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26 February 2007 @ 06:46 am
Q & A - #16 - "How do you handle rejection?"  

Q & A - #16 - "How do you handle rejection?" ~ ryan_field 

At first, I took them with a lot of emotion, but my skin grew thick quickly. Now, I feel like a query reptile with nearly impenetrable scaley hide. Otherwise, I don't know how I'd be able to to take it. You could home from a long day of grad school and walk to the mailbox only to discover 4 typed, papersliced, half sheet rejection letters.

Dear Author:

Thank you for your submission. I am sorry that I cannot invite you to submit the rest of your work, and I regret the necessity for this form of reply.

Best wishes,
Agent X

Image Credit to romance.virtualpune.comA barrage of questions could hit me if I let my guard down -- Did they even read my query? -- Even if the project isn't for them, do they think the idea is salable? -- Is everyone getting form rejections from them? -- Why don't they put it on their website if they're not accepting any more authors? -- Why don't they get a bliddy website?

Then there're the times they ask for a partial or a full and mail you a form rejection. WHAT!!! You ask for a portion of my novel and can't take 10 seconds to write me a little note -- "I liked the writing, but it's not for me." -- Viola! But I can't start thinking that way either. Even if they've asked for the full manuscript and were excited about reading it after loving the first 50 pages. They aren't evil. They don't hate me. They don't despise my work. They simply don't have time to cater to my emotional state of mind.

If finding an agent (or finding an author) is like finding a spouse, the metaphor carries itself out all the way.

Hey there:

Big plans after the bride and groom leave and this thing's over?

Guy at the Wedding

Do you take the time to be sensitive to his emotions? Do you walk him down to a comfortable state of rejection? Nope. Form rejection dig through the purse time.

All that said, I've only accustomed myself to the first level of rejection. I've yet to have a phone conversation with an agent after which he/she says, "You know, you sound like a really interesting fellow, but I don't think this relationship is going to work." I haven't waited 2 years for an agent to sell my manuscript and had to break up with them. I haven't experienced my agent doing a great job getting 5 editorial boards to roundtable my manuscript only to have all 5 turn it down. I haven't had the publishing house purchase, edit, and print my book, only to not circulate near as many galleys as another book being released at the same time and end up distributing it to Borders and not Barnes and Noble. I haven't shown up to a book reading of mine to have ZERO people show up. I haven't seen my 3rd book not sell to editors after my 1st two sold quickly.

The rejection trail could just keep going. I think I know that. I hope I'm ready.

All the questions are officially answered, but I'd love to answer more. So if you've got anything you wish you could know about me,

bryanreardon on February 26th, 2007 04:00 pm (UTC)
I have never grown completely thick skinned. I often find myself wondering, is my stuff even pro enough to ever be published? Am I just fooling myself here? And there has not been a point where I have honestly not felt that way. But my persistence is without equal, regardless of my emotional state.

I love how you follow through your query point with the fact that rejection, no matter where you are in the process, is always breathing down your neck. I don't think I truly understood that until recently. Nice post.
ryan_fieldryan_field on February 27th, 2007 12:59 am (UTC)
First, thanks for answering the question. I don't think there's a writer alive who can't agree with you. Part of getting published is all about tenacity and learning how to take the rejection (if that's possible :) You sound like a tough guy who can take as much as they can give. Your write well; very well and I do believe that talent always wins in the end. Just keep doing what you're doing it will only get better; that I do know.