By: Amanda Gochez
Like all authors, when we submit our manuscripts to agents or publishers we have this feeling of accomplishment. Now, all we have to do is wait. More than likely, the email back, if we get an email at all, is a rejection. And let’s be honest, it sucks. And that feeling over failure is what I have been dealing with for the past few weeks.
This is what I know: rejection is apart of this business. But you know what? It doesn’t lessen the sting. Everyone says, “You can’t let it get to you.” What? Why the heck not? I worked hard on that manuscript. I poured my soul into that manuscript. I put in sleepless nights, headaches, frustration, tears, stress, and happiness into that manuscript. Of course, it’s going to get to me! Of course, I am going to be sad. And last night, I got my first rejection of my romance novels and guess what?
I got depressed.
I might have been acting like a big baby. I mean, my kid’s book is getting rejected left and right, but I grew tough skin for that. These books are different. They have a deep part of who I am in them. They have emotions I’ve never shared with anyone. They have fear I have never shared with anyone. They encompass everything I can’t say out loud. So yeah, I took it hard. Should I have? Probably not. I mean it won’t be my last rejection, but it doesn’t mean it stops the sting.
When it comes to rejection, and I mean rejection by the masses, it starts to feel discouraging. I started to wonder, “Is my writing worth it? What’s the point? Why put myself out there? What’s the point for pouring hours that turn into weeks into something no likes anyway? Why stay at home and write instead of going out with my friends and actually achieving something called a social life?”Am I being a bit salty? YES. I. AM.
Saltier than fresh French fries from McDonald’s. Last time I checked, it’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to!
And I might have cried. Not balled, but I wiped a tear or two away because I was disappointed in myself. I understand the agents and the publishers are only doing their job. They want to know if they can sell this book. And knowing that they don’t feel like that about mine? Yeah, I took it hard. I am trying to remember that I’m pretty new to the game. It won’t be my last submission, but I’m positive every rejection, no matter how thick your skin is, feels the same.
Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, James Patterson- all these amazing, award-winning, best-selling authors have all been rejected. MANY times. Even Harry Potter was rejected! The blasphemy of that! But we as writers have to remember that the authors we know as the “Big Shots” didn’t happen overnight. Stephen King wrote manuscripts on his type writer in a laundry room with his child on his knee, if I remember correctly. J.K Rowling wrote Harry Potter on freaking napkins. I need to order these napkins, maybe they have magic seeded into them because Stephen King wrote the idea for Misery on…you guess it: a NAPKIN. Where are these napkins? Goodness gracious!
I need to remember they struggled too and some longer than others. I need to remember that I am going to have hundreds of manuscripts if I don’t let the game beat me and I refuse for this industry to tear me down.
I’m better today. I have a clear head. I had my, “Woe-is-me” party. I’m over it. I’ll be over it until I get another rejection, I’ll throw myself a party all over again, and I’ll get myself French fries from McDonald’s.
Rejections suck. They are a part of it, unfortunately. And it’s okay to feel bummed, sad, and maybe even a little disappointed in yourself. All these rejections will make you a better writer. Then eventually, when your throw yourself a party, it will be with champagne and hand cut French fries from the best potatoes the world has to offer instead of tears!
Don’t let your feelings get the best of you. You are writing for a reason, don’t let the discouragement bring you down. Just because you get rejected doesn’t mean you are a bad writer.
Remember: French fries and champagne is the goal. Don’t lose sight of it, I know I won’t.
King, Stephen. On Writing: A Memoir of a Craft. Simon and Schuster 2010.