Friday, September 4, 2009

Dealing With Rejection

Rejection got you down?

Well, faghetabowtit!

Here are some simple ways this holiday weekend that you can harness your qi (chee) and prepare to deal with that dastardly foe, Rejection.

I call these techniques REJECTION-FU! *wacha!* (karate chops a rejection letter)

Step 1: Clear your mind.

Before you begin querying your latest book, it's crucial that you give yourself some stuff to keep busy with, otherwise you'll be refreshing your email until your fingers bleed.

Start gardening. Throw yourself into your work. Take your kids to the zoo. Or, best of all write another book!

Do something to keep yourself off the streets (or off Gmail as the case may be.)

Step 2: Be Realistic.

Tell yourself the truth. You are not going to send a query off, and five minutes later receive a call from an enraptured agent begging you to be their client.

These things take time. Tons of time. Eons worth of time. And that's normal! That's okay :).

Let yourself have realistic expectations. That way, whatever happens, at least you're not going to be nutty about it.

Step 3: Batten Down the Hatches.

The winds are blowin', and there's a crap storm on the way!

Everyone says a great percentage for querying is if 10% of your queries lead to a request for a partial. After that, the statistics only get worse. And here's the real kicker: even if you send out 50 GREAT queries, your 5 partial requests could all come at the same time after 45 rejections in a row. Don't let it get you down!

Shit's gonna happen. You have to be prepared for it, and ready to weather the storm.

Step 4: Know Your Allies.

Have you ever told a family member or a friend that you're trying to get a literary agent and get published only to hear them say "Huh, well good for you. But you know, you can always self publish if it doesn't happen." Well intentioned? Sure! Encouraging? Not so much.

Find one or two people who really believe in you and cling to them like a crazed spider monkey.

For me, it's my husband and some of my fabulous online buddies (I love you guys!!) For others, it's a mom, a co-worker, an imaginary friend--whatever works!

The point is, everyone needs someone to believe in them. There is going to be a point when you don't believe in yourself, and having someone there to take the edge off your Crazy is invaluable.

Hell, I believe in you!

Step 4: Believe in Yourself!

You have a reason for doing what you do. It's your calling, your gift, your life's ambition. And dammit, you've worked hard to get here. This is your time! Go kick some ass!

Even if it doesn't happen this round, if you're determined enough and take every opportunity to learn, you will be a success!

Remember what your goals are and why you love to write. You're doing something few people ever set out to do! You've finished a novel you're proud of, and that is an INCREDIBLE accomplishment in and of itself.

Remember: the stats may be ridiculous as far as how many people query and how many get published, but 99.99% of great, determined writers get published.

The stats aren't against you if you're the cream that rises to the top :). Everyone else is just looking up and wondering what happened.

So, go forth and karate chop your rejections in the face!

It only takes one YES to get an agent. It just takes the courage and the stamina to wait for it to happen.

How do you deal with rejection?

I'd love to hear your thoughts and tips!


Happy Labor Day Weekend!


christine said...

excellent post Rebecca! Love it.

Rebecca @sometimesnonsense said...

You said it girl! I'm totally coming back to read this when I start querying for my second novel. Such awesome inspiration!

Rebecca @sometimesnonsense said...

You said it girl! I'm totally coming back to read this when I start querying for my second novel. Such awesome inspiration!

Abby said...

I deal with rejection by not sending out queries. Works really well. :) Working on that.

You crack me up! This post rocks! Thanks for the pre-querying pep talk. :D

B.J. Anderson said...

Awesome post!! I normally take rejection pretty well, but now I'm getting ready to go through the query process again, and I have to admit that it's freaking me out. It usually doesn't freak me out. I'll have to bookmark this post and read it over and over again to keep myself from hyperventilating.

Anonymous said...

Rebecca you are truly made of Tae-Kwan-Doe awesomeness!

These are so true and funny--you always have humor and I love that! Cause let's face it, it feels better to laugh about our failures then to resent our work!

But you did forget one thing...isn't it ritual to have a nice drink after a stinging rejection? Not everytime of course, if I did I think I'd be dead!!

Hang in there girl--we're all gonna be published and think hey remember when we used to drink after rejections? haha! =D

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Hey I love Abby's idea. Mostly I just shrug them off.

The ones that hurt the most are the ones on my partial and fulls. But I've been lucky to get feedback so my writing has grown from them (I hope. Maybe I'm deluding myself).

I find starting a new novel really helps. I become so busy with it that I forget to sent out more queries. Of course then I don't get anymore rejections. Works like a charm. Maybe that's why we're supposed to work on our next book. Oh, now I get it. ;-)

Great post, Rebecca.

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Lisa and Laura said...

Fabulous post, Rebecca! We're going to be doing a guest blog similar to this for a friend. Although our methods for dealing are slightly more random and probably much less useful to the average writer...

Rebecca Knight said...

Thanks, everyone! I'm glad the tips helped :). Best of luck to you all!