This will be a brief topic for me, because to be honest, I don’t deal with rejection very well. I know in my head that it’s just business, but my heart is on that page. While I know I should wear my big girl panties and suck it up, I take it all personally.
That said, I have found some tricks to get me through the rough times. As soon as I’m done with one project, I move on to the next. If I keep my momentum moving forward and always on the next thing, it’s easier to say, “whatever,” when those rejections come in.
When they do come in, I give myself one day to be bummed. I can cry, eat chocolate, whine to my friends and then I have to shove all those crappy feelings up on a shelf and be done with it. Honestly, it isn’t easy, but it’s necessary in my world, which moves like a speeding bullet. I don’t really have a lot of time to be miserable, there’s so much to do. (Smile)
My friends and I came up with a fun thing. We have a beautiful hat and in it we’ve placed slips of paper. When you get a rejection you have to pick a piece of paper. They say everything from go and buy and new pair of shoes to rent Pride and Prejudice (Your version of choice.) It’s a positive way of looking at what really is “just business.” We go to dinner once a week and if you have something sucky to deal with, you get to pull a fun thing from the hat. Some weeks you get to pull more than one. We all laugh and it takes the sting out of it. We actually haven’t done that in a while. It’s time to find the hat again.
Whatever happens, don’t let it get you down. This business is subjective, so just keep moving on to the next thing. And remember it is a business. One agent/editor may not like your work, but there may be six others who do.
I’ll give you a good example. Before I had an agent, I had a chance to meet with an editor at a conference. She was interested in my work and asked to see it. She rejected me. A year later, with the help of my agent, I sold to another editor at the same house. That editor didn’t want to change a single thing with the book except the title.
Flash forward two years. That original editor who had rejected me became my editor when mine left to become an agent. When we first chatted she said, at the time I sent in my manuscript that sort of thing wasn’t selling in the marketplace. I never said anything, but always wanted to. The same time I sent mine in was about the time Mary Janice Davidson and Charlaine Harris hit big, but I never did.
The truth is, you don’t know why someone is going to pick something up. That first editor was nine months pregnant and liked that I made her laugh on the second page. She got me. Some day, someone will get you.
But you have to persevere and keep moving forward. Always.
Tell me what you do to get past those evil rejections?