Writing Rejection – How It Can Be a Positive Thing

Writers always talk about their rejections, so this is nothing new. You always read about famous authors collecting stacks of rejection letters and postcards, maybe even hanging them on the wall for inspiration. But as someone who only recently starting sending out queries and submitting articles, it is new for me. And in these days you don’t even get a nice rejection postcard souvenir. You’re lucky if you get an e-mail!

I’m about halfway done writing my book about my IVF experience and have been researching both traditional and self-publishing. I thought it might be interesting to try sending out a few queries or do a book proposal before doing it all on my own. What it has mostly been though, is…well…nothing. There’s been nothing. Not even a rejection! Just no response.

rejection

I researched tons of query letters before even sending the first one. I wrote and rewrote it for two weeks before even sending it! Then I researched and targeted only publishers that were interested in non-fiction, women’s issues, memoir-type books. I didn’t just go into this willy-nilly. I really tried! It was quite a rush every time I pressed send, so to hear back nothing was rather anti-climatic.

And at the same time I decided it was time to try submitting articles to some bigger blogs. What I got back from that was a polite “Thanks, it’s nice but we don’t think people will want to read it.” (that was the gist of it)

I actually think I liked it better when they just don’t write back.

So how is any of that positive?

I had to push myself to be better just to send that stuff out. To send the article to the blog, I realized I needed to update my bio. I had been meaning to do that for the past six months. So I took the time to sit down and update it. I can finally check that off my to-do list, and now I have my bio ready anytime I want to submit something.

For the agent queries, they all have different requirements- some want the first five pages, some want a few chapters and some might want a full proposal. Meeting those demands has pushed me to finish and edit more chapters this month than I have in a while.

If I had not tried submitting anything, I would have not have pushed myself to write more and write better. I researched and learned a lot about the market I was looking to get into. I also learned about agents, publishers and platforms and all kinds of things I had never even known I would need to do.

So while the actual rejection wasn’t so positive, the actions that I needed to take to get there were. And the results from my attempts lets me know I’m just not there yet. I have to keep going.

So where do I go from here?

I think I will keep sending out the queries because it is helping me get farther in the book, but then probably have to do the whole self-publishing route in the end. Sometimes I wonder if it’s even worth it, and then a little voice starts yelling “Yes dammit, there are other women out there who could use a story like this, stop doubting yourself and write the damn thing.” I’m always reminding myself to listen to that voice. So I plan to keep moving forward on that.

Submitting to other blogs however…eh. When I write something I really like, I’m always excited to post it on my own blog. There are a few blogs I do work with and submit to, and I will keep working with them. There’s also a larger local mom’s blog I’m still planning on sending an article to when I get it just right. But the big ad-splashed, click-bait blogs only interested in traffic-driving blog posts? Nah. I realized that’s not how I write and that’s not the audience I write for. So I’ll save my time and focus on the smaller blogs where I can actually connect with people.

So I guess, at the end of the day, I’ll just keep on writing…    🙂

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9 thoughts on “Writing Rejection – How It Can Be a Positive Thing

  1. I have been where you are, or should I say I am where you are. I’ve been submitting my YA fiction book proposals (I have two completed books sitting minding their own business on my computer), for a few years now. Some agents you don’t hear from at all and some say wait six months. It’s very frustrating. I still hope that maybe someone will want to publish them, but as time passes and the silence drags on, the more I think about self publishing. I’m just worried as I’m not so good at the self promotion part which I think is key to success with self publishing. I wish you the best of luck and am keen to see how it goes for you. I think your writing is great, relevant and interesting, and you have a future book reader in me.

    1. Thank you! I’m very interested in hearing other peoples experiences with publishing (or attempts at publishing). When I think about self-publishing, the task of all the extra self-promotion does seem daunting. The appeal of a publisher is that they already know what they are doing! I’ve accepted that this may be a long process, much longer than I even anticipated. I’ll just keep pecking away at it! And when I have those naggy little doubts, that’s when I write a blog post about it, lol.

  2. Have you thought about submitting it to a literary agent? I did a bunch of research in the early 2000s and it was one of the options. Not sure what is going on now, but thought I’d mention it. Keep on going and Good Luck!

  3. I’m thinking about getting started. I have about 8 drafts sitting around in various stages of completion, 1 is fully finsihed and I’m working on rewriting but there is one that comes before it, so it’s just sitting there.
    I read it can take hundreds of rejections before you find the right agent, so maybe starting early would be best.
    It drives me nuts with magazines and websites, I have articles I am waiting to hear back on because I’m wanting to find other places to submit and I’m in that annoying state of limbo.
    I did just self publish my first book last week, I decided I’m self publishing the nonfiction stuff I wrote and I’m going to attempt the traditional publishing route first with the fiction.

    Good luck. Hope you’re able to find a good agent.

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