For years I sent out query letters, manuscripts (both partial and complete) and spent time perfecting what I was sending out only to be told, "No thanks."
Sometimes the "no thanks" came in the form of a "form" letter. I wondered if the editor had even read my piece.
Less frequently came the form letter with a little handwritten note on it. My favorite: "Nice story, but not strong enough for a book." I still remember that phrase although it's been over 20 years since I received it.
And a few times I received a personal letter. In the letter were ideas on how to improve my manuscript; which I did, only to be told that the story "still doesn't work."
When my first book, A River of Stones, was published in 2002, I thought, "Well, I've finally made it!" What I didn't know was that I'd eventually buy the rights back to that book, change the cover, the price and a couple of mistakes later found within the book's pages.
Since beginning of Idea Creations Press, I've had plenty of opportunities to publish my own books and help others to write, edit and publish their own works through my business, but the thing that still gets me is those good 'ole rejection slips.
Today I primarily get them when I've received a less than favorable review. But I also still get them when a reader questions a sentence or paragraph in the editing phase of my creation. And some folks simply do not get what I write and miss the entire point of the story.
This has happened with Conquering Your Goliaths: A Parable of the Five Stones. Let's just say a person is ready for a story like this or they're not.
Because rejections come in many forms it's a good idea for every writer to develop a stiff upper lip, and at the same time not close off their heart to instruction. For some instruction is valuable, and some, I dare say, is not.
Keeping an open heart can hurt, but it also breathes in joy.
You know the times. When someone loves your work and gives you a five star rating on Amazon. When you get that letter back from the editor that says, "We want to publish your book." When the comments in that rejection letter may not all be negative, but they are personal and helpful. When someone who has purchased your book for themselves returns to the bookstore and buys books for a friend or two...
Did you receive a rejection today?
Is it a surprise to you?
Don't despair. Just remember to take it all in, discard the unnecessary, and allow the necessary to lift you to a higher writing plane.