Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Gratefulness for Rejection



I am no stranger to rejection. In middle school, I was bullied. I often felt like the left out loser. And even now, in adulthood, I sometimes feel that way, too. But my bullying experiences as a youth has made me more sensitive and sympathetic to people now. 


My writing journey has reflected a similar journey. When I finished my first book, I wanted to be the person that sent out 5 query letters, had all 5 agents fighting over me, and publishers pushing each other out of the way to gain my attention. My journey is NOTHING like that. It took me at least 70 queries (and 69 rejections) to get my agent. And, even after that, my book did not sell. It had great prospects. I even had an editor ask for revisions. But in the end, it was rejected and my book failed. It was at that point in my writing life that my writing stalled. For several years, I couldn't focus on my words. I puttered around with a few projects, but that rejection, so close to publication, really injured me. 

To rub salt in my wound, I had hung out with a group of writers on the Query Tracker forums. We were the original members of Query Tracker, and we had a private area where we commiserated and cheered each other on. None of us were published. We all climbed the ladder to that goal. And one by one, they succeeded. And though I was happy for them, I was jealous as well. You may recognize some of their names.


And recently, two more of those QT buds had their books sell.


and our very own


I am one of the last ones in this original group NOT to be published. 




Last year I entered Angry Robot's Open Door submission. Out of 944 submissions, approximately 24 made it to the level of editorial. Out of those, 3 were chosen to be published. An additional 3 were asked to rewrite and revise. I was one of those 3. 

The three of us waited, and waited, and chatted together. We angsted about our submissions. My two new friends were offered contracts, and I still waited on.

So out of nearly 1,000 submissions, I was the LAST to hear. It reminded me a bit of those early days in my life, when I stood by myself as kids picked teams for kick ball on the playground. Recently, I finally heard my answer. And yup, you guessed it.

After 13 months of waiting, it was rejected by an editor again

Of course I was ticked, especially when you get a near form rejection after a complete rewrite. But after a day of stewing, I realized I would be just fine.



My writing was good enough to gain specific attention of editors TWICE now. I was good enough to get an agent. Good enough to be the top six of nearly 1,000 submissions. And though it may not have sold (yet), and I still may be the writer looking at the big boys (or girls), the writer watching my friends succeed, I've gained a lot of confidence from this submission--even if it ended in rejection.

A new writing friend sold a book recently. She had the dream path with the multiple agents and the easy sale. She stressed over everything, waiting on the agents, waiting on the editors.

And her experience and actions made me realize, I am grateful I did not have an easy path, after all. 

I know when my time comes (and it WILL, dang it!) I will be stronger than those waltzing in and gaining success right away. I will be better able to handle the bad reviews (there are ALWAYS bad reviews) and I will be more sympathetic to the underdogs, the ones that struggled, even the authors that decide to self publish and do it their own way. It's helped me learn. It's helped me grow. It's thickened my skin. It's made me a fighter. It's taught me to trudge through the snowstorm of adversity. Failure has helped me be a better writer and a better person.

And when success DOES come, it will be oh so sweet.





23 comments:

  1. Great perspective. You're not alone either : )

    ReplyDelete
  2. Love this reminder, thank you <3

    ReplyDelete
  3. Good for you and your perseverance. You are not alone, believe me!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Solidarity, my friend. :) Some days I feel like I'm taking the long way around, but we'll get there.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you for sharing this--it's actually inspiring to see people work so hard for something they believe in (and a good reminder not to expect success overnight).

    ReplyDelete
  6. you go girl! will be watching out for your book! :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Not alone indeed! Thanks for sharing your journey.

    ReplyDelete
  8. This post really touched me. Thanks for sharing, I know it's not easy sometimes. When I first wrote my book I sent out what seemed 70 queries and only got two partial requests. It bummed me out so bad I putted around in my writing for years (had personal things too). Now I'm ready to revamp my novel and do things much better this time. This post just gave me the boost I didn't know I needed to see this rewrite through and go for it!
    When it comes to getting published, you really have nothing to lose.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Kristal, make sure you make a big announcement when your book gets published. I want to be one of the first to buy a copy. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. aww! Thanks Linda. I will be shouting it from the Operation Awesome rooftops when it happens. lol

      Delete
  10. What a touching post, and your strength is amazing. Writing is such an intense, emotionally charged endeavor,and when all that work seems to go unrecognized, it hurts. We all are there with you. Bless you for your honesty and inspiration.
    Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. :) My strength is far from amazing! It has just been forced into submission. lol. I am glad that my journey can be inspiring to others. :)

      Delete
  11. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  12. You will get there, friend. Lovely and touching post.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thank you for sharing your story. Your strength is an inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
  14. You are not alone. And thank you for inspiring me.

    ReplyDelete
  15. You are most surely not alone. I have a wooden plaque on my desk that I look at constantly. It says: "Many of life's failures are people who do not realize how close they were to success when they gave up." Author Unknown

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love that quote! What a great reminder to have on your desk!

      Delete
  16. Thanks to everyone for your comments. I'm so very glad that you can all find some inspiration in my journey. :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. You are such a tough cookie and I admire you for it. Thank you for being so transparent about your journey and inspiring all of us to hang in there.

    ReplyDelete
  18. How completely inspiring! I just read where you got your deal and had to come read this. Wow! The hard work has paid off and you are right. Your journey has made you a stronger person:) CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

    ReplyDelete

Add your awesome here: