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Sunday, May 16, 2010

New View on Rejections

Interesting post on rejections over at White Roses in Bloom.

I’d like to chat about rejection letters. Are they the demons and bitter pills and a writer’s worst nightmare? Every writer has traveled this long and winding road, and if you’re having a bad day, receiving a rejection letter might just be the straw that broke the camel’s back. Rejection letters make us doubt our writing ability, our creative muse, and ultimately, ourselves and our purpose. With the devil perched on our shoulder, better add the why was I even born syndrome to the mix. Before long, chins are dragging on the floor and the poor poor pitiful me party is just getting started.

After a long bout with progressive blindness, due to diabetic retinopathy, my life took a severe nose dive. I went from being a legal secretary for a judge to not being able to see the paper, let alone the print. But worst than that, I could no longer pursue my passion of painting. With a strong creative muse and nowhere to channel it, life became as dull as my existence. But when I heard about a computer with adaptive software, converting text to synthesized speech, hope soared. With a new outlook and a new direction, I challenged myself to write a romantic suspense.

Once I’d written my first full length novel, I envisioned agents and Hollywood movie producers beating a path to my door. With this happy little fantasy in mind, I whipped out twenty-one submission packages to top New York agents. Then I sat back, waiting for the phone to ring off the hook. It never rang. But slowly but surely, all agents responded to my romantic suspense, each a rejection letter. The worst of the lot said simply, “Your project does not excite us.”

With that little devil perched on my shoulder once more, my first reaction was to fire back an email of attack. Everything in me wanted to scream they’d be sorry when what they so carelessly pitched in the trash wound up a New York Times bestseller. But my psychology classes kicked in, and Freud’s ego component mediated between the devil and the angel. I orchestrated a new plan of attack. I enrolled in creative writing classes, joined critique groups and attended conferences. It didn’t take long to realize why my novel was rejected. Using knowledge as power, I learned to accept criticism from group members. And while attending a conference, The door to Wild Rose Press was opened. One more grain of knowledge to add to the list. I was marketing my novel in the wrong genre. While it had elements of romance, it did not fit the standard romance category and was rejected once more.

Read the rest here.

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