Rejections are part of a writer’s journey. We have all heard about how hard it is to find an agent or publisher for the manuscript you have spent hours on and given part of your soul to write but I don’t think anyone quite prepares you for emotions you feel when one arrives in your inbox. This time last year, the idea I would have a complete manuscript to submit seemed unlikely. I had received positive feedback from my first 1:1s at the RNA conference, but my word count was lacking. With The End now reached and submissions to agents began the dreaded rejections have appeared in my inbox. I thought I was prepared after listening to agents and publishers talk about the criteria and slush pile, but I was amazed at how low you feel when you read the words it’s not for us. Thankfully, I have my tribe of writers to rely on to lift the mood and remember each rejection is a rite of passage in the transformation of becoming an author. As they stack up, it is proof I have finished my book and had the courage to send it off into the world. It is a sign of how far I have come from; in my local writing group I was scared to say my name, never mind share my work with others, and now I can chat about my characters and read aloud my flash fiction.* Rather than aspiring to be a writer, I am one. Next step up the ladder is the coveted title – author.
*I am still scared to speak to people I don’t know, but that is another work in progress.
Another way to battle the low after receiving a rejections is to highlight and collect the positives you have heard about your work. Stick them in a file, a book or copy them on a trusty post-it note to remind yourself someone liked it or loved a character. A comment I have nearby from my NWS reader:
Everything needed for a cracking good story is here in this full length draft.
Along with the positive feedback from my first beta reader, it gives me hope that with polish and changes it can become a novel readers can enjoy.
How do you deal with rejections? All tips are welcome.
Stay safe, keep writing and reading!