Sharing in Rejection

Rebecca T. Dickinson:

I read about rejection from other bloggers in the past week. I like to know what other writers and editors have to say. Rejection is a hard topic for many writers to face, but it is a challenge for authors, poets, or lyricists.

I have listened to other authors talk about how to face rejection through the years. At the tender age of fourteen, I wrote songs. I met a song plugger at RCA thanks to a Nashville songwriter I met at one of my talent workshops. Before I wrote fiction, I composed songs. I was no Taylor Swift, but the song plugger and the songwriter saw something in me.

The song plugger said, “Take every critique you are given. Remember it is not criticism. It is meant to help you grow as an artist.”

My grandmother is a great writer. She will not come out and share her work with too many people. Mimi has told me she fears critique. I’ve grown used to it throughout the years because I started young. Somehow I would use advice to transform the sharp edges of my work into polished beauty.

None of the stories about rejection touched me as much as the one I’ve reblogged. Story aside, I want to go out and buy his work. I accept him now as one of my many teachers. He had to overcome more than just rejection and revision.

Originally posted on FicFaq:

A writer’s life is one of rejection. In 2002, on a whim and an afterthought, I started writing Where the Rain Falls. It was a tedious process, full of self-doubts much like the peace that was never final in Assam. I finished WTRF in 2006 and spent another year editing and rewriting. At the end of it, the book was shining like a beacon in the literary world. So I thought. How wrong I was.

I started querying. In batches of five or six I sent out queries and to only those agents accepting electronic submissions. Can you imagine the cost of couriering a letter to London or New York? And the normal post? I was better off throwing my query in a bottle into the Brahmaputra. The first agency I queried requested a partial, and a week later, the full manuscript. There were more requests for partials and…

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6 thoughts on “Sharing in Rejection

  1. I’ve only sent a few things off and only one responded. I treasure that rejection as it did have some good advice. It is only one person’s opinion and you just have to dust yourself off and try again.

  2. “Take every critique you are given. Remember it is not criticism. It is meant to help you grow as an artist.”

    That may get taped to my wall (or at least the inside of my brain). I am horrible with rejection, mostly because I ingest it as a punch in the gut–not as a reflection of the work I submitted. But I’m young still, so that’s something I hope evolves over time.

    1. I’m 26, and I hope that is still somewhat young. I did not start submitting work to literary magazines and online literary magazines until I was 24. I was not in a hurry. My goal was to publish one story last year, which was a big deal. I was blessed to have three acceptances, but I have received some very detailed rejections in a good way. One made me very happy, because it let me know one story in particular is of interest to someone and it does stand out.

      Others let me know what they like and where I can improve the story. It’s almost like you have to think of the story as a child, and it goes to class when it is sent to an agent, publisher, magazine or other. You hope the child makes an A, but sometimes it has to go back to the SmartBoard and try again.

      I know how you feel though. I’ve felt that way. Over analyzing always becomes a spike on the road. It waits for your car tire to hit it. You are a wonderful writer! I enjoy your work!

    1. You are right. I prefer to know I have something out there than nothing at all. Someone will look at it. They might not like it, but at least someone is reading or scanning over it. I am realistic enough to know every magazine’s editors does not read through the entire story I might’ve sent. If they like it, then yes. Thanks for your comment!

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