Thursday, August 6, 2020

How to Survive Rejection

How to Survive Rejection

By Jacqui Murray

An efriend writer originally published this as a guest post on their blog to help me launch Against All Odds August 2020. In case you missed it there, here are my anecdotal thoughts on how to add drama to your story:

***

I have a lot of experience with rejections. I sent queries to agents for my first three books. I made sure these busy folk represented my genre, that I followed their website directions, that I referenced books they already represented so they'd know I spent time preparing my query. I set a goal of 100 queries--100 agents--before deciding I wasn't going to get to yes.

That's a lot of rejection. You probably wonder how I survived it. With a dollop of humor and a strong belief that no agent can shape my future. Here are my tips for you:

  1. When you get your first rejection--or 100th--say this: Well there it is, the stupidist thing I'll read all day.
  2. You got five rejections in one day. You want to leave a nasty Tweet on each of their Twitter feeds and then scream about them on your Facebook page. You don't care if you burn the relationship. Don't! Smile knowingly, that they missed the best book to cross their book in years, and self-pub.
  3. Crawl under your bed with the rejection letters and whisper to the agents, "Any dumber, you'd be jellyfish. Or rocks! How could you not see my brilliance!"
  4. Getting upset about rejections is like inviting a pin to a balloon party. What did you expect?
  5. Given the choice of a rejection letter or a recreational colonoscopy, which would you choose? See, there are worse things.
  6. S/he probably didn't even read it.
  7. You don't want to work with him/her either.
  8. Rejection is when theory meets reality, the agent's theory about what will sell and the reality that they're wrong. Their loss.
  9. Get over it.
  10. Rejections have the charm of a car alarm but at least car alarms have a purpose.
  11. You thought your mss was a twelve-alarm fire. They called it a sparkler. They're wrong.
  12. They used hyperbole to reject you, like, "This is the worst story I've ever read". As though ‘worst’ is all the explanation necessary. Not.

My favorite survival tip is distraction. I have a lovely dog who thinks he's pack leader of our family. I don't disagree which puts me at his beck and bark anytime he chooses. That helps to distract me. Maybe you have a similar dog... or cat... If you do, you are nodding along with me.

#amwriting #IndieAuthor

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the Man vs. Nature saga. She is also adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for  NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Laws of Nature, Book 2 in the Dawn of Humanity trilogy, Winter 2021.

Look for Jacqui’s upcoming release tomorrow on Friday’s Great Read.

AND...


AND....
BELATED
ELIZABETH

42 comments:

Valerie-Jael said...

Sounds like a good read! Hugs, Valerie

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I found humor and pain in those words. I'm glad you shared this.

Happy belated birthday to CJ. Happy belated birthday to Elizabeth.

nashvillecats2 said...

Most interesting to read Sandra, also belated birthday wishes to CJ ans Elizabeth.
Have a good, happy Thursday.
Yvonne.

Elephant's Child said...

Love Jacqui's perspective.
And a very Happy Birthday (belated or not) to CJ and Elizabeth.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sandra - happy birthday to CJ and Elizabeth. Looking at Jacqui's thoughts on rejection ... we really should be able to brush it off - all through life we're knocked down ... starting as kids - strange we all have challenges in recognising and getting over rejection. Take care - Hilary

Jamie Ghione said...

Great read.
And happy birthday to CJ and Elizabeth.

Jacqui Murray said...

Thanks!

Jacqui Murray said...

Yeah, I know what you mean. I find humor a good salve for pain...

Jacqui Murray said...

Thanks! It comes from years of experience with rejections.

Jacqui Murray said...

I don't get rejections anymore, Hilary. One of the joys of going Indie.

Jacqui Murray said...

Thanks, Jamie!

Sandra Cox said...

It is:)
Hugs received and returned.

Sandra Cox said...

Jacqui certainly nailed the rejection syndrome.

Sandra Cox said...

It was interesting, wasn't it, Yvonne?

Sandra Cox said...

Indeed.
Been there, done that, Jaacqui.

Sandra Cox said...

That's for sure, Hilary.
Jacqui, let's here it for Indie! Right there with ya.

Sandra Cox said...

As is her new book:)

Jeanie said...

This is great. Although I will say, sometimes rejection letters are well deserved. It's a pity, though, that with the rejection doesn't come some constructive criticism!

D.L. Finn said...

Good way to deal with those rejection letters :)

R's Rue said...

Happy birthday to CJ

Lowcarb team member said...

Happy Birthday to CJ and Elizabeth.

All the best Jan

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Thank you, Sandra. <3

Sandra Cox said...

That's definitely coming from the other side of the fence:)

Sandra Cox said...

A very healthy way.

Sandra Cox said...

Hope your birthday was as special as you:)

Jamie Ghione said...

I was rejected recently.

Pat Hatt said...

Having a dog or cat that leads sure can bring on the break, whether we want to or not haha.

Adam said...

That's why so many self publish. I had an agent reject me like 2 months later

RO said...

Happy Birthday CJ and Elizabeth, hope your days were fabulous! A sense of humor saves us from so many things, and I love the way you look at life.Hugs, RO

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

From one Elizabeth to another, I hope your birthday was the best, despite the shape of the world this year.

Sandra Cox said...

Congratulations, Jamie. You are now officially a writer:)

Sandra Cox said...

Heh. Isn't that the truth.

Jacqui Murray said...

Thanks for visiting, Yvonne!

Jacqui Murray said...

The agents would explain how busy they are and they wish they could. Sigh.

Jacqui Murray said...

A pinch of humor and a spoonful of sugar.

Jacqui Murray said...

:)

Jacqui Murray said...

You know what I mean, don't you, Pat? And I still love that dog!

Jacqui Murray said...

Which is as bad as the one who rejects you five minutes after sending your query. Had that happen more than once. Truth, that didn't hurt very much.

Jacqui Murray said...

It's that armor you wear whenever you need it. Thanks for visiting!

Sandra Cox said...

Congratulations, Adam. You are officially a writer.

CJ Kennedy said...

Your rejection advice not only works for books, but for things that happen in life too. Thanks for the birthday wishes! And Ink in the graphic 😺

Sandra Cox said...

Great list isn't it.
We can't ever forget Ink.
Hope your BDay was wondrous...and filled with cake:)