Friday, March 13, 2009

Rejection!

So this is more of a rant than a post, and any form of writing at all is long overdue because my life has resembled something like an old disaster movie the last month. The Poseidon Adventure maybe, or the Towering Inferno. Intead of loosing characters to gruesome deaths along the way, however, my losses have been more along the lines of a steady stream of rejection letters from various agents. I understand that rejections are part of becoming a published writer, but it would be nice if I ever got a hint of WHY I was rejected. And it would be VERY nice if the rejection wasn't phrased 'We find your idea intriguing but' or 'Your idea was very interesting but'. Spare me the empty flattery. If the story was so intriguing or interesting, you'd be intrigued or interested in seeing at least a synopsis or the first few chapters. Rejection is fine, but a simple, 'I'm not interested, thank you for the consideration' is plenty kind enough.

I understand that I can't get feedback, it's not reasonble for agents, editors, and publishers to give EVERYONE feedback. But after being rejected twenty odd times and counting, it's easy for me to point out the rejections that drove me up a wall and the ones that made me want to try harder. Agents don't want you to flatter them or list how many of your friends and family 'just loved' your manuscript. In the same vein, I don't want to hear how intriguing my story idea was if an agent/editor/publisher wasn't interested enough to actually READ the story. In short, I would remove the word 'but' from the english language.

I will continue to query of course, because the one true NEED I have in my life besides air, food and water, is to wrote and the thing I want most is to write as a professional. And who knows, eventually maybe someone will actually read my manuscript and be able to articulate WHY they did or did not like it or parts of it and I'll be able to work on the problems. And maybe some agent/editor/publisher will find my query interesting enough to bother with learning more about the manuscript. Until that happens, I will continue to write. Or maybe I'll stage a near disaster in which I will save countless lives, since that seems to create instant writers who are sought after for book deals. That last being gotten out of my system, let me make it very clear that I think 'Sully' Sullenberger is a true hero of the highest order and deserves everything he's now receiving. I just wish that those of this without the term 'hero' in our resume had better odds of such success...

5 comments:

  1. Hopefully no disasters are necessary. It will happen! I will be positive for you so that someone will be positive for me when it gets to query time. Isnt that how that's supposed to work? sigh...
    Sometimes I think it would have been easier if I'd continued on my chosen path of being an editor. Instead, somewhere towards the end of highschool I decided that I would be a much better veterinarian. Yeah...that didnt work out for me either. So, now it's back to writing. That's all I want to do. I rarely want to hang out w/friends (not to mention my poor neglected husband). I dont want to go to the store or do laundry. I REALLY dont want to work my boring ass 10hr/day job. All I want to do is write - well, and read too! One day...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for the support! I'll be positive for you right back. It might have been easier as an editor, but you might have burned out, or gone crazy in the confines of a cubicle-based environment, or, well, maybe it wouldn't have worked out anyhow. What sort of vet were you interested in becoming? Large or small animal? I grew up riding and working with horses. Thought I'd do that forever. Then I started to bounce less and less when I came off, the older I got. I still work with them, by oh my *sigh* to be able to write all day, and read into the night... I'lm not much on people either, although I'm learning how to behave enough to hopefully avoid frightening folks who might be interested in my writing. :) Incidentally, you should check out the Sirens Conference. I'm going. It looks like oodles of fun and a great way to meet writers, and struggling writers.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Rejection can be discouraging; I know, believe me. Try not to dwell on it. I think a lot of it is just the personal taste of the particular reader, and as they say, there's just no accounting for some people's tastes. Keep on hammering away at it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Well, having just received my third rejection in two weeks (and my twenty-something rejection overall), I must say that this entire system must be some sort of twisted character development seminar :) I believe in being positive, but you're right: sometimes it's hard to stay up when so much is demoralizing. Ah well. Just think: Cindy Pon sent out 121 queries!! I have a hundred more to go.

    In the meantime, keep writing. Keep going forward. Keep producing. The act refines and molds and sharpens you, which only makes you better. I'm rooting for you!

    ReplyDelete