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Dealing With the “R” Word

April 19th, 2013

Rejection. It’s something we naturally fear and hate in just about every area of life – and writing is no different. The sad truth is that just about every writer who has ever tried to get something published has experienced rejection at some point. It comes with the job, and the way we deal with it says a lot about us as a writer and as a person.

One of my recent blogging addictions is www.rejectionloveletters.com, a blog that is entirely dedicated to coping with rejections on a large scale. The author, John Tompkins, has sent out over 200 queries for his novel “The Plum War” in an attempt to secure a publishing deal or an agent. He has so far received over 80 rejections, but the more positive side to the story is that he takes it all with a giant dose of good humour. Each post contains one rejection, summed up nicely below in a “it’s not you, it’s me” style romantic rejection. His observations are witty and a little uplifting for anyone who is going through the same gruelling process of trying to find a publisher.

Emily Blog PicThe important thing to remember about rejection is that it happens to everyone. Most successful and even world-famous writers have received a rejection letter or two at the start of their career and it is absolutely nothing to do with a lack of talent. A publisher or an agent might have a hundred different reasons for rejecting a manuscript. It may be that they do not deal with that particular genre, that they already have a full schedule for the coming year, or that they simply don’t think they are the best people to represent you. A couple of rejection letters or even a couple of hundred – it’s no reason to give up hope. After all, if you keep submitting and keep trying then there is a chance that someone will accept and pay for your work one day. If you give up then you are ensuring that it will never happen.

So please take this as your cue to dust off those old articles and stories, give them a bit of a tweak if you need to, and get some fresh copies circulating again! You never know, today might be your lucky day!

Emily has a degree in Creative Writing from Lancaster University and, until she becomes a best- selling novelist, she is working as a Student Advisor helping Writers Bureau students with their problems and queries.

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