Rejects. No. Pass. Whatever you call them, you’ll get lots. That’s all part of being a writer. Every writer has a file of their rejections. Well, at least I do. I have a real one, for physical rejections, and a virtual one, for e-mail rejections. Plus another one on Submittable. I guess that’s a double up on the virtual rejections.
How do you handle them? That’s personal. Not as in, “I’m not telling you!” But as in how we handle the experience. Over the past few weeks, I’ve had three. Not just rejections, but three different reactions to the 1,256 MSs I’d sent out in early August. Hear they are, in order of preference:
1. NO! YOUR WORK SUCKS! WHY ARE YOU EVEN DOING THIS ANYMORE!
I had this reaction after my mentor had recommended a small publishing house for my picture book manuscript, I sent it out, and got a rejection. I’d even included the proper postage to get the MS back, and they didn’t send it back. Just the rejection form in an envelope with three stamps (I only used two to sent it out with the SASE). This one hurt. A lot. But you have to move on, and I did after some sulking and pondering why I’m even doing this. Rationalizing it helped: they accept 40/20,000 titles a year. Odds are not in your favor.
2. Okay, I have it out with a few other agents I carefully research, this just wasn’t the right agent.
This is my reaction for most of my rejections. I have two strong stories, one of which I’ve sent out to nine agents, and I have seven or eight others waiting to send it to if it gets passed on by all of them. I’m still waiting to hear from six (I think...).
I had this on Saturday. I sent it out around 9:30 A.M., and got a form rejection around 7:30 P.M. ‘after careful consideration.’ Very careful. What could you do? I laughed. We were definitely not meant to work together!
There are others, too. A couple times I’ve gotten a non format rejection, and once I got a rewrite and submit. And, one I haven’t gotten yet, which is an ‘I’d like to see more work’ or ‘I love your work, please call me!’ Yet.
Did I miss any? Let me know!