The Road to 80 Rejections, vol. 5

first step revised

I’m not normally one for negativity in the first place. Think positively and the results will be positive. There’s a difference between positive thinking and delusion, though, and I’ve really tried to keep myself from dancing the line. You know that one kid on American Idol who stand in front of the Judging Panel Du Jour, howling at the top of their lungs, and then leaves in tears because they honestly thought they had what it takes?

I’m actively trying to not be the writing equivalent of that kid.

So you can guess my shock and wonder when the promising looking full manuscript request of last post turned into the rejection of this post. I bumbled between the fantasy of “Surely third time’s a charm” and the realistic expectation of “It doesn’t happen that quick for anyone, sister.”

We’re good, though. We only cried for about two and a half hours. That’s a new record.

The feedback I got on that rejection was a game-changer, though. “While I think it’s a great and inspiration storyline that any girl can get behind, I think I would recommend a little more work on it…you can whip it into the best shape it can possibly be in!” Obviously my first reaction was something akin to “WHAT DO YOU KNOW ANYWAY?” The second was along the lines of “…oh, yes, I suppose you’re right.” The timing was impeccable. I’ve done a lot of research into strong male romantic interests, and I was at the point where I realized that mine was a little weak. The book was immediately zipped off to two critique partners and, um, now it’s a chapter longer. Ms. Publisher Lady knew what she was talking about.

The moral to this story is that pretty much anything out there can be improved. We’ve got to keep ourselves open to criticism and actively look for the point they are making. If a smart, publisher/agent type person is saying it’s not ready, then it’s not ready. If all they’re saying is thanks-but-no-thanks, the manuscript probably needs a sledgehammer. I’m grateful for the feedback I was so lucky to receive. I’ve got a way stronger manuscript because of it.

Submissions: 15 / Rejections: 3


2 thoughts on “The Road to 80 Rejections, vol. 5

  1. Agreed. It’s invaluable feedback. But it still hurts and a good cry is necessary! I worked with an agent for one year. He TORE two of my manuscripts apart. He was brutal. I cried and rewrote and he re-read and tore apart–over and over. It was frustrating. BUT, it was a year of learning so much and I don’t regret it for a minute. It was a free education. And, on most counts, he was so very right. Hard to swallow. Being an author is certainly humbling!
    A successful author doesn’t make it because he/she gave it a quick try, he/she makes it because they persevered! As long as you don’t give up, you WILL succeed. Best of luck to you.

    • I think I’ve figured out that being a writer is learning how to get your teeth kicked in, but with a smile on your face! I’m so grateful for the advice I’ve been given – not inky by that publisher, but by editors and writers, like you. I’m edging into an awesome community.

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