Success only flourishes in perseverance -- ceaseless, restless perseverance.
--Baron Manfred Von Richtofen

Monday, November 10, 2008

Accepting Rejection

I got a rejection letter last week. It wasn't a letter actually rejecting the story. It was more like, "I'm shutting down the magazine, so here's your story back." It's still disheartening. All rejections are disheartening. Believe me, I have received a ton of rejection letters. Some of them almost made me happy, like the ones actually signed in ink by Stanley Schmidt from Analog, and one really nice one from Sheila Williams at Asimov's. Others have made me absolutely furious. Who do those stupid editors think they are, anyway? I resisted the urge to reply and tell them as much. (You should always resist that urge. Nothing like burning bridges.) Mostly, though, I just feel really disappointed. Sometimes, I fall into "I'm a crappy writer" mode, but that's really not helpful. The best thing I can do is pick myself up off the floor and send the dratted story out to someone else. Then do it again, and again, and again.... All of my published stories were rejected numerous times before finding a home. Last week's rejected story was back in the mail the very next day. (Pat on the back for me.)

As an editor over at Mindflights, I get to see the other side of the coin. That has added a lot of perspective. All magazines (and book publishers) reject waaaay more stuff than they buy. I've read a lot of really poorly written stories. Do I think the authors should never have submitted them? Not at all! Writers have to submit, have to keep working, have to keep trying and improving. Rejection is just part of the game if you want to be a writer. You just have to learn to accept it and go on. Send the story out again. Work on something new, but never give up. If I've learned anything trying to get published it is persistance, and persistance really works.


Linz said...

I can see how discouraging it would be! But good for you (and probably all other writers) for not giving up!!

tiff said...

rejection is hard i have a major fear of rejection thats why i do some of the stuff i do i dont want to rejected congrats to you on being persistant lessoned learned for me

Michelle said...

Hear hear! Persistance is so important in life.

Larry and CIndy said...

I have read this post before but I guess I didn't comment. I think you have done an awesome job so far as a writer but I know in my heart of hearts the best is yet to come!!! I am so proud of you that you can take rejection for what it is worth and go on and say "NEXT" I remember seeing a little sign in your bedroom years ago that said "Never Give Up" and that is just what you are doing!!! You Go Girl...You will be famous someday soon!!! Love Ya A&A, MOM