Kathyrn Graves

Understanding Rejection

Your idea simmered in your mind for days. You sketched notes from the beginning until you knew it was time to fashion the pieces into a whole. You employed the tools learned from attending writing conferences and reading books on the craft of writing to make this the best sample of your ability.

Then you wrote a proposal. You even hired a professional to edit the proposal. This was it. You just knew it. The next writers conference approached and you were ready, multiple copies of this most amazing project tucked in professional-looking folders and safeguarded in your carry-on bag.

You chose your editor appointments with care so that your pitch would enter receptive ears. The plan was falling into place. You knew God had a plan for this idea and you carried your weight with obedience. Just as you anticipated, the editors each requested that you send them a proposal after glancing through it during your meetings.

Later, at home, you zipped the e-mail attachments with antsy, sweaty fingers. This was the moment of truth.

Then you waited. And waited. Weeks went by. Then a couple of months. You knew from your classes that it could take a while to hear back because of all the committees at publishing houses.

At last, you opened the mailbox one day to find a legal-sized envelope from the publisher! But wait. Shouldn’t you get an email from the editor? Well, maybe this was the contract.

No. All your hopes deflated in a whoosh as you read the opening sentence . . . “We are sorry, but . . . ”

Rejection stings, but there are some things we need to remember about it.

1. It was your material that was rejected, not you.

2. Every publisher is innundated with material, some of which may have been similar to yours.

3. Your proposal must stand out

      a. In excellence

      b. In creativity

      c. In timing (hitting a trend at just the right moment)

We can also learn from rejection.

1. Toughness. Experiencing rejection is the best way to get past the fear of it happening. You find out you won’t really die.

2. If any critique is given in the rejection letter, take it and put it to work to make your proposal better.

3. Persistence. Submit to other publishers and keep on until you either find out the market won’t support your project or you find a home for it.

Photo/Kathryn Graves

Kathryn writes on Mondays and Thursdays at www.KathrynGraves.blogspot.com and on Tuesdays and Fridays at www.KathrynGraves.wordpress.com.


1 thought on “Understanding Rejection”

  1. I’m definitely not looking forward to receiving a letter like this, but I am prepared … especially when I’ve read posts as direct and honest as this one. Thanks for helping us with your experience and encouraging advice.


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