For writers, rejections are a dime a dozen – it is all part of the process. Understanding this will help you avoid rejection blues.
Rejection feels like a harsh word. The meanings we attribute to this word can be the cause of many an unpleasant emotion. It is just something that happens, nothing more, nothing less. BUT humans are meaning making machines, and perhaps none more so than writers – who create meaning from words.
So what does a rejection letter mean? Essentially that writing is incredibly competitive, there is no room on an agent’s or publisher’s list for another manuscript or author, or your manuscript isn’t quite what they are looking for. It does not mean that you are a terrible writer or any of the other negative things you might tell yourself. Writers’ Relief have an interesting article entitled ‘How To Interpret Rejection Letters From Literary Agents And Editors’ that I find particularly useful to read if I find myself slipping into rejection blues.
Remember, writing is a business and, although you may have poured your heart and soul into your writing and want it handled as delicately as a new-born babe, an agent or publisher will receive it as a potential business decision.
Some writers will take rejection letters in their stride and simply send their work out to the next agent or publisher on their list, others will further develop their manuscript in the hope of refining out whatever it was that lead to the rejection in the first place and (hopefully) produce a better piece as a result. There are plenty of manuscript assessors out there who can help you refine and develop your work. Here’s a list of potential manuscript assessors – the first being my business:
• A Worded Life: Writing and Editing Services – Manuscript Assessment
• Shelley Instone: specialised children’s consultancy
• Lynk Manuscript Assessment Service
• Philippa Donovan at Smart Quill Editorial: adult fiction editorial advice
• Laurel Cohn & Associates.
• C.S. Lakin
• Tom Bromley specialises in adult fiction and non-fiction editorial advice
• Driftwood Manuscripts
• Daniel Goldsmith Associates an assessment report on your manuscript
• The Manuscript Appraisal Agency
My advice when thinking of your manuscript and to help you avoid rejection blues: keep the passion, lose the intense emotional attachment. Make sound business decisions from here on in. When the writing is done, get on with the business of publishing. The sooner you can get into a business mind-set, the better, after all, when the offers do begin coming your way, you want to make the right decisions.
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