Rejection. We all deal with it in some form or another. But in an industry where 80-95% (depending on who you talk to) of all works are rejected, it can be hard to take. I have to admit, the first query letter response that came back with a “no thank you”, I was crushed.
Imagine me sitting at my desktop (pre-laptop times), with my manuscript in hand so to speak, waiting for a return email from some far off agent that I just knew would be interested in my story. I got the first email about three months after I sent out that first query letter. Talk about pain! I think I cried a little, though I don’t really remember now. Then they started rolling in. Rejection after rejection. I was almost afraid to open my email. I don’t doubt I said a few choice words and after the fifteenth rejection I became sort of numb.
But the moral here is I did not let it completely get me down. I started taking writing workshops, sent the first chapters to contests and really listened to the judges feedback. Those rejections were actually the thing I needed to start taking my work seriously. It pushed me to learn more and I eventually talked my husband into letting me go back to school to get a creative writing degree. In other words, those rejections led me to become a better writer. I knew I could do it, but at the time wasn’t sure how. Those rejections pushed me to find out more than I knew at the time. Find out how to writer better, how to handle rejection better.
I still get angry, but I let it out in the privacy of my home. I rail against the “injustice” of it. Then I read it again. And again. And again if necessary. I use it as fuel to become a better writer. Remember, rejection and failure are sometimes necessary in order to become BETTER.
Check out Nathan Bransford’s blog about rejection here: http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2011/06/rejection-its-not-personal.html