David Mills posted a farewell to the old times saying that writers need rejection. He hated all those editors and their “I’m sorry” letters that broke his heart, but how joyous that first acceptance letter. It did not come easy, but the uphill work gave him the experience and the strength to keep trying. With so many abilities for self-publishing new writers are lacking that thick wall of trees needing to be cleared before they find their true worth. They still need help learning how to shave away the dead wood. Do not know what I am talking about? Try checking out the free sections in the Nook store or at Amazon. Get comfortable and be ready to see the difference. The story could be fabulous, I have thought several enjoyable and showing promise, but they are still lacking that magic that comes with the expertise and critical eye of a publisher. They begin with great promise and end a little deflated or they have a great story line with a few extra plots that leave you confused.
I am sure many have heard the rejection stories of Steven King or JK Rowling. You might even be hoping they shared their own little “How do you like me now!” moments when their stories became a cultural icon. But, with all the heartache comes necessary tools to become great. Look at those rejections as a necessary step towards that hopeful publication. Each form letter, sticker on your submission with “return to sender”, and the scribbled “no thanks” on your cover letter was a step in the right direction- publication. Don’t forget the possibility for those moments when publishers may really get your hopes up only to dash them in the end. After Gerald Haslam’s first rejection letter he unburdened his grief on his ex-senator only to receive a laugh for his woes and the advice to, “Just consider the editor nuts and send the work back out. And don’t consider revising anything until it’s had at least six negative responses.”
Keep in mind that editors are thoroughly overwhelmed. In a letter to Small Press Review, an unknown editor of a small magazine wrote, “I received 26 manuscripts today of 4-24 poems each. Most editors would consider the day that provided two acceptable manuscripts a good one.” Another free lancer, Larry Levinger, has developed a response to rejection letters that is both practical and idealistic: The thing to do is keep sending the stuff out: pay no attention to suggestions for a rewrite, no attention to opinion. Write. Write and send. If it comes back, write something else. And send it again. The main thing is don’t change the writing to prevent the rejection. Believe in what you’re doing.
Perseverance is a necessary trait. Somebody will tell you no. It’s going to happen. It has probably happened already. It might happen today, or tomorrow, or every day next week and then some. Maybe it happened five minutes ago and the pain is still searingly fresh, or maybe it’s on its way, looming dark and ugly on the horizon, five minutes from now. Somebody will tell you no. Not every story you pen will be a great work or even a good one. The only one that is going to stop you from writing is you. If you keep going you will keep growing and you will keep learning.