out to write another book. As it turns out, it wasn’t quite ready either, but at least with that one, I began to comments and suggestions along with the standard form rejection.

I attended a Con, where my eyes were opened all the wider. Not only did I learn a few things, I made a few new contacts. I also, discovered the joys of having a beta reader.

I wrote a novella, it was accepted. I learned a bit from that. I wrote some short stories. Still more I learned.

I went back and with the help of some encouraging beta readers, tore the original works to shreds, only the idea survived and even that was twisted and changed. I took a break, wrote more shorts, had them accepted. I revisited the books again, one after the other. I put them away.

I made several friends in cyberspace, some of which are accomplished writers. I learned a lot from them. I continued to hone not only my book, but my query letters. I continued to submit and continued to get rejected.

Then a couple of years ago, one of my rehashed babies was accepted and I haven’t received another rejection since. Perhaps I should knock on wood there, but truth be told, I doubt I’ve seen my last rejection slip and oddly enough, I’m alright with that. I know it’s not me they’re rejecting. It’s just part of the game.

5 comments:

  1. whew! Thanks for letting me know that its the part of the game. All that sounds like a nightmare!

    I also feel exactly the same at times. that i am a sucky writer with delusions of grandeur!

    The thought keeps my writing under the bed permanently :D

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  2. Congratulations! I'm glad you hung in there!

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  3. My first book is still hiding under a big rock on my hard drive. In retrospect, I know it was soooooo bad! But you're right. Rejections help us grow.

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  4. My first horrible novel lives under my bed too! And it is SOOOO bad. LOL.

    XoXoXo
    Dakota

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  5. All the blood, sweat and tears are well worth it! Thanks for sharing!

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