Monday, November 5, 2007

Rejection, It's Nothing Personal

They say not to take it personal, it's just business, one person's opinion, a tough market, a slow season, not the right match, not suited to their needs, yet as you read your rejection letter, you realize it is just that. Pure and simple. Whether a form or a personal letter, it's still a rejection.

This is how you are supposed to feel when rejection hits. You are supposed to feel rejected!

Which got me thinking, what does it mean when you don't take it personal, when it doesn't bother you, when you just check them off the list and move on? When your heart doesn't sink while looking at your own SASE in your mailbox. This seems to be where I'm at and I wonder, is this a good thing? Does this mean I'm looking at submission from a professional stand point or does it mean the long, drawn out process of submitting is starting to wear me down?

I'd love to hear from others on this one. How do you get that feeling back where, whenever you send out a submission, you think "This is the one!"


Colorado Writer said...

I'm thinking about this very topic today.

I was out of the querying thing for the past 3 months because my book was agented.

Now, I'm agentless again and getting back into querying on my own.

I think it gets worse when you are expecting the rejection because let's face it. The odds aren't in our favor.

Is it too dramatic to say: "A tiny bit of my dream gets killed everytime I see my SASE?"

It's hard, but as long as you keep the list handy and say "next" it's all good.

But, what happens when you get to the end of the list?

Danette Haworth said...

Better to be on a steadfast course than a roller coaster ride. It takes a while to get that point, so I think you're in a good spot.

Disco Mermaids said...

I got to the point where I would laugh whenever I got a rejection letter in the mail. My husband and I would play a game where we'd guess how it was addressed. Would it actually state my name or just refer to me as "Dear Writer." Or maybe it would be addressed "Dear Writer/Illustrator." (My personal fave.)

I think it's healthy to disconnect yourself a little bit and try to have fun with it. Otherwise we'd all be drowning in tears!

Not that I haven't cried my share! :-)


gail said...

Stephanie, I used to feel so deflated when that SASE show up. Now I don't know? I really didn't feel much with the last one. Only like I needed to move on. As far as the end of the list...just keep making new ones as you get close. There really is no end to where you can submit.

Dannette, good to know I'm at that point. I don't like roller coaster rides anyway!

Robin, I've cried my share too. Good outlook with the laughter. I think I'll try it! The only game I've played is checking the envelope for postmarks. It's pretty cool when the post office forgets to cancel it. Especially when it's in a $4.60 Priority envelope!


Annie Bailey said...

Hi Gail,

I think that you're probably in a good spot. Finding the right fit depends on so many factors - some which may not have anything to do with your talent.

I once had an editor express concern over looking at a revised manuscript of mine again (about a woman and her cats) because she just acquired a manuscript about a man and his cat. She was concerned the titles might be too similar. Nothing I could do about that.

So I do try to not take things personally as well. Although every now and then a zinger comes along that still stings a bit.

ann malaspina said...

This reminds me of the movie "You've Got Mail" when Tom Hanks says to Meg Ryan that it wasn't personal when his big bookstore took away all the business from her little bookstore store. She replied something like, "It's not personal for you, but it's personal for me."

gail said...

Yeah, Annie I know sometimes rejection = timing.

Anna, Yes! That is exactly what I was getting at. And wondering why I don't still feel that way.

B.Johansen Newman said...

Gail, this stuff has been on my mind!

We have all been there and done that and continue to put ourselves out there time after time, just to feel it all over again. We must be nuts.

Or, maybe it's that everyone else is.

I haven't yet decided.

I don't find that I am ever immune to the sting of rejection, although I find that I get increasingly arrogant with each stupid mistake the "rejector" makes:

" How dumb are they to pass me/this ms up?"

And it helps to look at all the dreck that actually does get published if you want to fuel that arrogance even more. Plus, remind yourself of all the very successful writers and artists who had tons of "no's" to look at before they had their big breaks.

Hang in there. I am.

And there is never an end to the list. Just a "time out" for a project.

gail said...

Thanks Barbara! That's so true about looking at what does get published. Love that line about the "Rejector"!

I started out my first round in this business, many years ago, overly confident... arrogant I guess, and now when I look at that work I can't believe how far I've come. Yet, today I seem to be filled with self-doubt. I guess most artists are to a certain degree. Maybe it helps to look at the "dreck" out there instead of the work of those you admire. Just as a reminder of the level you are really at.