Monday, April 12, 2010

Are You Kidding Me?

I love this. The bun, which has little purpose without the dog to go inside it, rejects the hotdog. Yes, my friends, I am that hotdog.

Who among us hasn't dealt with rejection? From romance to relationships to the workplace, we all have to deal with the word "no" at some point.

As a writer, I deal with it an awful lot. I'm always writing and always submitting. Some places like my stuff, others don't. But hearing the word "no" is never easy.

What I find fascinating is how people respond to rejection. Some publicly complain, others nurse their wounds in private, while still others show themselves as neurotic hopefuls by blogging about their book to death. (Trust me, this post isn't that neurotic.)

Me? I feel the pain, the anger, and work hard to buoy the hope that my project just wasn't right for this particular editor or agent. Because when you start to doubt yourself, you can get into a sticky situation. I'm not saying I don't pay attention to reason behind a rejection, but form letters leave you with nowhere to go but crazy. No reason for a rejection is almost worse than a reason. You won't know what to fix: your writing, the concept, the characters, what?

Recently, I received a rejection I wasn't expecting. But instead of immediately shooting off a response, I commiserated with a friend and waited a day or so. Then I sent back a thank you to the publisher and thanked them for considering my story.

The rejection did reinforce the notion that no matter how many books I sell, there's no guarantee I'll sell another. So good to know, and good to make sure I'm still hungry for success. However, in one way the rejection did help. Because it made me consider how I'd be received if I penned that toxic response I'd wanted to. Instead, I took the professional way out and sent a courtesy thanks. The editor did take time to read my submission, after all.

Reject me once, twice, more than that, okay. But don't think I won't bounce back. And that should go for all of you out there who decide to believe in yourselves. Stephen King did it; Madeline L'Engle did it. The successful folks of the world got that way by being talented, strong, and tenacious.

Happy Monday, and don't let anyone keep you down.


Elle said...

Good advice to live by! (And something I'm struggling with myself right now...)

From a reader's perspective, you pen wonderful stories and I eagerly look forward to your latest releases. Their loss will be another publisher's gain so keep up the good work! :)

Marie Harte said...

Hey Elle.

Sorry to hear you're going through the rejection blues, too. But the good side to all of it is you can only go up from there. :) I'm up now, can you tell?

Glad you enjoy my stories. I write them as much for readers as for myself, and as long as I'm entertained, I figure, what the heck. Happy is as happy does.