As a writer, the one thing we all learn to handle is rejection. The power rejection has depends on us as individuals. Are you going to let a rejection keep you from going for your dream? Or are you going to learn from this rejection? This depends on each person. I am a firm believer that rejection has the power you give it. Words have power. The written word always has more power than the spoken word because you can read it again and again. So when you read and reread a rejection letter, it doesn't just hurt once, it hurts each time you read it.
My rejections. I have a more than my fair share of rejection letters. How did I handle those rejections? My first book I sent to an agent, who signed me up right away. I think they saw sucker written all over my letter. When they asked for money, I didn't know not to send it. I thought they were doing their job. After one year and no results, they wanted more money. I wanted my manuscript back. I hired a lawyer to get them back because the agent didn't want to give it back. Then the auspicious job of sending out my manuscript fell on my shoulders. I sent it out again and again. I kept a careful chart of who I mailed it to and what the result was. While I sent it out, I wrote another manuscript. Then I sent that one out too.
I kept getting rejections, but had no idea why. I made a decision after the first painful rejection. I would resend it the next day, no matter what. That way, I knew my manuscript was always out there. Then one day I got a letter from a very nice editor, Denise Little, who recommended I join a local critique group. I wrote back and asked her how to find one and she recommended Romance Writers of America. What a revelation! I joined a local chapter and started to learn what was wrong with that first manuscript.
Learning the craft was important to me in so many ways. The first thing I learned about my manuscript was that it needed POV, point of view. I was a head hopper. Everyone in the book had something to say and think. Far too confusing for my reader. So, I worked on the POV and resent my manuscript. Still rejected. Okay, what was the problem this time? Then I started attending workshops and conferences and learned about GMC – goal, motivation, and conflict. Once again, I started revising my manuscript and sending it out again. Some writers seem to write effortlessly – writing the perfect novel and getting published. Others seem to toil endlessly on their manuscripts because the process takes longer. It reminds of when I was in school. A fellow student seemed to have no problem getting straight As, while I had to study all the time. Learning the craft was just like when I was in school. In order to do well in school, I had to continue to learn. I had to try different methods until I found what worked for me. The same is true with my books. The stories are there. They never leave me. I have more stories than I know what to do with floating around in my brain. But, honing my craft so I can become published and share these stories with the world is a dream worth fighting for. A dream worth learning properly. Sometimes the true worth of reaching a dream is the process or path you take to reach it.
Instead of letting a rejection letter stop me from reaching my goal, I am determined to learn from my mistakes. What are you going to do with your rejection? Are you going to let it stop you from becoming published or are you going to learn from it and make your manuscript better? The power is in your hands. Or should I say "words".