Thursday, December 23, 2010

Rejection and Persistence

As agents and editors clear their in-boxes ahead of publishing's long winter's nap, we writers debate whether it's better to be rejected before the holidays, darkening holiday spirits, or after, kicking off the new year with a kick in the pants. Neither is much fun, and neither is in our control as writers.

So what is in our control? How we react to rejection. And thus I present posts from two wise women:

Dealing With Rejection, from agent Mary Kole

Will All Good Writers Be Published?, from agent Rachelle Gardner

I didn't find either post particularly cheering, but they are thought-provoking during this time for taking stock and looking forward. Someday I hope to become a Jedi master, able to stare editors in the face and say, "This is the book you're looking for. You want to offer a six-figure pre-empt immediately."

Until then, my sticking point with the competence breakdown is between the stages of Conscious Competence and Unconscious Competence. All we can do as writers is work to improve our craft -- revising, editing, improving, reading, beginning new stories. I have to think that most published writers become published while in the Conscious Competence stage.

Of course, it's also true that many Consciously Competent writers produce good books in this stage that will never see a bookshelf. And that, my friends, is what drives us crazy.

What are your thoughts on rejection? On stages of competence? Where are you?


  1. I think *hope* I'm in the Consciously Competent stage. I'm waiting until after the New Year to send out any new queries. I received a rejection yesterday, which is always fun. Ugh! And on we go...

  2. I'd personally rather get the bad news over with. Then I can blow it off because there are lots of fun distractions. Who wants to start the new year badly? Bad stuff in the past, bright future, all that.

  3. Thanks for the links. I'm looking forward to checking them out.

    I got a rejection yesterday, but it made me smile. The agent said, "While I enjoyed your story ... I don't think it's right for my list." I simply chose to brush off the last part (I'm used to that already) and just cherish the first half. Whether he meant it or not doesn't matter. Just the fact that he took the time to reply and say so makes all the difference in the world.

  4. Good attitude, Rena! I need more of that. ;)

  5. Oh I will be querying soon. Probably the new year. I'll be researching each and every agent to see if my MS fits with them. It's going to take so long, but I'm really motivated to get published!

  6. I actually got a rejection three days before Christmas. Broke my heart. But all I can do is pout for a max time of 30 minutes then move on. Every rejection I get makes me wonder if the query is good enough, if the manuscript is good enough... It's a constant game of Russian roulette.
    I said I would be published in 2010. I had two short stories published.
    We all just need to stay positive. We'll get there. Eventually.
    Merry Christmas.

  7. Wow, those are great links! Just catching up after Christmas. Thanks, Kelly! And LOL about the Star Wars reference. It seriously made me giggle. :)


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