Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Keeping Your Toes in the Water

I've said it before (many a time) and I'm going to say it again. This writing thing is hard. Whenever we put ourselves out there we are opening ourselves up to judgement and criticism which can be hard to take, but which will also make us better writers.

I'm learning something in the query process. I've been rejected a few times already (which I totally expected) and some of the rejects have been harder than others. But here's the thing, I'm keeping my toes in the water.

What does that mean exactly? Well, I'm making sure I have more than one query out there so that when I get rejected, I can't give up. I still have another query out there, so I know the rejection isn't going to be my last chance. As long as my toes stay wet, I'm inclined to continue sitting by the pool.





Even though rejection is hard, it doesn't mean I'm giving up. I will continue to work on my query letter and my MS and I will search far and wide until I find the agent or publisher that is right for me and my book.

Friends, don't give up. Keep your feet wet and someday you may get the chance to swim.

How do you deal with harsh critiques/rejection?

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

Chocolate. Lots of chocolate.

Anonymous said...

I would be forever worrying about the sharks. I have the utmost respect and admiration for all writers who have the courage to put their work out there for others to paw over and make comment. More power to you.

Ava Jae said...

Keeping another query out is definitely helpful (as you said, rejections doesn't feel so bad when you have hope for another query out there). I've found that it can be especially helpful if you query is small batches, so that you can test out how improvements/rewrites to the query help (or don't).

Besides that? I find working on a completely unrelated MS helps as well. That way, even if querying with this WIP doesn't work out, you have another to look forward to.

Best of luck with your queries!

Kyra Lennon said...

Good for you! Nobody ever succeeded by giving up!

I haven't done the querying thing yet, but I imagine it must be hard to keep going after rejection. I have no doubt that you will one day get the answer you are looking for!

Cassie Mae said...

I suddenly have the desire to go lounge by a pool. That water looks heavenly!

Hmm... Dealing with rejection. I eat food. Take long showers. Eat more food. Type up a ranty email to my cps. Delete ranty email. Eat more food. :)

Kelley Lynn said...

I'm exactly like you! I keep my toes in the water by writing the next one while my other is out on submission. That way, while the rejections roll in I can say 'no worries. The one I'm writing now will get me an agent/published'.

Good luck girlie!!

Anonymous said...

They don't bother me too much. Maybe a little. But I've always done what I anted and do not let people have that kind of control over me where harsh words take me out of my game.

Although I do appreciate constructive criticism!

Small Town Shelly Brown said...

I don't know yet but I am bound to find out...

Morgan said...

Awesome post. I deal with it just like you're describing here... you HAVE to keep your toes wet... you HAVE to keep putting yourself out there even though it's scary. I try and make myself accountable to everyone around me, so giving up isn't an option. It's HARD... really, really, REALLY, HARD. But it's inspiring posts like this that keep me going ;)

Donna K. Weaver said...

I like the idea of toes in the water. And you totally should have multiple queries out there. And be working on a new project. Helps to keep you focused on other things.

Hope Roberson said...

I totally agree, some are so much easier to swallow than others. My last rejection was the hardest. I put what I submitted out of my head and started writing my new WiP without a clue as to where it was going or what the story was even about. It was a great feeling that came out one of the worst feelings. Someday, I'll go back to my old ms and edit with better skill. But so far, as much as it hurts sometimes, I'll always keep my feet in the water :) Good luck with the query process!

Logan said...

I think that if you keep in mind that this is a learning process...you will do fine. As you know, I've been rejected several times. But...I learned something about myself and where my story needed to go. I've made the changes and am excited to restart the query process. Well excited may not be the right word but...

Good luck and hope things work out for you!

Suzanne Furness said...

Some rejections certainly seem harder to take than others but I agree keeping yourself out there is the way to go. I'm not expecting the publisher/agent to just knock on my door we have to make the first move. Scary stuff though!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's a smart idea. If you're always waiting on another answer, a rejection won't seem as bad. When it's the last one, that's when the depression hits.
Keep swimming!

Kathleen said...

I think you've got a very healthy approach to querying. I'm not there yet, so I don't know how I'll react, though I suspect it will look something like red-rimmed eyes and a husband's wet shirt, lol=)

Good luck, break a leg, and I know you'll get there=)

Samantha said...

You are absolutely right! If I'm feeling defeated I remind myself over and over again why I love to write. It works for me :)

Tasha Seegmiller said...

I need to remember this for the hopefully not too distant future.

prerna pickett said...

a great message, and one I'll need to keep in mind when it's my turn to query. So scary yet exciting. Good luck!

Tara Tyler said...

thanks for the pick me up. i need it!

Jay Noel said...

I work on new projects to keep my mind occupies. That's the only way I keep my sanity. And even that's questionable.

Lynn(e) Schmidt said...

Ben and Jerry's. Also, taking a deep breath, allowing myself a 15 minute window where I yell at the computer/vent to my dog, and then resume editing/querying. But that 15 minute window is a blessing. Then I get my head back in the game :)

Anonymous said...

I punch a mental punching bag and then let it roll away. It's the theatre background that makes it easier to cope with it. Just keep swimming, I guess.

David P. King said...

Great analogy, J. A.!

Rejection is tough, but I have to remember it's not me they're rejecting, but whatever it is I put out there for consideration. I could always write a new story and be picked up by someone who once rejected my work. We just have to keep pushing, and I know you'll do great things. :)

Jessie Humphries said...

I hear ya girl! My toes are in the shallow end at the moment, but at least they are in :)

Mark Murata said...

You've had a few rejections? I've had dozens. They aren't cruel, just the standard form letter that says sorry, not a good match.
On some short stories, I've gotten encouraging feedback. This is incredible, for short story editors to take the time.

Anonymous said...

Great post! Every rejection is one rejection closer to a yes. :)

Kimberly Gabriel said...

Beautifully said!

Anonymous said...

I tend to take some time off from writing - usually a day at most, and spend it doing some else - watching movie, reading... anything to get my spirits back up:)

Jenny Morris said...

This is exactly what you have to do. Keep putting it out there. And I start writing the next one. Then my brain is focused on that instead of the book I'm querying. (Not that exactly works, I've checked my inbox a ridiculous amount of times today.) But it helps.

Good Luck!!

Peggy Eddleman said...

That's an incredible idea-- always having at least one query out there. I love it!

Whenever I get an editorial letter (which are some of the harshest critiques!), I let it sit. And I usually don't get through it in one reading. Sometimes it takes several days! After sitting, it's a ton easier to deal with. Everything falls into perspective more easily. :)