Thursday, April 8, 2010

Rejection: Don't Quit!


Since both of my sisters had inspirational posts this week, I'll try to be inspiring as well. Last night on #yalitchat, we discussed queries and when you're ready, how you handle rejection etc. When being faced with rejection, it can be hard to keep up your spirits and keep pushing onward.

Does every "no" get you closer to a yes? Not necessarily. Every "no" should make you sit back and think, okay, how can I do this better?

Stepping back to rethink your work or maybe just your query is an important part of the writing process. And critique groups are vital! Feedback is a necessity! So don't be afraid to connect with other writers. Don't be afraid to allow another professional to take a look at your query. Even better if they know your book!

I've just recently started working on a query letter for FATED, my YA historical (and I'm not even sure if I should classify it as a historical, that tells you how ready I am to query), and one of my "sisters" made the comment that it is easier for them to tell me what my book is about, than for me to sit and try to figure out what I should put in my query.

But this isn't another post where we yent about the importance of critique partners, this is meant to be inspiring.

So what do you do when you're starring at your first, or your fiftieth rejection letter? Keep on keepin' on! Take a look at your work, your letter, your approach. Research the agents you are querying a little better, make sure your book is the best that it can be! Each rejection letter is an opportunity for improvement, so don't get discouraged. Some editors/agents on #yalitchat noted that they may love a manuscript but reject it because they've bought one similar to it last week, or maybe the higher-ups weren't thrilled about it. It is not a personal rejection. It just means you haven't gotten the right book into the right hands at the right time. You've got to keep trying until you do!

From Mandy Hubbard's blog--A published author is an amateur who didn't quit. Don't quit!


C.S. Lewis, creator of The Chronicles of Narnia was rejected 800 times before he made his first sale! How is THAT for inspiration!

C.S. Lewis Quotes: courtesy of Inky Girl

What you want is practice, practice, practice. It doesn’t matter what we write (at least this is my view) at our age, so long as we write continually as well as we can. I feel that every time I write a page either of prose or of verse, with real effort, even if it’s thrown into the fire the next minute, I am so much further on.

I am sure that some are born to write as trees are born to bear leaves: for these, writing is a necessary mode of their own development. If the impulse to write survives the hope of success, then one is among these. If not, then the impulse was at best only pardonable vanity, and it will certainly disappear when the hope is withdrawn.

William Golding's LORD OF THE FLIES was rejected 20 times.

Quote from one publisher’s rejection letter:

…an absurd and uninteresting fantasy which was rubbish and dull.


  1. Great advice, thanks for posting L.J.

    Shameless promotion:

    Please visit my blog tomorrow for a guest post by Cole Gibsen where she shares her ACTUAL query and the correspondence that earned her representation.

  2. Great post, Lacey! I love the quote that a published author is an amateur who never quit. Also, The Lord of the Flies rejection is oddly inspiring.

    The thought of jumping into the query process is terrifying but it's a huge comfort to know we have support in each other. Your query will soon be in awesome shape! :)

  3. Thanks, Kristi. I just added C.S. Lewis. He was rejected 800 times!! That is not a typo!

    You're query is already on it's way to awesome. And I don't think I could do this without the support of you and Valerie. :)

  4. 800! I'm persistent but that's a lotta rejections. :)

  5. Hi, Matt! Thanks again for reading. Your comment went through, I just had to moderate it first.

  6. Great post! I think J.R.R. Tolkein was rejected a lot too, wasn't he?

    In the film industry there's a saying that you have to go on 100 auditions before you get a part.

  7. Excellent advice. And that chat last night was great. I love the #yalitchats. :)

  8. Fantastic post! Love the encouragement! C.S. Lewis was oh so wise. Bet he made a fantastic critique partner :)


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