Rejections – Looking at the Silver Lining

Litopia is a fantastic resource for writers’ podcasts. For anyone as equally addicted to the iPod and the many podcasts available, Litopia is worth the time and listening. Recently they did a podcast entited, The Joy of Rejection.   Some of things worth reciting, which I’ve long agreed with:

1. Writing is one thing, the submission process is another. As noted on the podcast it’s worth thinking “I’ve done my writing, I’m now doing my submission. It’s a complete separate thing.” This is a healthy way to look at the query process. The passion and time required for one’s writing should not be affected by the query process.

Consider each step to be different  – with writing as the core content of your artistic expression and unaffected when the rejections arrive.   Querying agents & editors especially requires a business-like approach with very specific guidelines, and less one’s writing ability (or importantly one’s self-esteem as a writer).

2. Don’t take rejections personally. Instead, take the time to look at the overall query process rationally; problem-solve WHY the rejections occur. Is is the market? Did you query the right people? Did the query clearly reflect your book idea? Did you follow the submission guidelines for each person queried? Once these problems have been figured out, tweak your approach. Taking the time to remedy the areas of a book query (that result in rejection) is well-worth the time.

3. Rejections are normal in publishing. Unlike the rest of the business world, rejections are very normal; anyone who works in publishing is used to the “rejection” letter.  In my own experience,  it’s better to not take it personally, to keep on doing my job as the literary agent. My hope is that writers can gain this same POV.   If Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance can be rejected 121 times, STILL becoming a best-selling book, assume you (the writer) can equally weather rejections. Imagine being in Robert Pirsig’s shoes during that time, he survived it, you will too.

For more inspiration, check out 14-Best Selling Books Repeatedly Rejected by Publishers.