Monday, April 9, 2012

Dealing with (query) Rejection

First, cry. Or, if you're not a crier, rage. Go for a run, eat a piece of cake, whatever you do to diffuse the stress of bad news, do that first. Get the poisonous feeling out of your system. It may take a day or two. For me, a rejection means a wave of self-doubt that almost sweeps me over board. Stand fast against the storm.

Next, get some perspective. Look at how far you've come. No, really look. You've written a book (or a short story or an article) and that is something most wanna be writers haven't done. It's what makes YOU a writer. You've done what thousands of people wish they could do - what they talk about doing and never manage to do. You've done it.

See the humor. Turn your rejection into a badge of honor. I did that (literally) here. I didn't want to feel ashamed of being rejected. I wanted to turn it into a positive. You earn your rejections. You'll earn your agent, too.

OK, now the hard work. Some rejections don't mean anything other than you are not right for that agent. Don't poke around the tea leaves with form rejections. It's just exactly what it looks like - not the right fit. Other rejections may give some feedback as to why your ms wasn't right for that agent - and might help you narrow down your search. Is it time to look for a different pool of agents? Every so often in the querying process review your submission package. Is your query as strong as it can be? What about your sample? Can you tighten anything up? Is there a pattern to your rejections?

Finally, GIRD YOUR LOINS. Querying is Long Haul and getting an agent is only the first (huge) step to being published. You have to have tenacity to succeed. It's almost the only universal feature of all successful writers. You cannot give up because giving up means GAME OVER.

How do you deal with rejection?

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