I received approximately 200 rejection letters before my first book was picked up by a small e-book publisher. I wrote it in 2008 and just this year was offered a contract. That experience most definitely forced me to put into perspective the frustration and feelings of worthlessness that would crop up after opening yet another dreaded SASE or e-mail with the words, “Unfortunately this is not for us, blah, blah, blah”. I’m pretty sure any writer who’s reading this blog knows what I’m talkin’ about.
How did I find this perspective? I would venture to bet that every one of us has a particular way of protecting ourselves from succumbing to the rejection – that stops us from hiding on the couch with the remote to watch movies all day long, from crying every time we walk to the mailbox or open our e-mail inbox. We still have to write that next book. We still have to send out query letters.
Why? Because we’re writers and we love to write. Right? I don’t know about you, but I’m not in my best state of mind when I’m depressed. What happens to me is that I cop an attitude. I get like “I’ll show them” then revise the damn book to make it better or get back to writing the novel I was working on before I got the last rejection letter.
In reality, is the receipt of another rejection letter really all that bad when you put it in perspective? Is it really worth grieving that my book didn’t appeal to Agent X or Editor Y when I’m cancer free. Yes, hurray, I’m cancer free – five years out and it hasn’t returned. Yippee, Yappee, Yahoo-ee! I can still write. I’m alive, right? Now I bet you can think of at least one reason why you don’t have to be depressed over a rejection letter, can’t you? We can all rejoice in the fact that we’re able to write at all.
Now how do YOU put your writing life in perspective when you get a rejection letter? I’d like to know.