Thursday, May 18, 2006

Rejecting Rejection

My first attempt at getting a novel published has met with rejection. But I’m cool with that.

Do you want to be cool with rejection too? Then follow my three easy steps towards “Easy Rejection Taken Easily”:

1 - Find a publisher who will say encouraging things upon rejecting you. Mine actually said that he liked my writing, and wanted to see my next effort. But you don’t need a literal nice response to find encouragement.

For example, if they say: “You work is a piece of crap” interpret it as “You work is a fertilizer, fueling creativity and affirming life in all who read it.” It’s all between the lines.

2 – Put the turn down in historical context, reminding yourself of all the successful authors that have faced rejection. If you can’t think of any, make some up.

For me, I just reminded myself that the publishing house that turned me down was the same one that originally published “Robinson Crusoe.”

Now my memory of Daniel Dafoe’s literary career is a little shaky, but I am pretty sure that his publisher previously rejected two of his earlier novels:

“Robinson David Caruso” about a man that quits a successful television series only to be stranded on a deserted film career, but then finds his way home again; and

“Robinson Clouseau” about a bumbling explorer that gets stranded on an island while searching for a legendary diamond, and is bitten by a dog that isn’t owned by a man whose dog doesn’t bite.

See, I feel better already.

3 – On the same day you get your rejection notice, get a letter from another publisher announcing that a different project is being picked up by them.

In my case, the same day I got my novel rejection, Lillenas Publishing notified me that they will be including a sketch I wrote in a book coming out this fall.

No to the novel, yes to a sketch. I can live with that for now.

Just my thoughts,



Sarah said...

And keep a file of rejection letters so that you can get a sense of when they are actually form letters, and therefore not personal. ;)

(I have a bunch of those.)

I hope you're not stopping at just the first publisher in pedalling the novel, Sean. Gotta "pound the pavement".

Gaffney said...

We're supposed to "pound" the pavement? It thought we were supposed to poundcake the pavement. I've been putting pastries on the street for over a week now...

Oh, and I am definitely not stopping at the first publisher. Thanks, Sarah.


Alice Bass said...

My work is a fertilizer, fueling creativity and affirming life in all who read it.
This is my new mantra. Thanks for that Sean, and for all the pastries left out for those of us that were pounding the pavement.
Keep going. I want to read your novel!