Thursday, 10 April 2014 05:38

Surviving Rejection

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Before my first novel, Run To Me, was accepted by Random House, I acquired nearly 100 rejections for eight prior novels. Here are some thoughts that helped me keep going through those difficult times:

The best way to survive rejection is to enjoy writing for its own sake. Love the process, not the payoff.

To get anywhere at anything in life you have to take risks. Submit your work. Rejections are the writer’s badges of honor. Wear them with pride.

The ones who never fail are the ones who never try. View each rejection as proof you are actively pursuing your goal.

One way to ease the sting of rejection is to always have something ‘out there’. When one piece gets knocked back your hopes for the others will help keep you going.

Believe it or not there is an upside to not being published. The minute you sign a contract you have deadlines, revisions, promotion obligations, and reader expectations to live up to. When you haven’t been published you can write what you want, when you want and take as long as you like to do it.

Write through everything. No matter what mood you’re in or whatever else is happening in your life. If you continue to do what you love, you give rejection less power over you.

These days many publishers like their authors to produce a book a year. If you write slowly this can be a problem. But if you have a few older manuscripts stockpiled, you may be able to reach your quota by revising instead of starting from scratch. So think of those rejected manuscripts not as failures, but as planes on the runway ready to take off once you do get a publishing deal.

Don’t give up. Believe those agents and editors who tell you this is a subjective business. They aren’t just saying that to soften the blow of rejection. The book one agent vowed was unpublishable has more than once been snapped up by another and become a best seller.

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