1. deadrats
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    deadrats Active Member

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    How much does rejection get to you?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by deadrats, Jul 31, 2016.

    I'm sick of having thick skin. I'm sick of not being good enough and trying harder and not being good enough. I'm sick of form rejections. I'm sick of looking for some hidden meaning in form rejections. I'm sick of waiting for rejections. I'm sick of getting rejections. Yeah, I think the whole thing is getting to me.
     
  2. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's honestly never bothered me.

    I think I go into things with a pretty pessimistic approach (this isn't going to work, but what the hell, I might as well give it a try) and I also think I'm pretty good at separating myself from my writing (my stories aren't my babies, they aren't a part of me, they're just a bunch of words I put together and I'm going to see if anyone wants to give me money for them).

    I wouldn't say I have thick skin, exactly. More that rejection doesn't really get anywhere near my skin--it's rejection of something I wrote, not of who I am.
     
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  3. izzybot
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    izzybot Human Disaster Contributor

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    It used to bother me a lot. Earlier this week I got a form rejection that made me laugh because I completely forgot I'd even submitted to them, which I kind of took as a sign that I was over it.

    About seventy rejections deep and it stops seeming like too big of a deal - I keep writing, I get better, I keep submitting, etc.
     
  4. X Equestris
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    X Equestris Contributing Member Contributor

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    It doesn't really bother me too much anymore. The first few did, especially since most gave no indication why, but by the fifteenth one they'd mostly lost their sting.
     
  5. mrieder79
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    mrieder79 Not a ground squirrel

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    I find it discouraging, but it is inevitable, like stubbed toes or getting bitten by mosquitoes. If we want to be published, we have to be rejected. Life is pain. Writing is rejection. Persistence is the road to success.
     
  6. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've always sent off manuscripts, thinking I have a good shot.

    Sometimes it turns out to be true, and my 'good shot' is an acceptance. On the other hand, often, the result is a rejection. I get a little dejected, when a rejection arrives, for about twenty or thirty seconds...and then I go down to the next market on the list, and send it out again (or wait to see where I've sent it elsewhere already comes through).

    Rejection, it's part of the business, the thick skin and just moving on to the next possibility is something that you, as a writer, just have to get used to...and keep writing and keep improving and keep trying--persevere.
     
  7. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Occasionally a badly worded rejection got to me (like the agent who said he can only take on very few manuscripts and he saw no reason that mine should be one of them--I can laugh now :D) but mostly, I was okay. It was, and still is, the *waiting* that I can't stand. It's a relief when I get a reply, whether it's a rejection or not.

    I don't know how far along you are in your writing career, deadrats, but the rejection never ends. Neil Gaiman still has short stories rejected. JK Rowling had novels rejected, albeit not under her real name. I was so set on getting an agent that I didn't really think about what came after that - the same thing all over again, except to editors rather than agents. This is going to be rinsed and repeated for every new book I write.

    Rejection really is a very fundamental part of this industry for all of us, and we just have to find ways to cope. Mine is writing: I wrote a book while I was querying agents. I'm writing another now my agented book is on submission. It's the only way I know to distract myself from the impatience of waiting waiting waiting for inevitable rejections.
     
  8. deadrats
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    deadrats Active Member

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    This was like my ten millionth rejection. I'm not new at this. It would just appear that I'm just not very good at this.
     
  9. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    God, that was a totally unnecessary and snarky response! I suppose you can do more than laugh at it. You can be thankful that a person with such a lack of courtesy and people skills didn't agree to take you on. Can you imagine what this prat is like approaching publishers? Geez.

    I'm a big believer in Thumper's Mother's philosophy. If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all. By 'nice' I mean 'helpful,' not gushingly positive.

    I can see where waiting would be a killer. I cannot stand limbo. It's one of my worst life-stoppers. It's really hard moving on while waiting for something necessary to happen, because you can't really move on, can you? Not if what you're waiting for will determine what you do next. All you can do is distract yourself. I suppose you've hit onto the formula ...write another book.
     
  10. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    If you write fast enough, you get into a cycle where there's ALWAYS something on submission, sometimes more than one thing, and the waiting kind of fades out... you're not waiting for anything in particular, because it's just part of the process. But the first book on submission is pretty nerve-wracking, for sure.

    Nobody said this game is easy...:meh:
     
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  11. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    @jannert The worst thing was, that was his form response that he probably sends out 50 times a day!

    @BayView That's what I'm hoping for. I'm not as fast as you but because publishing is so slow, it looks like I'll be able to write 2-3 books in the time it takes one to sell. I would really like my first sale though, just for that validation that I am publishable.
     
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  12. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    And you may end up with them wanting a series, in which case you're writing a bunch of books that have already been accepted. That's kinda fun!
     
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  13. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Stunned. And this person is actually an agent? With clients? Who has sold books? To publishers? And kept his clients? I'm stunned. What an attitude!
     
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  14. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    It doesn't sound that much worse than the standard rejections... Our list is very limited and we can only select those books that really speak to us; thank you for submitting but I don't have the level of enthusiasm I'd need to properly represent your work; we will not be offering to represent your book at this time but wish you all the best in your future endeavours... there's really not a nice way to say no...

    @Tenderiser, how did the less-stinging rejections phrase the message?
     
  15. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    The ways you just said. To me there's a massive difference between those and the one I posted! And I do think there are nice ways to say no - some rejections were so lovely I wanted to write back and thank them.
     
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  16. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Huh. I guess I just skip ahead to the WE'RE NOT TAKING IT part and gloss over the rest!
     
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  17. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    :)
     
  18. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    The only rejections I've received were over 25 years ago... but that's only because I've been too chicken to submit anything since then.

    As for how I took them, perhaps the fact that I haven't submitted anything in over 25 years tells the tale. With my WIP, I'm working my ass off in an attempt to remove all possibility of rejection. Once it's finished, we'll see if I've got the nerve to submit it.
     
  19. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think the bolded part is one of the reasons people sometimes get so upset by rejection - because we think it actually IS possible to remove all possibility of rejection. If we get rejected it's because our work wasn't good enough.

    But of course that's not accurate. Our work might not fit a specific agent's taste, or might be too similar to something else on her list, or might be in a genre or sub-genre that isn't selling well, or lots of other possible reasons. If subbing to publishers, they might love your book but have two other in a similar vein already in production, or they might not like your book but someone else will, or whatever.

    Thinking that there's an independent standard of writing quality that, once achieved, will eliminate all chance of rejection? That means that when the rejections inevitably come, you have no choice but to blame your writing, when really there are countless other reasons something might not be accepted.
     
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  20. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah, I know all that. I blame my up-bringing. ;)
     
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  21. deadrats
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    deadrats Active Member

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    I try to have between 25 and 30 things out on submission. Sometimes, all the rejections come in at once and wipes out my stash. It's also that some stories are running out of places to go. And I guess I thought I was due for some good news. I just really want to get in someplace good, someplace I read. I never meant for this to turn into the quest it has.
     
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  22. Kendall_Jackson
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    Kendall_Jackson New Member

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    I can't say it from personal experience as I was never rejected, but that is because I never tried to submit anything to a publisher, only to friends. However from what I know even rejection is a way of learning. Don't quit and keep trying. It's tiring, frustrating but I am sure there are people who will appreciate your work, maybe even understand your vision, depending on what you write about. I for one will not take rejection too hard, after all not everyone will like my ideas and my style.
     
  23. big soft moose
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    big soft moose Active Member

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    Its like asking ten girls to sleep withyou, you only get your face slapped 9 times - but if you arent willing to risk the face slaps,you're going to resign yourself to celibacy
     
  24. Sokoya
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    Sokoya New Member

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    It depends a lot on the rejection. I'm fairly new to this, and trying to be more thick skinned, but certain rejections really get to me. There are some that just seem needlessly cold. Don't get me wrong, I'm not looking for someone to send me flowers when they reject my manuscript. I don't even mind being sent impersonal stock rejection letters, as I know that agents don't usually have the time to send anything else. However as far as I'm concerned, if an agent is going to send out standard, copy pasted rejections, then the least they can do is make their stock letter a pleasant one. When an agent's reply consists of nothing more than: "This isn't what I'm looking for" without so much as wishing me good luck for the future, I can't help but be a little offended.
     
  25. NiallRoach
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    NiallRoach Contributing Member

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    I filled myself with so much "you know that your first thousand stories won't get accepted, right?", that even my first short story rejection didn't sting. I moved on and resubmitted.

    I've since quit shorts altogether, partly because of how absurdly competitive the market is (I've heard, and can believe, that it's far easier to sell novels) and therefore the unrelenting rejection, but also because I don't enjoy the medium enough to justify the effort, and because my mind won't work in stories that small without spending a month or more on just one.

    My advice? If you're writing shorts because you feel like that's where you should start, just stop. If you're writing shorts because they're what interest you, keep going. Either way, you're going to have to learn to deal with rejection eventually, unless you quit writing outright.
    So, quit shorts, quit writing, or stiffen that upper lip. Pick one.
     

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