How do you stop taking rejection personally?

Submission protocol, query etiquette, and strategies that work
Jamo
Posts: 2
Joined: March 5th, 2010, 8:33 pm
Contact:

Re: How do you stop taking rejection personally?

Post by Jamo » March 5th, 2010, 8:35 pm

I like to use the closet test. If my writing has been sitting in a file in my closet how bad can a rejection be? It at least means someone read it!! Better to be read than dusty, right?

User avatar
RichardLevangie
Posts: 8
Joined: March 5th, 2010, 8:23 pm
Location: Halifax. Nova Scotia
Contact:

Re: How do you stop taking rejection personally?

Post by RichardLevangie » March 6th, 2010, 8:21 am

Kniki...

Although I have yet to send out my first middle reader, I agree with what's been said. That you received any comments at all on your rejection is a good sign.

And I think you'll have to get used to it. I think the publishing business — like the newspaper business — is going through dramatic changes, and what was true 10 or 15 years ago doesn't hold.

In 1994, I was a freelance writer, and I sold EVERYthing that I wrote. Then I was struck with illness, spent 13 years in purgatory, and emerged in 2007, ready again to start writing. The business is nothing like I remember. I can't sell a thing, not even to local newspapers. (I was lucky to land a job writing for a company that publishes environmental newsletters for business).

I expect publishing is no different. We're just need to work so much harder. I would research agents meticulously. Get to know them. It's a huge decision.

And then go after them. In all likelihood, you'll get more rejection letters. But you might break through.

EITHER way, you'll be getting a lot more criticism, so you need to find a way to cope. Fortunately for me, I come from a journalism background, so I'm used to it. It's just part of the business — in fact, it's something of an art form — and it comes every day of your working life. I'd say that the good thing is that you can quickly grow a thick skin — if you so choose. It's not always easy, especially when an editor or agent doesn't seem to possess the very skills they find lacking in you.

But don't give up. Nothing is more sorely lost than the battle not fought.
It is with the heart that one sees rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye.
http://richardlevangie.com/

User avatar
christi
Posts: 166
Joined: January 31st, 2010, 3:54 pm
Location: Texas
Contact:

Re: How do you stop taking rejection personally?

Post by christi » March 6th, 2010, 11:42 am

I guess, at my heart, I'm a logical person. I don't take rejections personally because the agent doesn't know me and has not read my manuscript. They've read my query letter and either the plot, genre, word count, etc, did not grab their interest. Maybe they already rep a book like mine. Maybe they know what books are due out for publishing this year and fear an overcrowded market, maybe my last name is the same last name as a bully that beat them up in junior high. There's no way to know (unless they come right out and tell you) what it is about your query they don't like.

That does not stop me from getting depressed about my rejections, of course. It's not a depression that makes me question my worth, but more my odds of success in an industry that is filled with people just as (or more) talented as I am.
Would you sign my story for a Klondike bar?

http://christigoddard.blogspot.com/

MaryWitzl
Posts: 1
Joined: March 6th, 2010, 6:32 pm
Contact:

Re: How do you stop taking rejection personally?

Post by MaryWitzl » March 6th, 2010, 6:38 pm

It never stops stinging or feeling personal, but you'll find that with time the initial shock and disappointment of rejections wear off faster. Think of it as scar tissue building muscle. That won't always help you -- sometimes you'll really want to go kick down a fence -- but just about every writer goes through this, many times. That can be a comforting thought -- all those people trying and trying again and eventually making it.

User avatar
Matthew MacNish
Posts: 285
Joined: March 5th, 2010, 4:31 pm
Location: Georgia
Contact:

Re: How do you stop taking rejection personally?

Post by Matthew MacNish » March 8th, 2010, 7:47 am

I think it is important to remember that rejections are based on your query letter. They have not even read your actual work. Even when an agent allows the first five pages to be included in the letter they rarely read the whole thing unless the initial query grabs them.

Of course, not being an agent myself I don't know for a fact that that's true for all of them, but the few I've corresponded with have said as much. It still can be discouraging though. I will agree with several of the previous posts - rejections with any kind of indication as to why they're not interested should be considered a bounty. Use them to tailor your future query letters but be careful; what works or doesn't work for one agent my be completely opposite for another. That's that hardest part, the fact that the whole process is so subjective.

If you're still frustrated please come take a look at my blog, listed below in my sig. On it I'm posting all my worst queries and their (sometimes) devastating rejections. Hopefully it might cheer you up.

In the meantime don't despair and never give up. They're only agents anyway, so what do they know (excluding the wonderful Mr. Bransford)?

User avatar
gonzo2802
Posts: 105
Joined: March 8th, 2010, 5:33 pm
Contact:

Re: How do you stop taking rejection personally?

Post by gonzo2802 » March 8th, 2010, 5:55 pm

You could do what I do, convince yourself that the rejections have nothing to do with your query letter and are simply a result of the bad luck you've earned from all those darn email chain letters you refused to forward. ;o)

User avatar
JustineDell
Posts: 293
Joined: January 15th, 2010, 11:38 am
Location: Indiana
Contact:

Re: How do you stop taking rejection personally?

Post by JustineDell » March 8th, 2010, 7:03 pm

gonzo2802 wrote:You could do what I do, convince yourself that the rejections have nothing to do with your query letter and are simply a result of the bad luck you've earned from all those darn email chain letters you refused to forward. ;o)
;-)

Yeah, I'm going to start doing that

~JD

http://www.justine-dell.blogspot.com/

"Three things in life that, once gone, never return; Time, Words, & Opportunity"

casnow
Posts: 159
Joined: December 7th, 2009, 1:51 pm
Location: Cairo, Egypt
Contact:

Re: How do you stop taking rejection personally?

Post by casnow » March 9th, 2010, 1:55 pm

I've been cranking up the query machine again, and the rejections are slowly starting to trickle in... I don't take it personally or as a criticism on my writing or querying, but what is does do is make me lose motivation to keep querying and writing. That's what worries me - I give up after 20, 30, 40 queries and then I don't find that one agent that believes in it.

CafeCliche
Posts: 46
Joined: March 1st, 2010, 12:20 pm
Contact:

Re: How do you stop taking rejection personally?

Post by CafeCliche » March 9th, 2010, 3:37 pm

I don't take rejection personally, but the frustration is hard to deal with. It's tough when you do all the research, look into which agents are interested in what you're writing, take everyone's personal query likes and dislikes into account, and have people in the know tear your query apart multiple times... and get nothing but form rejections anyway. It's a bit too early to tell whether I have to get back to work on the query just yet, since I sent out the new draft to five agents this weekend and have only been rejected by one, but it doesn't leave me very hopeful for the other four.

Occasionally it does make me want to punch something. But that's when I fix myself a drink and get back to work.

User avatar
d minus
Posts: 15
Joined: December 14th, 2009, 9:26 am
Contact:

Re: How do you stop taking rejection personally?

Post by d minus » March 9th, 2010, 3:43 pm

if an agent doesn't like (or doesn't respond to) the query, move on.
It's much worse when they reject the manuscript, itself. I just received back-to-back rejections today (one on a partial, the other on a full). After waiting so long, the hits come 1, 2. I'm taking it personally.

EvelynEhrlich
Posts: 79
Joined: February 13th, 2010, 12:41 am
Contact:

Re: How do you stop taking rejection personally?

Post by EvelynEhrlich » March 9th, 2010, 4:18 pm

Ouch, rough day, D-minus. Sorry to hear that. Go out and do something nice for yourself. Hopefully tomorrow will feel better.

User avatar
d minus
Posts: 15
Joined: December 14th, 2009, 9:26 am
Contact:

Re: How do you stop taking rejection personally?

Post by d minus » March 9th, 2010, 4:24 pm

EvelynEhrlich wrote:Hopefully tomorrow will feel better.
Thanks. I might take Ryan's advice and give myself a couple of uppercuts upon waking up tomorrow.

User avatar
JustineDell
Posts: 293
Joined: January 15th, 2010, 11:38 am
Location: Indiana
Contact:

Re: How do you stop taking rejection personally?

Post by JustineDell » March 9th, 2010, 5:06 pm

d minus wrote:
EvelynEhrlich wrote:Hopefully tomorrow will feel better.
Thanks. I might take Ryan's advice and give myself a couple of uppercuts upon waking up tomorrow.
Bummer! I'm sorry D- I know how it feels (but not back-to-back). I thought about taking Ryan's advice too. Sounds like a good plan.

Try and keep your head up, K?

~JD

http://www.justine-dell.blogspot.com/

"Three things in life that, once gone, never return; Time, Words, & Opportunity"

CafeCliche
Posts: 46
Joined: March 1st, 2010, 12:20 pm
Contact:

Re: How do you stop taking rejection personally?

Post by CafeCliche » March 9th, 2010, 5:22 pm

-- make that two out of five agents who rejected the new query! And this one sent a form rejection two hours after I e-mailed him. Ouch. At least my expectations are getting lower and lower. It used to be "I'd be so happy if I could get published!" Then it was "I'd be so happy if I could get an agent!" And now it's "I'd be so happy if someone would ask for a partial!"

D-, I'm sorry you're having a rough day. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that your luck will change.

User avatar
gonzo2802
Posts: 105
Joined: March 8th, 2010, 5:33 pm
Contact:

Re: How do you stop taking rejection personally?

Post by gonzo2802 » March 10th, 2010, 3:26 pm

CafeCliche wrote: At least my expectations are getting lower and lower. It used to be "I'd be so happy if I could get published!" Then it was "I'd be so happy if I could get an agent!" And now it's "I'd be so happy if someone would ask for a partial!"
That's sad, but I can see myself heading in that same direction in about another 10 query rejections (I just started and only have two under my belt, at the moment).

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests