Thursday, March 05, 2009

Rejection.


"The world often knocks us down, and we wear the scars to signify the blows. We have to choose whether to retreat or retry."
- Gail McMeekin

I can not tell you how much I enjoyed the chapter for this week's blogging book group! As I work to get my novel published and begin to get back a few rejection letters, I am feeling twinges of discouragement. As anyone who has read my blog for awhile will know, one of my favorite books in the whole world is Women Who Run with the Wolves by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes. At the beginning of this chapter, Gail McMeekin shares that this remarkable book was rejected forty-seven times over twenty years. FORTY-SEVEN!!!

I do not think I could handle that.

Having said that, the thing about the process of writing my novel is that after the year of writing, the editing, the rewriting, the attempts at a synopsis, the sending it out to be read by people and the query letter writing I seem to have developed a healthy emotional distance from the book. I still love it. I still believe in it completely and want to passionately promote it, but it no longer draws blood when I get a rejection letter. I know that it needs someone to love it as much as I do. I am choosing to see rejection letters as notes from people with no imagination or bravery. I certainly do not want someone like that championing my book!

I think that the trick to handling rejection is to have created a list before putting ourselves out there. I have a list of agents and publishers that I am methodically sending work out to. I have a long plan of attack. If a rejection comes in, I file the letter and send the package out to someone else. Just like the only secret to writing a novel is to sit in the chair and write the novel, I have to believe that the secret to getting published is to keep asking people to publish you. (Or hire you or let you hang your art or sell your photographs...)

"Getting ahead in a difficult profession - singing, acting, writing, whatever - requires faith in yourself. You must be able to sustain yourself against staggering blows and unfair reversals. When I think back to those first couple of years in Rome, those endless rejections, without a glimmer of encouragement from anyone, all those failed screen tests, and yet I never let my desire slide away from me, my belief in myself and what I could achieve." - Sophia Loren

17 comments:

Tracy said...

"I know that it needs someone to love it as much as I do. I am choosing to see rejection letters as notes from people with no imagination or bravery."

I loved this! Such a positively wonderful perspective. Best of luck on finding a publisher for your book! :)

Genie Sea said...

Plug away my friend! I believe in you!

daisies said...

i so believe in you and i completely believe in that marvelous book :-) your positive attitude will get this book to the right person ... hugs and love, xo

Marianne said...

Great approach and great advice! I'm filing that away for later, when I have a book to send out to the world.

For now, I can't wait to see who your books next true champion will be!

Samosas for One said...

This is such a wonderful attitude that you have about the process. I wish you so much luck in your journey.

chest of drawers said...

Wonderful perspective on rejection...the write publisher is DEFINATELY waiting to be uplifted by your book.

Arty Em said...

any writer who lives for beauty and believes in magic must have written an awesome book - I hope one day if you don't find a publisher you self publish and share it here with all your blog friends!

Karley said...

You will find that *right* publisher for your book who will appreciate it. Keep plugging on--I enjoyed this piece and your attitude!

Fatma said...

Please keep believing in yourself.
There is a publisher out there waiting for your book.

P.S. I love Sophia Loren and enjoyed her quote. Can you imagine someone rejecting Sophia Loren?!

KathrynAntyr said...

Having a plan is a great idea. When there are rejection letters coming in it can keep one focused on next steps.

Good luck on getting your novel published!

RubyGirl said...

i believe in you, meg. your book has a powerful message that needs to be experienced by others!

intothedawn said...

"I know that it needs someone to love it as much as I do. I am choosing to see rejection letters as notes from people with no imagination or bravery. I certainly do not want someone like that championing my book!"

I LOVE this approach! And it really is true. I also like how you have created a plan of attack for getting published; that must really be an enormous help to know what your next step is going to be if a rejection is rec'd. I hope the right publisher finds your book soon!

Lisa PN said...

What a great great way to look at this. So healthy and inspiring and i love the Sophia Loren quote.

Thanks for sharing.

Fannie said...

Hi, I enjoyed reading your reaction to this week's chapter. You're right: "the secret to getting published is to keep asking people to publish you." And while you're waiting, keep writing and revising.

Good for you! I celebrate your positive attitude and optimism. Thanks for sharing.

Lee said...

LOVE the way you look at the world. I just discovered your blog and I am THRILLED! Yay. Looking forward to reading your next 300 entries :)

June Saville said...

Hi MEGG
Good to meet a writer who loves what she does, and has determination and a belief in her work.
I became a journalist a millenium ago, am supposedly now retired, but am writing still. Now I can concentrate on what I enjoy most - fiction and poetry.
I share my output with others - through my blog, www.journeysincreativewriting.blogspot.com.
I am really pleased to have met up with Sunday Scribblings as well.

Amber said...

"I am choosing to see rejection letters as notes from people with no imagination or bravery"---

Brilliant.

:)