|"What? You don't like my novel?"|
If you’re an author hoping to get published, you have an antagonist hiding in cyberspace. He’s waiting until your hopes are high, your heart is joyous, and just when you think that nothing can stop you, he attacks. He may delay this attack until you nails are nubs, and nerves are shot. He knocks on your door. “You have mail.” The agent you submitted your life to, has responded. “We’re sorry, your novel is not for us.”
You may have written the most fabulous novel. Edited it to perfection. Your readers love it. You’ve worked on it for years. But that antagonist, Rejection, is waiting to battle your will, beat you down and make you feel worthless.
Crushing? Of course. All your friends tell you that this wasn’t the right agent and not a good match. That your book is brilliant. You rock. We try to believe them. But the truth is, rejection hurts. All rejection hurts. When someone doesn’t like our work, we take it personal. Why? Because it is.
But like all good stories, how often does the antagonist win? Never in my book. Besides, everything good in my life has always started with a challenge, or someone telling me no. Maybe you’re one of the lucky few that doors open and the sky parts when you walk by. But for the most of us, that’s not the case. Not to mention the fact the industry is changing more quickly than I can write this sentence—Getting published today is hard.
Suggestion... battle your antagonist by focusing on your work. If you’re lucky enough for an agent to tell you why they weren’t interested, listen to them. Decide if you think they were right. Think about your work in a different light. Put it on the shelf for a few months. But don’t give up. Don’t ever give up.
The only way you will fail is if you quit. I’m serious. Don’t quit. I’ve now had three rejections on my recent submissions. I’ve been thinking a lot about their comments. You know, there may be some truth and areas I can work on. I’m looking forward to carving a few more lines of character into my masterpiece. We can’t get better if we don’t know the truth. But remember, one person’s truth is not necessarily yours.
How do you deal with rejection?