Rejection. Is there a word that writers hate more? It seems to be the part of the writing life that we all dread, and yet we all have to face it.
If you want to be successful as a writer, you have to submit your work to editors and agents. These are people who get far more material than they can possibly use. Yet they have to weed through it all to find what they need or want.
Intellectually we understand this concept. Yet it is truly painful when we get rejected. We know that they are rejecting our work, and not us, but in many ways our work is us. Our stories and characters are our offspring, born of our hearts and souls. So how do we learn to accept the negatives without losing our way?
There are lots of types of rejections, of course. There are the form letters, sometimes not even well copied, that get stuck in the package and sent back almost immediately. This usually means that the story didn't grab them by the end of the first page and didn't read any further.
Then, you have the jotted notes on the manuscript itself, which means someone at least saw the item, if not read it all. And sometimes these can be constructive criticism, ideas that can help with future submissions.
The best rejections are those which request changes or another manuscript to be considered. When you get those, you know that you are getting close, and that publication may be near.
We have to look beyond the rejection at why it was rejected and focus on that. It could be that it just landed on an editor's desk on the wrong day, but it could be that there just wasn't enough of an opening hook. So we just continue to work out the bugs in our manuscripts and submit somewhere else. Or we may have another story to tell. If you can view each rejection as a learning experience, you are that much closer to seeing your name on the cover.
As writers, most of us go through all of these types of rejections. We just have to keep writing, keep submitting, and keep improving. In time, we can all succeed in attaining our dreams. Those who allow these rejections to stop them will never make it. But those of us who keep going have a potential for success beyond our dreams. Well, maybe not beyond our dreams. After all, we are writers. Who can dream better than us?