An efriend writer originally published this as a guest post on their blog to help me launch my latest prehistoric fiction, Against All Odds. In case you missed it there, here are my anecdotal thoughts on how to survive rejection (something I know a lot about):
I have a lot of experience with rejections. I sent queries to agents for my first three books. I made sure these busy folk represented my genre, that I followed their website directions, that I referenced books they already represented so they’d know I spent time preparing my query. I set a goal of 100 queries–100 agents–and then decided I wasn’t going to get to yes.
That’s a lot of rejection. You probably wonder how I survived. With a dollop of humor and a strong belief that no agent can shape my future. Here are my tips for you:
- When you get your first rejection–or 100th–say this: Well there it is, the stupidist thing I’ll read all day.
- You got five rejections in one day. You want to leave a nasty Tweet on each of their Twitter feeds and then scream about them on your Facebook page. You don’t care if you burn the relationship. Don’t! Smile knowingly, that they missed the best book to cross their book in years, and self-pub.
- Crawl under your bed with the rejection letters and whisper to the agents, “Any dumber, you’d be jellyfish. Or rocks! How could you not see my brilliance!”
- Getting upset about rejections is like inviting a pin to a balloon party. What did you expect?
- Given the choice of a rejection letter or a recreational colonoscopy, which would you choose? See, there are worse things.
- S/he probably didn’t even read it.
- You don’t want to work with him/her either.
- Rejection is when theory meets reality, the agent’s theory about what will sell and the reality that they’re wrong. Their loss.
- Get over it.
- Rejections have the charm of a car alarm but at least car alarms have a purpose.
- You thought your mss was a twelve-alarm fire. They called it a sparkler. They’re wrong.
- They used hyperbole to reject you, like, “This is the worst story I’ve ever read”. As though ‘worst’ is all the explanation necessary. Not.
My favorite survival tip is distraction. I have a lovely dog who thinks he’s pack leader of our family. I don’t disagree which puts me at his beck and bark anytime he chooses. That helps to distract me. Maybe you have a similar dog… or cat… If you do, you are nodding along with me.
Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Man vs. Nature saga, and the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice, a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Laws of Nature, Summer 2021.