Saturday, November 12, 2005

Regarding Rejection

I got my Writer's Digest magazine a couple of days ago, and flipped it open to read (an odd occurance for me -- I'm typically too busy to get to any magazines in a timely fashion). An ad for self-publishing caught my eye immediately, and in the copy it said:

... I sent query letters to five agents and promptly received five rejections. That was depressing.

She goes on to say that she opted for self-publishing, and gives a number of reasons why she felt it was appropriate for her.

Now, I'm not writing to slam self-publishing. I'm certain that for some people it's exactly the way for them. I just couldn't get over the fact that, after five whole rejections, she gave up the ghost.

Gee. That many?

C'mon... all of you writer type folks out there -- how many of you have accumulated twice that many? Ten times that many? Did you quit?


Rejection is what writing is about. Um, that didn't come out right, but you get my point. If you can't take rejection and keep your head up, you're in the wrong line of work.

In the Amway business they have a saying (or at least they did ten years ago): It takes 100 no's to go Direct. I think you can twist that around for writing as well and say that it takes 100 rejections (or more) to get published.

I'm taking Stephen King's advice from one of the best books on writing of all time, oddly called "On Writing" where he said about his rejections:

When I got the rejection slip from AHMM, I pounded a nail into the wall, wrote "Happy Stamps" on the rejection slip and poked it on the nail... By the time I was fourteen... the nail in my wall would no longer support the weight of the rejection slips impaled upon it. I replaced the nail with a spike and went on writing.

So laugh in the face of rejection, spit in its eye, stick your rejections up on the wall with pride.

And keep writing.

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