Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Katie's Day 3... dealing with rejection

Right now I’m playing the waiting game. Actually, it feels like I’m ALWAYS playing the waiting game. If you’re a writer, pubbed or pre-pubbed, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Once you actively start submitting your work to agents or editors, the waiting game will commence and you’ll find yourself obsessively checking your email or mailbox. It is not fun. But, it’s a part of life if you want to get published so I’ve learned to be patient. When I first started submitting (2007ish), I taped this quote on my computer: “If you don’t get a rejection at least once a day, you’re not trying hard enough.” (I really wish I could remember where I got it.) This quote was my mantra for a while. It doesn’t apply to the current stage of my career but those words were a great reminder to me when I was first starting out and learning to actually deal with rejection.

Ahhh, rejection. My least favorite part about being a writer. I decided to dig up my file of rejection letters from the first manuscript I ever submitted, which looking back, NEVER should have been sent out for public viewing. I’m shuddering just thinking about it. Anyway, I found my file and counted all the rejections from agents. Total: 37. They were ALL form letters and most said ‘dear author’. Over the next two years I started receiving more personal rejection letters, explaining what I could do differently. And, I was no longer ‘author’. I had a name. So yeah, the rejections sucked, but they were getting better. For a while I focused on simply writing erotic romance for EC but at the beginning of this year I decided to get serious about finding an agent again. Before signing with my agent, I submitted a polished-to-death manuscript to a select number of agents (her included, obviously). Out of those agents, ten were the same agents I’d submitted that horrid manuscript to two years ago. And out of those ten, seven requested either partials or fulls.

Every author deals with rejection, sometimes on a larger scale than others, so if you’re putting yourself out there, don’t let a few ‘R’s’ get you down. Rejection isn’t something authors talk about a lot because it’s freaking painful (at least for me). On a logical level, I know the person isn’t rejecting me, but that certain piece of work. Since I’m unavoidably tied to my work, it can still feel personal. I think authors as a whole are solitary creatures so it’s easy to feel alone in our struggles. If your dream is to one day become a published author, don’t let anything get you down. If an amazing author like Sherrilyn Kenyon can deal with probably one of the most awful rejections, you can too!

*Side note don't forget to leave a comment for a chance to receive a copy of Katie's book. Also don't forget to send me your answers to the crossword puzzle for another chance at winning a book from Katie. *

16 comments:

Lisa said...

Rejections suck @*!. But you pick yourself up, brush yourself off and keep on keeping on. Great post. I've had my fair share of rejections this year ( I'm trying to get my first manuscript published) but I refuse to give up!

Kaylea Cross said...

I knew you'd be agented someday from the moment I read City of Secrets. Your talent was so obvious! I'm buying a print copy online today, by the way, so I can take it on my trip :) Then you'll be kind of holding my hand across the Atlantic.
And 7 out of 10 requesting partials or fulls? Holy cow! That's awesome. But then again, so are you!

Katie Reus said...

That's such a great attitude Lisa! I definitely had moments where I wanted to be negative but you're right, don't give up!

Thanks Kaylea, you're making me blush :)

Katiebabs a.k.a KB said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CatherineKean said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CatherineKean said...

Great post, Katie! :) Rejection letters definitely hurt, but you're absolutely right that they're part of the writing business. Even published authors get projects rejected--and yes, I'm talking from personal experience. :) It's so important not to get discouraged and to keep submitting manuscripts. I like to think of those rejections as narrowing down the field until that story lands on the right editor or agent's desk; then, the sale will happen!

Liane Gentry Skye said...

I really needed to hear that today. Because I'm one of those odd writers who sold her first, second and then third romance submissions. And then I got scared and stopped submitting because I knew I had bested the odds....big time. No, let's scratch scared. Let's try paralyzed.

Thanks for the reminder that in order to get from smaller press to bigger one, I'm going to have to break down, hit the send key and take my licks like a big girl.

Hugs*

Pamela Cayne said...

What amazing timing--I just started querying yesterday, and had my first rejection (from one of my *dream* agents) in under an hour. Mehr. But, I also got 2 requests for partials and I've got more agents to query, so it will happen. Right? Right.

Katie Reus said...

I like the way you think Catherine!

Yep! The only way you'll sell to NY (or another press) is to send send send!

Good for you Pamela! The first R is always the hardest but you're already on the right track :) Good luck with your requests.

Lori Sjoberg said...

Great post! I'm still piling up the rejections, but if I'm not getting rejections, I'm not trying, right?

Renee said...

Thanks, Katie, for giving an author's-eye view on this topic! :-)

Razlover's Book Blog said...

Great post and thanks for sharing with us!

Katie Reus said...

Lori, Renee, and Razlover - thanks for stopping by! At one time this was a hard thing for me to talk about (I'm one of those authors who had to grow thick skin) so I wanted to share that it definitely gets better. :)

Tracy said...

I don't know that I'd be able to take the rejection over and over if I was a bad writer! lol

I think is incredibly awesome that 7 out of 10 agents wanted partials or fulls!! Congrats!!

Jill Sorenson said...

7 out of 10 is awesome, Katie!! My experience with agents is that most don't even respond (the lamest kind of rejection is nothing at all, LOL) so kudos to you for getting them interested. Fingers crossed for you!!

Lori Brighton said...

I've gotten many, many, many rejections over the years. I finally sold, got an agent and thought I was set. Then I parted with my agent and now I'm starting all over again, trying to get another agent and waiting...waiting...waiting. Not fun!

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