Sunday, January 31, 2016


by Kristi Belcamino

If you can't hack rejection—and you'd like someone else to publish your writing—you better get tough or consider giving it up right now.

Rejection is part of the publishing game.

I'm sure there are a handful of people who will say they have avoided rejection for most of their careers, but I'm not convinced they really exist or that they are really telling the truth.

It probably officially begins at the query stage.

Rejections are part of the process. Look at this way—every agent or editor who rejects your project means you are one step closer to success. Really.

Then, oh joy of joy, one day you are offered representation from a literary agent.

The agent then sends your manuscript out to editors.

For most of us, this means, yup, you guessed it, more rejections.

Eventually, if you are really lucky, one of these editors will like your book enough to publish it.

But, guess what? Yup, you're not necessarily out of the clear yet.

That editor has to sell the heck out of your book to the editing team and they might decide to give your beloved project the old heave ho. Rejection.

But say one day an editor loves your book, convinces her team to love your book and this leads to a book out in the wild! Wohoo! You've conquered rejection! You are home free!

Not quite yet.

How about reviews?

How about some nasty, vicious reviews. Get used to those, too.

I can honestly say that 99.9 percent of the time I find the bad reviews sort of amusing. I'm going to credit a career in newspaper with countless numbers of douchebags constantly weighing in on every little sentence I wrote. But it might be tougher for you. Keep working on that thick skin.

Wait? You say you're never going to read reviews? Good for you. You have more willpower than I do.

But the rejection game isn't over yet.

Do you ever want to write another book again?


Well, that most likely means ... you know it ... more rejection.

It's all part of the game.

I must say that after having four books published, the rejections don't sting quite as badly.

However, hearing that your writing isn't quite up to snuff or that you didn't quite grab the editor by the throat and not let go, well, sure that still smarts a little.

But it gets better as time goes on.

To survive in this writing business, you have to believe in yourself and your writing enough to not let the bastards get you down. Find your true friends. Support and encourage and cherish them.

Find an agent who bolsters you up during those shitty rejections, who believes in you.

Realize that rejection IS NOT PERSONAL. IT is part of the game. Every rejection you receive means you are one step closer to success!

Keep your chin up! It's worth it in the end!


1 comment:

Chris Beckett said...

This is a really important point to make. Thank you. Currently, I'm at:

Nay- 162
Yea- 18 (some of those being queries for stories later rejected/accepted; some are accepted stories that did not get published due to finances on the publishing end)

But I'm too stubborn to stop riding this train, even if it feels like it jumped the track a few miles back. [hashtag]keep_moving_forward