December 11, 2007 at 3:43 am 10 comments

This post I’m opening up a vein so listen up.

So I’ve been stalking my e-mail as you know and then I finally get the e-mail I’ve been waiting for. But it’s a rejection. I know this before even opening it. I can almost feel it in my bones. I open it and read it and I’m right. Oh, how sometimes I hate being right.

I’m reading what she has to say and I can be honest and agree with what she’s pointing out. These things I’ve had problems with since I constructed my first sentence back in kindergarten. The things I try to hide with my witty dialogue, poetic descriptions, good story telling and snark. Sentence structure, grammar, punctuation, and the like.

But you want to know something it’s not my failings that’s going to send me to a box of chocolates and a bottle of wine. It’s the no. It’s that one word that’s being repeated with every single sentence I’m reading. NO. NO. NO. It’s not the yes I was secretly hoping for and that’s what makes rejections hurt. Why lie? Every time I’m sending out a submission I’m hoping for that one yes that’s going to change my life. I’m wanting that editor or agent to say they couldn’t put my book down and they want to give me a million dollars.

A rejection though…God, it’s like every time you’ve had a crush on a boy and he’s into someone else. And the girl is a size -2 with beautiful hair and even a more beautiful smile and your feeling like the ugly step child. And you are beautiful in your own right but in that moment your feeling a zit on your nose starting to form, you realize your hair is starting to frizz, your jeans are too tight and giving you that double belly look, you couldn’t find the right bra and your breast are looking extra saggy, you notice your pristine white shoes has a subtle scuff mark. Now you are looking at all your flaws and asking yourself what the hell was I thinking? What made me believe I could deserve that?

This may all happen in a matter of seconds and your over it. You shrugged the rejection off and go on about your writing life.

But sometimes you have that third piece of chocolate and a second glass of wine.

Anyway, the clock is ticking on my 24 hour rule to sulk. I’ve got a bottle of Chardonnay calling me.


Entry filed under: confessions, rejection.


10 Comments Add your own

  • 1. raine  |  December 11, 2007 at 7:22 am

    Feel ya, hon. Been there, done that, still do, and it never stops sucking.
    And yes, your description is right on the mark. It’s so disappointing at first that all you can see is that you’ve failed, and maybe you’ll never find that one who loves you, who can appreciate you for who you are.
    But you hang in there, babe. Remember, you’re just getting started, and it’s part of the gig.

    Now–pour me a glass & we’ll share that bottle…

  • 2. lainey bancroft  |  December 11, 2007 at 1:32 pm

    Ditto, what Raine said. We’ve all felt it and it will always suck.

    Now turn it around and think of it as an opportunity to find the editor who’ll see how beautiful your baby is.

    (pst, don’t tell anyone, SETTLING BACK, a champagne rose coming soon, was rejected FOUR times, by 4 different mean guys who only saw it was a bit overweight and maybe kinda mouthy. I stuck it on a shelf, wrote a bunch of different things, came back to it, slimmed it down, submitted and it got a contract in a matter of days)

    Enjoy the chocolate and wine and when you’re ready, go back and build on the best features of your baby, I bet you find the flaws start fading away!

  • 3. Mel  |  December 11, 2007 at 4:40 pm

    Raine-I’m not sure if I want the tefflon thick skin so that rejections bounce off me. The editor had a point. Once I get over my sulk I’m sure I’ll be able to go back and put her comments to good use. And I don’t think a writer can grow unless they get rejections. Sometimes you just don’t know the weak points in your own writing. But who wants their weaknesses under a microscope and flooded with lights?

    And sure I’ll move over to share. 🙂

  • 4. Mel  |  December 11, 2007 at 4:46 pm

    Thanks, Lainey. The editor did offer me to resubmit, but at the same time this was the third rejection the book has had. The first rejection I went back and cleaned it up. After the second rejection I streghtened the conflict. After this rejection and going running with her comments I’m going to have to go line by line to make sure all the sentences has clarity and that I’m not breaking grammar and punctuation rules. Which means learning them. Gah! You gotta do what you’ve gotta do.

    The best thing though my editor offered to read it over. At that point I cried. I have people in my corner rooting for me. I think that’s the best thing I’ve gained in this business.

  • 5. Patricia W.  |  December 12, 2007 at 9:25 pm

    Sounds to me like you’re really close on this one. It’s just taking more steps than you anticipated, which if you’ve ever run track, can feel like you’re carrying lead on your shoulders.

    Enjoy the chocolate! Then, chin up and go for it, especially since said editor is willing to look at it again. Which means SHE DIDN’T HATE IT.

  • 6. Mel  |  December 12, 2007 at 9:48 pm

    Thanks, Patricia, I will take my time. This is VERY unexpected, but I think extremely good for me. This is my chance to meet a challenge.

  • 7. Marianne Arkins  |  December 14, 2007 at 7:48 pm

    Hey, Mel… it happens to everyone! And, it never gets easier. I have a friend who is multi-pubbed with Harlequin and has her last three proposals rejected by them.

    I have seven current contracts with TWRP, and one with Samhain, and my last submission to TWRP was rejected… and not JUST rejected, but boy-o-boy was I given a laundry list of all the stuff wrong with it.


    That was almost a month ago and it still stings.

    BUT… I got valid feedback, and I’m working on those things I agree with. It’s all good.

    The only folks who can say they’ve gotten rejections are the ones who are brave enough to put their work out there. You’re so far ahead of most people, it’s not even funny.

    You should be proud.

  • 8. Mel  |  December 15, 2007 at 12:26 am

    Marianne- In strange moments and when it’s pointed out to me (thanks) I realize how lucky I am to be doing something I truly love. I’m willing to take the good, bad, and ugly in this business. And each rejection I learn something from. I haven’t racked up hundreds, but I’ve only received one form R. My odds are pretty good, and trust me I know I’m apart of the select few who actually go for publishing. Not everyone has the cajones to send their work out.

  • 9. Edie  |  December 15, 2007 at 2:28 am

    Hugs on the R, Mel. Like you said to Marianne, it’s great that you learned something – but Rs still suck.

  • 10. Mel  |  December 15, 2007 at 2:51 am

    Thanks for the hugs. I’ve bit the bullet and decided to revise. It’s going to be painful, but I know I’m going to learn a crapload. It’s worth it at the moment. Whose to say after I’m done 🙂

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