Super Sensitive/Tough as Nails

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I've done this before -- had manuscripts rejected -- so why did this one hit me so hard? I'm still trying to figure that out. I guess I just wasn't in the mood to be rejected.

Once a letter arrived, actually more like a manuscript box, from an agent to whom I had submitted a novel. It sat on my desk for four days unopened. When my husband asked why I hadn't opened it yet, I replied, "It's just a rejection and I'm not in the mood yet." You see, I need to be in a very positive state, feeling on top of the world to accept rejection intellectually with a send-it-out-again, no nonsense mentality. That didn't happen with this one. This time, I felt sucker-punched in the gut.

Maybe it was because it came so rapidly, via email; no time to sit and contemplate whether to open it or not or wait for the right moment. Maybe it was because it came on top of a flurry of emails back and forth about not having received it earlier when it had supposedly been sent. And maybe it had more to do with other stuff going on in my life at the moment.

It was one of those "super sensitive/tough as nails" moments that I always tell kids about at school visits. "Writer's need to be super sensitive to write great stories yet tough as nails to survive the getting it published process." This is not a profession for the weak.

When those "no thank you, not interested" letters pile up, they make you wonder what you're doing in this profession of rejection. And then the "yes, we love it and we want it" comes your way and you know. You were meant to write.

So how did I handle it? I shed a few tears, boo hooed to my awesome critique buddies and went for a long drive. Today the emotion is out of it and I'm ready to write again.

What's your secret for handling rejection/s?

BTW - That box that sat on my desk for four days wasn't a rejection!

3 comments:

Patti Struble said...

Sandra,
I compartmentalize rejection. The philosophical vs. the emotional. I allow the outpouring of Whyns to run free. I rehash it with the hubs 452 times. And, then I sit down, put on my philo hat & get real with myself. This helps me put it all into much needed perspective. And when it's all said & done, I work on the get better part. Otherwise, I would just be another puddle under the washing machine.
Patti

KarenG said...

I remind myself it happens to everyone. And that it's not personal, it's only business to quote one of my favorite movies.

MT said...

I haven't sent anything out yet, but I'm getting ready. I have an idea about how I'll handle the rejections, but I can't really know until it happens.

How neat that the one on your desk wasn't a rejection after all. :)

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Hi! I’m Sandra Warren, a writer with very eclectic writing tastes. I’ve been fortunate to have publications in multiple genres including children’s, gifted education, parenting, how to, poetry, journal, educational activity guides and biography as well as audio and video production. I'm a city gal recently transplanted to the mountains of NC where glorious mountain vistas inspire latest renderings.

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