I’m not sure if I’ve ever met anyone who likes to be rejected. I’ll never forget when I was a senior in high school and I’d been dating this girl off and on for close to a year. We were basically a couple but one day as we parked at the mall in Kennesaw, Ga; I decided to make things official and ask her to be my girlfriend.

We sat there in my hot, white S-10 pickup truck and her words hit like a purposeful blow to the gut.

“No.”

She said it so matter-of-factly that it caught me completely off guard. When I asked her why, cause I didn’t know what else to say, she said, “We’re both too young to be committed and you’re moving off to college soon.”

jackson baer, jackson paul baer, the earth bleeds red, pandamoon publishing, what the hell, literary fiction, suspense, mystery, compelling fiction, new author, joyce carol oates, junot diaz, sherman alexie, novel with a twist, corvallis, books set in oregon

I didn’t really want to hear her reason, I just wanted her to say yes. As a writer, rejection is a major part of the process. You will hear no many more times than you hear yes. Lit agents, publishing companies, and even some readers. You can learn from the no’s, however. There is usually a reason behind their no.

Sometimes it’s simply because the agent is too busy to take on a new client or it’s just not their taste. Other times your writing needs to be improved before it can be published. I received 22 rejections from lit agents and 2 rejections from publishing companies for THE EARTH BLEEDS RED. I also received serious interest from 2 lit agents and eventually signed directly with a publishing company because it felt like the right thing to do.

Here’s the bottom line: take rejection and build on it. Know that it’s only temporary and never permanent unless you make it permanent. Use the rejection as fuel to become better in your pursuit and strive for greatness. Below are a few examples of writers who dealt with rejection and became incredibly successful:

John Grisham received 25 rejections

The Help received 60 rejection letters

James Joyce got 22 rejection letters for The Dubliners and sold only 300 copies in its first year, 120 of which he bought himself

“You have to know how to accept rejection and reject acceptance.” -Ray Bradbury
Advertisements
Comments
  1. miriamscody says:

    Very encouraging, and just the kind of thing that writers on the agent hunt, like myself, need to read. I especially loved the part about it being temporary and never pemanent unless you make it so. Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s