Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Practicing What I Preach

You may remember a few blog posts ago, I talked about Rejection Misconceptions. (If you haven't read it, feel free to wander away for a moment to do so). Anyway, I had an interesting thing happen to me the other day. I received a rejection.


When I saw the email from my agent come through with a publishing house name in the subject line, my heart quickened. Would it be a request for the full manuscript or a "Thanks, but no thanks."

And because I've already told you that I received a rejection, you know which one it was.


I am a little embarrassed to admit that after allowing myself a couple of minutes to whine to God about this disappointment, my first thought was, "My manuscript stinks. What can I do to improve it?"

OK...back up. Let's read a portion of my previous blog post:

Her question is one I've heard a thousand times from other writers. And it reminded me of a common misconception writers have. The misconception is:

There is one perfect way to write my article in order for it to be accepted, and I need to figure out what it is.

This is so not true.

Hello. (Insert eye roll)

So I had to consciously remind myself that just because my ms isn't right for this house, does not mean it's bad. It doesn't mean I need to scrap the whole thing and start from scratch. It just means this particular editor doesn't know a good thing when she sees it. Just kidding (sort of). What it really means is that either the timing was bad or it wasn't a good fit.

As my oh-so-wise agent noted: "Every rejection is one step closer to finding the right house."

Whatever the reason for the rejection, I now have a choice. I can either wallow, drowning my sorrow by eating endless gallons of ice cream OR I can put a band-aid on the sting and focus on something else. I choose the band-aid.

And maybe one gallon of ice cream.


Jan Cline said...

Well, it's nice to know that even the best of writers have a pity party once in a while!! But you are right - a rejection should only be an opportunity for re-evaluation, not an opportunity to sink into the pit of defeat. Ive lived in that pit a few times! Dont like it.
Thanks for being honest. :)

Susan said...

Dear Lynda...No doubt about it. Rejection hurts. Thanks for your post today. Stop by and visit my blog anytime! Sincerely, Susan

Yvonne Blake said...

Isn't funny how the heart doesn't listen to the head in times of high emotion?

I'm finding that it helps to let yourself feel low for a few hours (maybe a day), gripe to a friend (preferably a fellow writer), eat that ice cream (or chocolate bar). Then after a good sleep, you can tackle it with renewed vigor and zeal.

Thanks for the openness, so we can sympathize with you...and learn with you, too.

Diane Seth said...

As cliche as it sounds "Everything happens for a reason"...God knows what he is doing and your manuscript will end up where it is supposed to!!! I love reading everything that you write and I like to yard sale when in a pity party. There's nothing like the thrill of a great find to lift your spirits!!

Pat Guy said...

Make it Starbucks Carmel Macchiato (just thinking about it MADE me go get a BIG spoonful) Think French Silk with smooth creamy caramel swirls.
Enough to set everything all-right!
I always like to think of Dr. Seuss in times like these. I hope ALL those editors who rejected him got fired! : )
Huggies ...

Terri Tiffany said...

This will be a good story when you finally get that contract!! you will!! I know that:))

Anonymous said...

Yes, rejection in all forms is tough! I feel for you.

When I think of rejection slips, I think of Stephen King having to use a spike in the wall to hold all his rejection slips. And Edison, where each mistake he made was a way to finding the right way.

I really enjoy reading you Lynda!