Sunday, October 18, 2009

Moving Past the "NO"

I've had a busy week. As you know, I've been rejected. Well, not in a bad way. But after the lovely letter was dissected, and I had properly thrown myself an amazing personal pity party involving copious amounts of wine and 80s music, I had to get back on track before the weekend arrived.

Getting past a "no" isn't easy, even if it is a very positive "no."

"No" just plain sucks.

But in order to write, one must get past it. How do I get past a "no?" Here are my techniques (not in particular order, except for the first two):

1-I call my CPs and dissect the letter. They counsel me and say they're sorry, but then admonish me to send out more queries and hook an agent with this book.
2-I throw a wonderful Personal Pity Party. Wine, songs and FB comments are flowing all night.
3-I get up the next day and force myself to start again. A to-do list is a wonderful thing for me.
4-I polish my first GH entry and get it ready to send off to the RWA Offices
5-I force myself to research agents on line via the RWA website and their websites. I write a blog about how much I despise this type of work. At last, you all know my achilles heel: I loathe administrative work and I am horrible about worrying about the formatting and so forth of each query letter and submission. Blah--
6-After I yank the nails out of my eyeballs, I go to Kinkos and copy my MS for the GH entry. I also run boring errands. They remind me that I'd like to be super wealthy one day and hire someone to do all this stuff (another thing I loathe to do is waiting in lines).
7-I query the agents via email and record them in my PRO binder query grid.
8-I make a writing plan for my next GH revision.
9-I clean the house top to bottom, warn the family I will be writing A LOT during the next 6 weeks, and I allow myself to breath and enjoy this final writing free weekend.
10-I tell myself I am glad I got the rejection. It was a good one, and it solidified for me that I have a strong voice. I need time to hone this voice of mine, time to keep writing at my pace, and time to build my back list so when I get that elusive call from an agent/publisher, I am ready to roll.

After all this, I am ready to return to my writing cave. I am eager to start my revision. I am anxious to get the work done. And I can't wait to start!

I love being a writer.

How do you move past the "no?"


Paula said...

Rejections hurt. They just do. They may come accompanied by a lovely, encouraging letter that lets you know the editor or agent likes you as a writer and wants to help you become the best you can be, but they're still big, fat noes. And noes hurt.

The best way I ever came up with to handle rejection was to remind myself, with every "no," that I wasn't in this to write a single book. I was in it to write a lot of books. And so, if this book didn't get the job done, I could always write another, better one.

I took the editors' comments to heart, also. I listened to their advice, worked on what they were asking me to do, and always, always kept writing.

Your writing career isn't one single moment in time. It's a long, tortuous journey. There are going to be more rejections. But if you see them as detour signs rather than dead ends, you'll always find your way around them and on to a better path.

Angel said...

My writing playground friends and I have a very similar philosophy. When the rejection comes in, cry, whine, drink, and hit the chocolate. For 1 day. Then get back to work. It has made all the difference.

And the rejections do get easier. Never easy, just easier.


Kathy said...

Got one of those today too, Christine. I know exactly how you feel. :(

Callie James said...

Rejections are a bit of a mystery. Sometimes I think the more rejections I get, the easier they are for me to handle. Then some days that ONE rejection feels like the blasted straw that broke the writer's back.

I think what Paula says is very valid. You just have to remember to get up, dust yourself off, and hit the next book.

I think it's wonderful that you got feedback. That means you're getting closer, missy.

Hang in there!

Jeanie said...

Found out today that I didn't win The Molly. Even though finaling is a rush, not winning feels like a rejection. I consoled myself that this doesn't mean I can't write, only that, for whatever reason, my submission didn't strike a chord with the judging agent. Maybe she likes darker stuff, and mine is funny, etc. I have a LOAD of insecurity, so every rejection hurts, but then I brush it off and move forward. What else can you do, quit? Unthinkable. Writing is not for sissies.

M.V.Freeman said...

When I get rejected..
I drink some wine.
Maybe see a movie. Possibly read.
Call my CP's, and other writing friends..whine a bit. Than sleep.

I get up...and stare at my MS, and start writing again.

That's what I do.

I LOVE your lists...and how you hate certain tasks..I am SO with you there. :)

You go girl!!

I agree with Paula, and everyone else..this is a journey. A hard and painful one at times..(Jeanie, I agree, this is NOT for sissies)

Go get 'em

Christine said...

Paula: I love your way of dealing with rejection. That's what I decided as well. And I also told myself I wasn't ready -- yet. I want to have more books under my belt--be ready for anything.

Keep moving forward, right?

Christine said...

Danniele: I forgot about the chocolate--do I get a do-over Personal Pity Party :)?
I agree. Mourn, whine, wine, chocolate, shop, and then back in the saddle. Been there all day today. Whew...

Got to get the GH ready for submission.

Christine said...

Kathy: Super hugs! It does stink doesn't it? Too bad we didn't live closer, we could have thrown our PPP together!

:( to you and hope you get some good news soon :).

Christine said...

Jeanie: I'm sorry about the Molly. I know that pain, too. To final is awesome, but to win would be so much sweeter. But you finaled and no one can take that away from you. You are a GREAT WRITER.

And yeah, writing isn't for sissies. But we must be the world's greatest masochists... I'm like you. Quitting is NOT an option.

Hugs and keep going forward~


Christine said...

Callie: you are so right. Sometimes they are easier to shrug off than others, aren't they? I guess it might depend on the moon's path or my expectations, too.

Thanks for the kind words!

Christine said...

M.V.: I know you will get there--you're working very very hard. And that is with all kinds of crazy obstacles in the way. I love how you keep kicking past them. This will make you soooo ready for the big call!

vonda said...

No's are hard to digest, but I don't let them get me down for too long. At my age, I don't have the time. I think of Stephen King and the nail he stuck his rejection slips on. I don't have a nail, but I do have a file I try to ignore. I have to remind myself that I'm not in this for the money (even though it would be nice), but because writing is my lot in life, my obsession. Being published is the end result of the dream, not the reason for the dream itself. Not everyone wants to take the journey with me and that includes editors.
I received a rejection slip a while back but it included a hand-written note saying to try again. Sometimes a no is just a way of saying this one wasn't for us but we want to hear from you in the future.Believe that and know that you are doing what you were meant to do.
Hang in there and enjoy your wine. Being from West Texas, I'll take a red beer and a bowl of nachos as my comfort foods.
I want to take this opportunity to tell Mary Freeman that she did an outstanding job of telling it like it is and how we writers are a crazy lot. Thanks for the plug, Mary.
Vonda Frampton

M.V.Freeman said...

You are so very gracious! I owe you an email. :)

M.V. Freeman

Christine said...

Vonda: you're right, it's a journey. I'm glad you got a handwritten note with your R. That's really nice. A little encouragement goes a long way.

Now I'll have to ask my husband about red beer. He's from TX. In Canada they mix tomato juice with beer. Is it similar?

The best thing I did after the R was send out a bunch of queries two days later. I already got another request for a full from an agent.

Now my mantra is: the more rejections I have, the closer I am to publication.

Good luck with your writing endeavors!