The truth is it’s 13:1 Rejection:Acceptance - and even after an agent/editor/publisher asks for the entire manuscript, you still will get rejected. UGH.
So how do I deal with rejection? Coming from an acting background I got used to the word no. Actually they were pretty brutal - A director told me once that not only do my ears and mouth not communicate, my singing was so bad that it had crossed over the line of horrible and was actually funny. I got the job, but this is a serious rejection! I don’t even sing happy birthday anymore at children’s birthday parties.
But how do I get over rejections on my writing? Well, that’s much harder for me. You see, acting was not showing my private self - I could use emotions but no one knew what I was thinking. But writing, I have to put myself out there. I have to let everyone know what I’m thinking and how I deal with problems and what problems I’ve had to deal with. It’s scary. And I’ve not sent my manuscripts out because of that fear.
So when I did start to send out, I felt physically ill. But I hit the send button and did it anyway. It’s easier today to get a query out there. One click and that’s it. And then the waiting game begins.
I use a graph that I made up myself to keep track of queries I’ve sent, to whom, or is it who....I should know this. Ha! And if the answer was Yes or No and why. Also I write a note if the answer was nice or if I could tell they really read a good portion of it.
I have 6 send outs and zero yeses so far. And it stings. But my rejections are getting longer....that’s a good sign, so I’m told. They’re getting nicer. I even have one that says, this project is not right for us, but we love your writing, please keep us in mind for future projects. Hurray! But I still wallow, why oh why was this one not right???
All 6 rejections were for lack of strong voice. Which completely confuses me because my MFA teachers say I have such a strong voice. So the game goes round and round. But I have hope because I have writer friends. I can cry to them. I send them my rejections and ask their input. They are wonderful.
And my husband is there for me to lean on as well. He keeps saying, you have to expect rejections. When you get 30 more maybe you should set it aside and work on something else. 30 more!! Can I take 30 more no's? AHHHHHH.
YES - I can take it. Keep repeating that to yourself. You can take it. You will make it! You will get published. Write it down. Hang it on your computer. Keep on going!!
So, I sent out the same novel yesterday --- I have been working on the voice of the main character. How does he sound? Why does he think that way? And I’ve been making some changes. I hope it works. I hope it knocks her socks off. I hope I get a yes. But if it’s a no - I hope it’s twice as long as the last one!!
Good luck writers!! Keep your heads up. I’m pulling for you.