My First Rejection

Hi to the idle, who is probably reading this because they have nothing else to do at the moment (or the word rejection caught your attention),

I got my first rejection today.  This evening, to be exact, after a long day at work.  My poor little soul didn’t see this coming, at least not when I sent it off July 28th.  As time went on, I figured such.   The sad thing is, I’m going to set myself up for it again (to be rejected) in a few months or so.

Now I feel like a talentless novice.   Who did I think I was that I could write a novel and expect it to be published and placed beside the works of people like Ernest Hemingway,  Jane Austen,  Stephen King, or Stephenie Meyer.  Those are the writers (amongst others).

They’re certainly not going to take some novice chicken scratch that sends a reader whirling all over the page perplexed and confused.

I don’t know how I’m going to do it.  I’m going to have to work on it and work on it until it reads the way the story should be told.

It’s a great story.  I imagined it, and still do to this day.  I just can’t describe the story on paper.  That’s my kill.   I need to be able to take snapshots of what is in my head and craft it into a readble story that the reader can envision.
Anyway, thanks to the agent for getting back to me.  She was my dream agent.  The top one on my list.  I sent it exclusively to her because it’s a great story.  I’m sorry I did that now.  I should have waited.  I don’t have my writing skill at an appealable stage.  (I think I’m talking at the reader and not to the reader).

This top agent wrote me a very respectful heartfelt rejection letter (via email).  She wrote encouraging words that helped keep me from losing my hope.  I will study more. I still appreciate her and that she must do what she must (rejection, that is).    I will make the story better.  I have my characters to think about.  I have my future readers to think about.  For me it’s not the money.   It’s the book I want to have people read it and enjoy it.  That’s where fulfillment would come from for me. Until then, all my big fantasies, I’ll close them into a box and shove it under the bed.

Thanks for lending me your ear (your attention).

With a drying tear on my cheek,


No word of the day.  I’m too sad this evening.


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8 Responses »

  1. Suggestion… take what you have written, place it in a small box, scoot it under your bed and don’t look at it for at least 90 days. After the wait open up your box and you will see what you have written through fresh eyes. Now read your manuscript out loud, mark up the manuscript with what needs to be fixed, do this one chapter at a time and complete the entire project be for going back to fix anything. Again read the manuscript out loud making changes as you go and continue doing this until you are satisfied with the entire manuscript.

    The above will put you on the course to having the manuscript ready to send off to your agent. Good luck.

    • Sierra, your reply (hell, any reply really) made me feel better. My plan was this weekend I was going to tackle my writing from the very beginning and dishevel the whole thing. (You know how you’re drawn to “touch” your work everyday). But I think your advice is right. I need to put it away for awhile for the exact purpose you stated. I’m going to do that. It’ll be very hard not to jump back into editing right away, but I really do have other things to preoccupy the time. Eeeek! I don’t think I can do it for 90 days! Perhaps with even a week away from it, it’ll get easier to wait longer and longer. Again, thanks. It’s worth the try, that’s for sure.

  2. Hello. I was just clicking around and came across this post. When I sent off my first query letter I was so nervous because I was ACTUALLY going to do this! Then I called two friends to calm my nerve. When I got the rejection I just kind of shrugged it off and kept on trucking. I still haven’t gotten an agent yet but I’m working on it. Keep writing and keep sending out those query letters.

    • Tekia, yeah I’m probably on my way to further rejections, too. I hate to think that way, so I going to eliminate negative thoughts. I read a post by an agent that said, you have to be able to accept rejection because it can happen on many different levels over the course of the writing career. (Even by bookstores who may refuse to stock your book, or publishers who might reject your second novel.) I have so much respect for writers who have made it. Granted, right now is a hard time for us because agents & publishers have cut back (economy). But yes, I believe if we tweek it right, our work will make it through. (It’s almost a rite of passage, being rejected. It’s Darwinian, it makes you continue fix your work until it’ll survive! Thanks!

  3. This is one of the main reasons I chose to self-publish. Oddly, rejection comes along with that option too. I often write about my own journey fraught with tech-NO-logic roadblocks and digital swamp gas. Here’s a link to one you might enjoy. Keep writing! http://honiebriggs.com/2012/08/06/what-self-publishing-means-to-me/

    • I read your blog link and it is very insightful, thanks. I’m still in the writing stage. I don’t know what I’m going to do once I’m finished. I’m not looking forward to the challenges you describe, but once I get to that point, with good editing and design on my side, I’m going to give it my all. The traditional route is looking bleaker as we speak.

  4. This may not seem helpful, but remember back when you had nothing to send in at all. If you get a rejection, it’s because you’ve had enough discipline and boldness to actually do something with your baby. And as a writer, because it came from you, it leaves you that much more exposed and vulnerable. But any time I hear someone got a rejection, it makes me that much more impressed with them because it means they’ve 1. done the work 2. shared that work 3. dared to believe their dream could come true. Who cares if it worked out the first time? The point is you tried, and it won’t ever work out if you don’t keep trying. Take a cue from Journey, “Don’t stop believin’!”

    • You’re absolutely right. I put it out there. The reason it hurt so much was because the agent loved the storyline when I pitched it to her. The monitors had to break up our meeting (went overtime) because she wanted to keep hearing more. It’s just that the written form of the story I sent must not have impressed her. But I will make it better. Thanks for sharing and thanks for reading!

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Writing Goals

My First Completed EbookNovember 11th, 2013
I will put my first Ebook on Amazon

The Background: Swamp Scene in Avoyelles Parish

The scene is a swamp in Louisiana, my home state. It is also the setting of my beloved story that I will finish one day, even if I have to take it up to Heaven in a folder with a pen. God would say, "you're still carrying around that thing?" I would nod my head and give him a humble blink, my pen and paper in hand. He would then ask, "so how are you going to get it to your audience when you're done?" I would gulp and give him another humble blink. Then I'd look down at my work and a grin would grow on my face . . . (you won't get it until after you read my book, once I do finish it. . .)
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