Ever been rejected? If not, you aren't a real writer yet. It's part of the job, but that doesn't make it feel any nicer when it happens. Jemi Fraser had a guest post on this last week and it got me thinking. All of those points are valid - especially the one about not flying off the handle and sending back a nasty email. But I feel like "rejection" is the elephant in the room that no one REALLY wants to talk about. But I'm not one to ignore large jungle animals near the sofa.
Rejections suck. They feel personal, possibly more personal when it's a form rejection. We are human, we have to give ourselves permission to feel bad about it. It's OKAY. The tricky part is getting past that. If you can't shrug it off, don't. Just have a piece of chocolate and a pumpkin latte and let it sit for a while. But then you have to ask yourself something:
WHY WAS IT REJECTED?
Was it really not right for that agent or house? This is a serious possibility. But if you've collected more than one rejection and if you are lucky enough to get a note or two on specifics, take a look again. What the rejection might be saying isn't "no" as much as "not yet."
"But I worked super hard on this book!" you might be saying. "I had beta readers and critiquers. I revised six times and it's taken me two years!!!"
Okay. But maybe, just maybe it's still not quite there yet. Maybe, just maybe it's time to put it in a drawer and write a new book or think about it for a while and tackle it AGAIN. Maybe the seventh time is the right one.
I guess what I'm saying is don't stop working - keep revising. Go deeper. Make it shinier. But more importantly, NEVER GIVE UP. Even if it means putting that book away until the second or third one is published. Because if you've queried 867 agents and stop? It might have been 868 that said yes.