Monday, October 22, 2012

Pushing Forward

Rejection. If you've ever put yourself out there, you've dealt with it. No one gets a free pass in this industry. Whether it's just a critique or the actual query process rejection is hard.

Most agents these days simply don't respond to your query if they're not interested. While that stings, it doesn't hurt as much as getting a request then getting rejected.

The other day I had a rejection that really upset me. I like to pretend that I'm strong all of the time, but really it's hard even though I know that the industry is subjective and it's not a personal attack on me.

Sometimes you just want something so bad and it's hard to see past that when the rejection comes. While I was moping, I heard this song on the radio -



The lyrics spoke to me in a way they hadn't before, and I found a new sense of strength. I once watched a special on Katy Perry that told of how she had two recording contracts that both fell through before she hit it big. I can't help but think that some of that emotion was put into this song.

We all have times when we fall after a high, but that doesn't mean we don't pick ourselves up and keep going.

Sometimes we need a wake up call to become better. While rejection hurts, the best and only solution is to keep working and keep reaching for the stars. Even if you fall a few times along the way.

26 comments:

Annalisa Crawford said...

It's funny how some rejections matter more than others. I long to be able to send stuff out and forget about it until I get the reply (or not, as the case may be) but I'm the one checking email, getting my hopes up, only to be dashed.

Today I was disappointed not to be featured on the short list of a major competition, but then I realised I hadn't entered this year!

Good luck with your next submission :-)

i'm erin. said...

Yes! So true. I queried a book about two years ago and when my #1 agent rejected me after requesting the MS I bawled my eyes out. Anyway, I'm working on it again. Maybe rejection won't be so bad now.

Good luck! YOu can rock it.

Angela V. Cook said...

I think we've all experienced "THAT" rejection, and if someone hasn't, it's very likely they will at some point or another in their writing career. Lord knows I have, and it's horrible (kind of feels like an acid-dipped knife has been thrust into your chest). Ironically, it's often THOSE rejections that help us grow as a writer. I know it's hard, but try not to take it personally. Feedback from agents is extremely rare, and so even though it stings, try to think of the positive--you've been given "insider information" on what's not working. Sometimes the comments are merely subjective, but sometimes you realize (though usually not at first--those rejections BURN! ;) they're right on the money, and your ms can be made stronger because of them :)

Angela Brown said...

I sometimes wonder if it would be a good idea to simply let rejections fall off our backs. But there would be nothing gained from feeling absolutely nothing when we get a rejection.

No. Rejections are not fun. But for what it is worth, I am glad you are dealing with your feelings and choosing to keep moving forward :-)

L.G.Smith said...

I think you're right. It's those rejections after a request for a full that hurt the most. Hopes get raised so high. But don't give up. Keep writing and keep querying. It will happen. :)

Tasha Seegmiller said...

So sorry. I used to have a friend's mom in high school say when we had a bad day, we just needed to get a coke (or version) and a candybar, and even though it wouldn't make the pain go completely away, it would make us a little happier.

Snuggle the baby, do something fun, and when your heart has healed a little, jump back in. You can do it!

Lisa Regan said...

I love that song by Katie Perry for exactly that reason. I know rejection can be absolutely horrible. One of my worst and most lasting was one where they didn't even give a reason. They loved my books initially but then simply said, "I decided not to go with these". It was devastating. But hang in there because with perseverance it does happen!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

It's all about the timing - just keep pushing forward!

Rena said...

Yeah, this. I know exactly what you mean, and I don't know how to make it better. Like Annalisa, I'm an obsessive email checker. I've even posted on it here.

And yeah, every time I think Katie Perry is just another pop star, she whips out a song that makes me want to cry.

David P. King said...

Perseverance wins in the end I hear. Keep going. So many want this (and we've seen lots of friends get it recently), but it's in the timing. If not now, later. Keeping that desire burning strong will make all the difference. :)

Morgan said...

I get this. I soooooo get this...

And rejection on a submission hurts SO much more than just a query. It does. But the fact that you're getting requests is HUGE, which means you're right on the cusp. But being on the cusp is more agonizing than not being in the game. (In my opinion) I love hearing stories like Katie Perry's---I hadn't heard two big contracts fell through.

The song totally made me teary-eyed. And you've got it, J. You *know* you'll get there. You can feel it--and you'll keep pushing. I can totally feel that strength from you!

Jessie Humphries said...

I think I am allergic to Katy Perry, but I totally get what your saying. I blogged about something similar. And yes, no matter what, we get back up! It will pay off some day!

Anonymous said...

I recently read this post, "50 Iconic Writers Who Were Repeatedly Rejected" (http://tinyurl.com/26uuz7b). Not that I celebrate in their rejection, but I do take heart that it happens to the best-- and I do mean best-- of us!

prerna pickett said...

a great, motivational post, keep going!

Jenny S. Morris said...

Wow, who knew a purpled hair girl could be so smart. LOL. I really, really needed this today.
Thanks!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, J.A. Rejection sucks, as feeble as that statement is.

Suzanne Furness said...

Rejection always stings. It usually takes me a few days to deal with a bad dose before I put myself through the whole process again. Who said being a writer was easy?!

Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

I'm sorry you got the bad rejection. I hope you find success soon.

Samantha May said...

I like this song! Rejection sucks. There's really no way to sugar coat it, but it's people like you have an even better chance of "making it."

You'll pick yourself up and send out more queries until you make it big :)

Livia said...

That song had a great message about anything. We gotta pick up ourselves no matter how much it stings and we must have faith in ourselves to succeed, if we don't, we'll never wake up from our dream. And I really like that song by Katy Perry :)

Hope everything goes well with your next submission.

Logan said...

I am about to jump into querying again. I got rejected the first time. It really has me worrying about things before they've even started. I guess it is time to take the plunge. Thanks for reading over my query letter. I hope this makes you a strong writer. It really did for me.

Carolyn V said...

I think the rejections are the hardest thing to overcome in this field. I hate them. A lot. Just saying.

Tara Tyler said...

positive & encouraging!
writing has a lot of lows, but the highs & encouragement feed our fires!

and btw, i awarded you, sweetie!

Sarah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sarah said...

Sorry, I had to repost this comment because when I try to comment from my phone, it won't let me go back and fix things on the comment.

I'm so sorry about this rejection. It is hard, probably the hardest thing we'll face as writers. I hope the agent at least made comments. It's so hard to get so many rejections and not have a clue why they're rejecting, but you're so right. We just have to pick ourselves back up and keep going.

As you know, I'm going through the same thing, and have come to this same conclusion.

You are incredibly resilient, my friend. Which is something vital in this business. It's so gratifying for me to see how talented you are, and how that talent is growing. Keep going. You are good. You will get there. Keep going.

Also, I love that song.

Krista McLaughlin said...

Rejection hurts. It's something we cannot get used to and I'm sorry. I hate it too, but it only lasts for a short time. You'll make it someday. :)

Even Tolkien dealt with rejection and he's the father of Epic Fantasy. J.K. Rowling was rejected too. I bet they hated it too.

You are a very good writer, Jen. I'll see one of your books in a store someday and say "Hey, I know her". :)