Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Piñatas and Other Rejection Fun

Well, it looks like I wasn’t so mysterious with the lie in my "Three Truths and a Lie" Mystery Blogger post:

Mystery Blogger gathered all her old-school paper rejections and papier-mâchéed them into a piñata. She filled it with chocolate and took a bat to it when she signed her first book deal.
Just about everybody guessed that one was made up. It must be because it sounded too good to be true. I did just get my first contract (with Sourcebooks) last spring, but the reality is that as long as we’re writing and pursuing publication, the rejections never end. Still, I’m seriously considering that piñata to honor all those years of no. Or, as I suggested to my fellow Operation Awesome bloggers, I could wallpaper my office with my rejections—except that I don’t have an office.

Other options:
  • Interpretive dance—Picture me in a black leotard, waving torn paper and doing a dance of despair.
  • Set them to music:
To the tune of "Row, Row, Row Your Boat":
Try, try, try again, query someone else . . .
To Beethoven’s Fifth:
Not right for me.
Not at this time.
Your manuscript makes me wish that I had more wine.

Rejections are part of the game, and most of mine were polite. Some were even kind and thoughtful. But as they piled up over the years, I did my share of fantasizing about how to display or destroy them once I finally got a yes. And now I think, why not open up that file and do something with them?

Any ideas for me? What do you do with your rejections?


  1. I like the pinata idea. Than you can whack the hell out if and take you frustrations out at the same time

  2. I keep mailed paper rejections in a file. I pull them out once in a while and admire all that fancy letterhead from dream agencies.

    Email rejections go into a special folder labeled REJECTION SUCKS. Someday, when I can go into a bookstore and buy books with my name on them, I will print them all out and wallpaper my bathroom, where there will be a shelf containing all my books. It's good to dream big, and even rejections are a part of the dream. You can't win them all, try and try again, and all that. :D

  3. How 'bout a decoupage case/box to display the published book-- open where the binding would be. :-) I love the symbolism of thick skin, layers of hard work, rejection, and heartache surrounding the treasured end result.

    Yes! I think I might actually do this! Besides, I could use the space in my file cabinet.

  4. ah! I love these ideas :D Makes me wish I'd kept mine lol I did for a long time. Filed the paper ones, efiled the email ones. Then I just started deleting and chucking as they came in. I used Querytracker so I could keep track of who'd rejected me, but the actual letters....just didn't see the point in keeping them after awhile :) Then again, after 200 or so of the little suckers, they lose their novelty ;D

    1. True. I've deleted quite a few of the electronic ones in recent years. "No reply means no" policies also put a damper on my rejection creativity. As Laura mentioned, nothing beats fine stationery for a tactile rejection experience. ;)

  5. Being a fan of dance, I vote the interpretive dance route, although I love the display box idea, too -- very symbolic of your road to publication, keeping our eye on the prize. Welcome, RR!

  6. Love it, R and Em! I want a pinata of rejections to whack.

    Toni, that's very poetic.

  7. How about just burn 'em? :) (After taking a picture for posterity, of course.) I've thought about doing that myself a couple times!

  8. I think someday the big stack of them will make quite an impression on kids at a school visit- a visible reminder that any dream worth attaining takes some effort and often entails a rejection (or two, or, well, I really don't want to think about how many!) In the meantime, I'm printing a bunch of significant pages related to my writing journey (first rejection, special emails from critique partners, my agency agreement, etc) and having this custom made- maybe I can wear it to all those 'someday' school visits:

  9. You guys have such great ideas, I think we should get entrepreneurial and start a business creating rejection works of art for writers. ;)

    Jessica, we could even create a special burning ceremony. . .

    or we could forget the artsy stuff. I'll bring the lighter fluid. :)

  10. Weave a tiny Wicker Man out of rejections and ritually burn it! And then toast some s'mores on the coals.

  11. this is awesome! joy from pain!

    these ideas could work for edit printouts too!
    or bad reviews!

  12. Wow, everyone watch out for Angelica! ;)

    Tara, yes, the possibilities are endless!

  13. I'm liking the pinata idea ... and/or layer them around a bunch of duct-taped sparklers and watch them explode!


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