Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Write by Wednesday-- The Life of a Reject

I've been thinking a lot lately about being a reject...ed writer that is. We all know what this is like-- sending your work out over and over and over and getting multiple (and often contradictory reject letters). Like this (all quotes from rejections on my second novel):

-- The plot is strong, but I think the writing needs some work.
--I have to say that you have a really nice style. It reminds me of Jodi Picoult in the way that you connect.
-- It's an intriguing plot, but you may want to consider making the writing less sentimental
-- I'm just not compelled to keep turning the pages
-- I wish all the writing that crossed my desk was of this quality.
-- Selling something of this length is really difficult, unless it is truly exceptional, which this is not

But every rejection is just a strong reminder that writing is subjective, as are the opinions of the rejectors. It is so easy to get discouraged... and I do, quite often. BUT there is always the moment of clarity where I remember that I am not trying to write a book that everyone in the world likes. Not only does such a book not exist, but I would also rather write a book that a few people just love.

What have some of your favorite or most brutal rejections?


  1. "I have 60 seconds to pitch a book to an editor and I couldn't pitch this book in the length of my whole life." Yep. True.

    1. OK, ouch! That is particullarly brutal. I usually appreciate honesty, but on this one, I think I might have preferred a form letter!

  2. I had a form rejection that basically told me the agent could never sell the premise. Fortunately 8 other agent disagreed and requested material. I'm now working on a revision request.

    I hate it when the rejections conflict. Then you're not sure how to fix the ms.

  3. Hello.
    Visiting from the Post A-Z Road Trip.

    Having been the "victim" of these rejection slips, I hear you. Each rejection is like a stab in my heart...they knock me down, but I am never completely out. One day, I will have my treasured writings in print...even if I have to self-publish. Thanks for sharing.

    Thoughts Of Beauty In The Stillness Of Dawn...

  4. I got this one in February: "this novel is quite delightful from page to page, but I don’t believe I could succeed with it in this horrible marketplace for fiction"

    I have no idea what that means.