One Rejection Too Many

My latest round of rejections (poems and short stories) got me thinking:  how many more signs from up above, down below and everywhere in between do I need to fall on my head or through my inbox until I get the message:  YOU SUCK BIG DINOSAUR EGGS… GIVE UP THIS RIDICULOUS NOTION OF WRITING, YOU ILLITERATE FOREIGNER AND GO BACK TO JIGGLING FRIES AT BURGER KING.  Or something of the sort.  You know how us “wannabe” writers can be so dramatic.  But back to my story.  When the umpteenth rebuff came in my electronic mail a few days ago, I did the opposite of what I usually do, which is to delete it and pretend it never happened.  I’m king AND queen of denial and up until a few days ago it was working.  But for some reason, this latest one has become more than just a flesh wound.  It has somehow managed to skulk into my subconscious and pitched a tent next to Doubt and Uncertainty.  And if any of you know anything about the other two, they’re like roaches, impossible to eradicate.  Yes, yes, I know adversity builds character and only a handful of writers have never received rejections, but still.  When is it one rejection too many?  Comedian Ron White (whom I love) had a funny joke.  There’s this woman who says she’s slept with 50,000 men and they were all bad in bed.  Ron White turns to the audience, with that confused look on his face and says “Wouldn’t you think, by man 49,998, she would have said, ‘maybe it’s me?’”

So that’s what I’m wondering:  Maybe it’s me?  Or maybe it’s my writing.  And by the way folks, this ain’t a thinly veiled attempt for effusive flattery.  It really is an evaluation or re-evaluation of ability.  I realize there’s no perfect path, but was just wondering if others felt the same.  Fire away.


10 thoughts on “One Rejection Too Many

  1. I sympathize with you. Rejections stink.

    There’s a writing couple in my chapter who have submitted their book and gotten over 100 rejections. It’s finally being published this summer. If they gave up after 99, they would have missed out on so much.

    Let your readers tell you whether or not it’s you. If you love your work, others will too. It’s just finding them that’s hard!

  2. Masha – We have all felt this way at one tome or another and we will feel this way again.

    It all comes down to how much you want it – because while you might have times when you have to give yourself a break not to go insane – you won’t be able to give it up forever. If you take a break and don’t miss it . . . you’ll have to see what that means for you.

    Just don’t let other people and their subjective opinions about your work dictate whether you keep at it or not. If you walk away – let it be YOUR decision on your terms – not because of someone else.

    And I truly believe that your writing, your words, will find the right home someday. Keep the faith,

  3. if you love writing, if you have a need to write, i would not give up. In all fairness ask yourself if you work hard at improving your craft. Do you work with a writing group that demands that you improve? Do you edit six times before sending in? Those are just two of the questions.If you do, then relax. Your submission may be similar to something they just published recently, it may not have the flavor they are looking for, who knows what? Whatever is the issue, move on and remember how many hundreds of rejection letters some people have gotten before he or she got published. Also, look at self publishing or ebooks. The world of publishing has changed quite a bit and ebooks are how new authors are getting noticed. I will say this, though, if it is poorly written, I throw it iff my reader quickly. Quality counts. Good luck.

  4. Appreciate the words of wisdom. You’re right.. and I know I’ m not alone. Just sometimes feel that way .. 🙂

  5. Yup, quality is the key. And yes, improving is at the heart. I just sometimes find my inner voice as to what works and what doesn’t get silenced by the plethora of information that is out there. Do this, don’t do that. Maybe sometimes I just need to take a break and step away. Who know?.. In the end, if everyone is healthy, that’s the most important. This too should work out.

  6. Rejections range from form letters to personal attacks. I recently had a job interview. I knew I didn’t get the job as soon as I walked in. The boss stood at least four inches shorter than me. Must be a guy thing. Everyone writes the story that speaks to them. Don’t shy away because someone didn’t get it. All published authors are proof someone will.

  7. I feel the same way on a daily basis!!!! But even on my very worst days of feeling like a total writer loser, there’s some kind of fire in me that will keep going. Because I just believe in myself.

    And guess what? I believe in you too!!!!! I love your writing and I agree with Robin. It just needs to find the right place. Don’t quit. Just drink some wine, damn all those rejections to hell and keep trying. Big smoochies! 😉

  8. Hi Masha Mermaid! Sorry I wasn’t able to say hi yesterday but while I was sitting in a waiting room and flipping through a magazine, I saw a Van’s Off The Wall ad. Their slogan “Off the Wall” is all about being you, being diverse, accepting that you’re unique, not everyone is going to get you all the time but how that doesn’t make the awesomeness of you any less. Van’s celebrates the unique individual. My advice? Keep being Off the Wall and remember that all the wrong people have to say no so that the right one can eventually say yes. Love you fishy sister XOXO

  9. Laughing out loud at the misspelling from when I was punching in my reply on my phone! You know, it’s probably a numbers game. You just need to keep submitting. But my sense is that the world of publishing is changing dramatically. Recently, a number one book on the NYT book list was by an author who started with ebooks. She and her husband were desperate to not lose their house during the recession, so they began writing and publishing ebooks. They have made an empire over their desktop. Plus now she has hard copies. I think writers today need to move past the old school of looking for agents, etc. Successful authors will start getting buzz on Amazon and agents will come looking for them. Good luck and enjoy your future success.

  10. Thanks everyone.. you’re right.. continue to write. But sheesh editors and agents. Throw a gal a bone.. 🙂 although if there wasn’t angst, maybe there wouldn’t be anything to write about. Just gotta keep pushing through, spit on the flesh wound and keep truckin’. Thanks everyone for the reminder.

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