So, today it happened…I received my first rejection on my novel. Granted, I submitted with a partial manuscript and it was my first query on it. Was I upset? Yes. Did my husband hug my while I cried? Also yes. Am I giving in and giving up? No! You see, he helped me realize that rejection isn’t always a bad thing.
Let me begin with a (funny / not so funny) story. The one he used to cheer me up some. Before we became “us”, we were both at very different spots in our lives. I approached him through messenger, we chatted some, and ultimately saw that we both wanted different things. I was…in a sense… rejected. But I didn’t let it get me down. A year later a mutual friend told me my husband was looking for something serious, so I bit the bullet and messaged him again. “How was your fourth?” is the infamous quote of our beginning. A few months later we were engaged, and a year after our first date we got married with our baby on the way. He likes to remind me that if we would have tried that first go around that it would’ve ended way differently than where we are now. Rejection isn’t always a bad thing.
Back to my manuscript rejection…it sucks. It really does. But what writer got a YES the first query they sent? Not one of my favorites (Stephen King). He had a nail, and then a stake, in his wall to hold his rejections. Is there a nail going in the wall next to my desk? You bet! Maybe it’ll become a stake, maybe not. Either way, they will become my push to keep working towards my goal.
Side note: The rejection wasn’t based on the quality of my writing or my story as a whole. It was a “I am not the right fit for this project” from the agency I submitted to.
Here’s my plan from this point on:
1. Keep working on completing my manuscript.
2. Research traditional publishers and continue to look at self-publishing.
3. Enjoy the process even after a rejection.
4. Keep hanging those rejections on the nail!
And 5. Feel the rejections, but celebrate even the smallest wins. You have to allow yourself to feel the disappointment in order to move past it and succeed.