The waiting and the wave

My first rejections for my first novel manuscript came in this weekend, and I’m glad I have prepared myself for them. Discovering recent posts about rejection (some links to those here) and just being in writing groups for several years and getting a feel of this process was a big plus in the preparation.  The only thing I wasn’t prepared for  is the actual giddiness and . . . dare I say . . . elation I felt receiving them. For those who’ve done this before, you may never have felt this or don’t remember feeling this. I can only attribute it to me knowing that someone has read my work (other than my friends or my beta readers –which are, for me, friend-adjacent) and commented on it on a professional scale. And – surprise! – they didn’t say it was crap! That makes me feel good. It makes me feel hopeful. And it prepares me for the next wave of submissions and inevitable rejections.

For those who are about to start the query process (or even if you’re in it), here are a few tips and some motivation that may help you through it.

Striving for . . .Rejection?

The internet has been great for writers who just want to be read. . .put your stuff on a blog, publish it to a website like Scribd. or even your own;  it’s there for life. Sometimes you get paid; most of the time you don’t. But if you want to get more exposure, upgrade your writer status, publish something longer than a few hundreds words, or – dare I say – get paid for your writing, querying publishers, agents, magazine editors is still the way to go. And also to get a lot of rejections along the way.

For most writers, the rejection is inevitable. It’s almost the only sure thing in the publishing process. Until now, I’ve always made a goal for 1 or 2 acceptances. But I’ve read several articles and commentary that suggest otherwise–to make a goal for a certain number of rejections instead. A great one that I found via Erika Dreifus’ Friday Finds for Writers blog written by Pushcart Prize Nominee Kim Liao explains “Why You Should Aim for 100 Rejections a Year”. A great response article by Laura Maylene Walter explains how she “received 215 rejections in 2015”.

For me, a good rejection is one that has helpful feedback on it. That feedback helps me get one step closer to the dream of being published.  While an acceptance is nice, it’s also rare. Considering having a rejection goal keeps you writing and not wanting to instead drown yourself in a bottle or throw yourself off a cliff.