Rejections: How many is too many?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Does anyone get used to receiving a rejection letter? On the road to becoming published, we all face those dreaded rejection letters that arrive in our mailboxes or our email accounts more often than not. Each time one arrives it pounces on the old ego and shatters belief in the work just a little bit, until you can regroup, reanalyze and revise, if necessary, before sending it out again.

Last week, I listened to a teleseminar with Jack Canfield, one of the co-authors of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series which now number over 200 titles, and was shocked to hear that he and Mark Victor Hansen's great idea was turned down by 144 companies before Health Communications took a chance on it. One hundred and forty four rejection letters! Wow! That takes guts and fortitude and belief in the work and in themselves to keep sending it out again and again.

I was fortunate to have received only four rejections before my first book was picked up. I know I could have handled a few more but not one hundred and forty-four. Somewhere along the way I would have given up and I'm not the "giving up," kind of person.

We would do well to remember what Barbara Kingsolver, The Poisonwood Bible, said about rejection. She said, "Rejection doesn't mean your book is bad, it just means that the editor that will love your book doesn't live at that address." I love that!

Jack added that "rejection does not exist but in your mind. It is just a step along the way."

Here's to the process and the many steps we have to climb to reach our goals.

What do you tell yourself when another rejection arrives?


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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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