Thursday, August 12, 2010

Crossing the Bridge Called Rejection

Handling Rejection

How do you handle rejection? There are so many forms that rejection can take, and regardless of the kind of rejection you face, it is always hard, very hard, to get over the hurt.

As writers, we’re told that we need to get used to being rejected. First, there are our beta readers who may - or may not - like the books we’ve worked so hard on for so many long months. We know we shouldn’t it take personally because we’re told that every time we turn around. So we’re gracious, we thank our beta readers, and we send the manuscript to someone else to read.

No Judgmental Agents

When we’ve made our way through our beta readers, then it’s time for the critique groups who can, and should, be critical of our efforts. After that, perhaps you hire a freelance editor to read the book. Then, we think we’re ready to send out a query letter to the agent of our choice. So we write a letter to the agent asking her to represent our book to publishers. What we get back is a rejection letter, if we’re lucky - there are times when we may not even hear from the agent - ever. The agent assures us that she’s not passing judgement on our work, it’s just not right for her. She tells us to keep sending out letters to other agents.

Post Rejection Blues

It was one thing for our critique group and/or our beta readers to say they didn’t care for our book, it’s quite another, after months of revising and rewriting the manuscript, for an agent to say that she’s just not that interested.

It’s hard not to wonder if we’ve wasted our time. If an agent doesn’t like our manuscript, and she’s only seen, at best, five or ten pages of the whole, why continue? All that time trying to find the wherewithal to continue, all that time working alone, all the revisions and it’s been rejected by a professional.

Cross the Bridge, and Get over Yourself

Somehow, though, after a few days of wondering if, or whether, we can continue writing, we decide that the agent is only one of many agents in the world. So we decide to put into action the advice we’d read somewhere. Cross the bridge, and get over yourself.

So we cross the bridge, we get over ourselves, and we send the manuscript out to a few more agents and while we’re waiting on them, we start a new book because writing is as much a part of us as breathing. And, after all, hope springs eternal, doesn’t it?


  1. Good post, Kay.

    Love the phrase "Cross the bridge and get over yourself." Rejection is hard, and some rejections are more difficult than others. I don't know why that should be true, but it is--for me, at least.

    But you're right--we must keep writing, no matter what.

  2. Beth, thanks for reading and commenting on this post. It is very much appreciated.