|The author, Dane F. Baylis|
HOW DO YOU HANDLE...REJECTION!!!
But Baby, Please!
What can you say? It happens to everyone trying to make a dent in the literary life. You come up with THE idea. You nurture it through conception, grooming, and maturity. You pour over the guides and trades. You ask around for possible homes for your wunderkind. Finally, hands trembling, you slip it into the mail box or press the send button.
If you're smart, you forget about it and get to work on something new. In the meantime the clock is ticking. Don't tell me you can't hear it. It's like the noise in Poe's, "THE TELL-TALE HEART", isn't it? No matter what you do, there, in the back of your mind is that count down timer.
Eventually, it runs down and voila, there's your SASE or that anticipated e-mail. But it's not the one you were expecting. It's the one that says something like, "Thanks for letting (insert name of organization here) read your work. Unfortunately we don't feel it's right for us at this time." Believe me, that's the wordy version. Any number of them stop after the first line and some just make it past 'thanks' with a scrawl that passes for a signature.
Okay...that's about all the time you should devote to that. Break out the directory. Find a new possibility. Give it a read. Is there something you could improve? Have someone else read it and make suggestions. Then never speak to them again...No, just kidding. Listen and, if they're not drunk or deranged, give consideration to whether YOU feel the changes are warranted.
Then break out the butt glue, put your tush on the cushion, and get to work. As my boxing coach used to say, "The fights not over until the bell rings or they count you out!" As an example of a truly unsubtle nasty gram take a look at this one sent to Kurt Vonnegut. Stephen King started sending out work to magazines at age sixteen and didn't see his first story published until he was twenty.
Wonder why I chose this as today's topic? You're right on the first guess. Not only did I receive a rejection, but the worst kind. A total wall of silence. I won't name the publication in case I just thoroughly botched the submission. But I also posted three letters of inquiry since they went well past their 'normal' response time and still nothing.
Guess what? Yup, I've already identified the next recipient of this child of mine. Don't waste time. Re-read, re-write, and re-submit! It's like spinning around on a carousel. Sooner or later you'll grab the brass ring.
Screw them...as always - live, love, write!
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Dane F. Baylis. Author.