How do you stop taking rejection personally?

Submission protocol, query etiquette, and strategies that work
CafeCliche
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Re: How do you stop taking rejection personally?

Post by CafeCliche » March 11th, 2010, 12:02 am

gonzo2802 wrote:
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).
Hey, you never know! You might find yourself with a couple of requests in no time. As for me, I need to be more patient - I still have four requests out there, and if those get rejected too, hopefully my agented friends will help me retool the query again...

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Matthew MacNish
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Re: How do you stop taking rejection personally?

Post by Matthew MacNish » March 12th, 2010, 9:47 pm

Please don't ever let rejections discourage you, EVER. I got over 50 before I received any requests. This is mostly because I stank at queries and began sending them before my novel was ready (see my blog, linked below for details). As a first time novelist it's not that big a deal. Some will hurt and some will be embarrassing but hopefully you learn something even from the form rejections. It's definitely not about YOU, and it might not even be about your book; though it might have something to do with your query - it certainly did for me.

Point is don't give up. Never give up. If you found the time and the passion to write an entire book then you ARE a writer. You are good enough to be published. The hard part is finding the level of professionalism and polish that is required to become so. These things take time and dedication to learn. Finding the spark of creativity to write inside you is easy if you have the talent, turning it into something people want to pay for takes a lot of hard work and a little bit of luck.

Of course I've personally never been published, so take my advice with a grain of ... liquor; but I have managed to master Query Hell, to a certain degree ... so it is what it is.

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Ryan
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Re: How do you stop taking rejection personally?

Post by Ryan » March 16th, 2010, 1:14 pm

Of course I've personally never been published, so take my advice with a grain of ... liquor
A little bourbon with a cube followed by an IPA and a hug from my wife helps smooth things out a little.

In my case I'm pitching memoir so it hits really hard. I know it's all hard, but for some reason I don't think I'd feel as gaffed if I was pitching fiction. It's pretty much impossible for me not to take it personal for a little awhile.

"Writing a book and depression seem to go together..."

But we "Keep Going!"

http://vimeo.com/9193175
My love of fly fishing and surfing connects me to rivers and the ocean. Time with water reminds me to pursue those silly little streams of thought that run rampant in my head.
http://www.withoutrain.com/

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Ryan
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Re: How do you stop taking rejection personally?

Post by Ryan » March 17th, 2010, 12:31 am

IPA is a hoppy beer. With all the microbreweries here in Portland, one can practically swim down the streets in the stuff.
My love of fly fishing and surfing connects me to rivers and the ocean. Time with water reminds me to pursue those silly little streams of thought that run rampant in my head.
http://www.withoutrain.com/

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Matthew MacNish
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Re: How do you stop taking rejection personally?

Post by Matthew MacNish » March 17th, 2010, 7:22 am

IPA stands for India Pale Ale, but has nothing to do with the Nation India, at least to my knowledge. It's a medium beer that tends to be more bitter than say an Amber Ale or standard Pale Ale. In my opinion it can be pretty tasty or quite nasty, depending on the brewery (I prefer the Deschutes, but forget the actual name of the beer as I haven't live in Seattle for a few years now). The Pyramid version is not so good.

From Wikipedia: India Pale Ale, abbreviated IPA, is an ale that is light amber to copper in color, medium to medium-high alcohol by volume, with hoppy, bitter and sometimes malty flavor. IPA is a style of beer that is usually included in the broader category of pale ale. It was first brewed in England in the 18th century.

Anyway snobby beer knowledge aside I totally understand what you are saying Ryan. I have never written a memoir but I imagine I would have a hard time not taking rejections at least a little bit personally if I were querying one.

Best of luck to you.

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JaEvans
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Re: How do you stop taking rejection personally?

Post by JaEvans » March 18th, 2010, 9:48 pm

My opinion is that the book industry is a lot like the music industry. You can have the perfect voice but if the agent is having a bad hair day, or they don't like your font, or maybe your query is not perfect, then they form reject you. What bugs me about rejections is the lack of usable feedback.

I have not had my MS rejected because I did not get past the query stage yet. I did not even know there was a problem with my query until I found this site which would not have happened if Nathan had not been the exception to the rule, and a wonderful exception at that, I would still be sending useuless query letters.

I am grateful for this site and community and hopefullly my query will be sorted out sooner than later so I can get back on track.

What I do think though is that rejections are not really personal, they are business. It just feels personal because of how cold and business like they can be. When you spend so much time and put so much feeling into a project, you want the person rejecting it to put a tiny bit of effort in as well.

For my part, I will keep refining my approach and keep working whatever angle I can to get my novel out there. For every rejection there is a lesson learned and an opportunity to improve.

Jason
"Life is a tragedy for those who feel, a comedy for those who think" Horace Walpole

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JaEvans
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Re: How do you stop taking rejection personally?

Post by JaEvans » March 18th, 2010, 10:59 pm

Thanks for the input kayemevans,

I live in a city called Squamish, British Columbia, Canada. Right next door to Whistler - (2010 Olympics). There are no such conferences that come this way. There may be one or two that come to Vancouver, British Columbia but they are far and few.

I actually think that this forum is fantastic. I have also taken some advice, yours being some of it, and posted my query on the Query Shark.

I think that the author's community is much broader than I had originally thought and there is a lot of good advice out there. There is also a lot of good intentioned people willing to lend a hand.

I have just started to canvas for an agent so I am not discouraged at all. My comment about the industry was more matter of fact than anything else. I just think that we can get discouraged because of mix matched expectations. We have to remember that at the end of the day it is a business for the agent and publisher.

If you have time though, you could take a boo at my query letter in the feedback section and tear it bit apart for me.

Its under Light and Shadow X2

Thanks again for the input. I will be checking out local author support and conferences for Vancouver with crossed fingers.

Jason
"Life is a tragedy for those who feel, a comedy for those who think" Horace Walpole

worstwriterever
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Re: How do you stop taking rejection personally?

Post by worstwriterever » March 23rd, 2010, 7:35 pm

I don't take rejections from agents personally anymore. I do take rejections from writing programs personally though. I mean, I wanted to pay them for goodness sakes, and still wasn't good enough to get accepted. So yeah. Agents reject away, all par for the course. Schools, where I'd like to work on my craft, not so much.
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"Maybe you should save the pretzel joke for the sequel." My sister. Thanks sis! I can feel the love.

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