How To Avoid the Rejection Blues
Every writer, no matter how acclaimed and famous they are, became acquainted with rejection at some point of their writing and publishing process. Opinions are as varied as snowflakes or fingerprints. No two readers look at a work and feel exactly the same about everything in the reading material. That’s why a novel acceptable to one publishing house or a group of readers isn’t necessarily attractive to other houses or readers.
It’s important for every writer to cope with rejection. It’s as certain as death and taxes. How you react to rejection just might shape the face of your career. The writing process mirrors life in that it’s constantly evolving and changing. Without growing from rejection, your writing dreams may wilt and wither before you’ve got a chance to make them a reality.
1. Keep writing
Nobody likes feeling like they’re not good enough. When you get your hopes up for a manuscript and they’re dashed, it’s deflating. When this happens to me, I give myself a few hours to be angry or to pout or to be sad, and then I get back in front of the keyboard as fast as I can. You can’t ever give up on your dream, no matter how many people tell you it won’t happen. Take any feedback you get, grow from it and keep working.
2. Make friends, not enemies
You can turn each rejection into an opportunity a good portion of the time with the right attitude. Many editors or publishers will give you some advice if you ask them. Obviously, don’t press anyone who lets you know in advance that they’re too busy to offer constructive criticism. The professionals who rejected you today could very well publish you tomorrow.
3. Review Guidelines
You could be making only a minor mistake which is causing your work to be disregarded. Make sure the agents and publishers to whom you’re sending your manuscript are seeking work in your genre and style. Also, go to their Website submission pages to ensure that you’re formatting your manuscript the way they require. If you’re sending work to the wrong agents or in the wrong format, it may be thrown in the slush pile without being read.
A number of authors are finding success with small independent presses or by self publishing. If you’ve got a good book and market it well, you can cultivate a following of readers on your own. If you sell self-published copies well, agents and publishers will take notice in the future.
5. Adjust your expectations
Make sure you enter the business side of writing with realistic expectations. Sure, everyone wants to hit a home run out of the gate, get on the bestsellers list and become the next iconic writer. Realistically, it takes time to get there if you get there at all. Keep in mind that getting an agent is extremely difficult, cultivating a following of readers is more difficult and gaining the trust of a publishing house in a radically changing publishing environment is even more difficult. When times are tough, businesses want to bet on a sure thing like James Patterson or Stephen King – that makes it harder for new writers to break through.
Joe Spencer is the author of Grim, a paranormal crime thriller released by Damnation Books in September 2012. It’s the first in the planned Sons of Darkness series. His second book, Wrage, is due out in 2013. He can be reached at www.josephbspencer.com.
Series: Sons of Darkness Series, Book 1
Author: Joseph Spencer
Genre: Crime, Dark, Horror, Mystery, Paranormal, Thriller,
Publisher: Damnation Books
Paperback/Ebook Words: 93,000
When everything is taken from him, Detective Adam White must choose what's most important. Does he stick to the heroic ideals which made him a famed paragon of justice and take down a murderous madman? Or does he give in to his vigilante impulses, avenge his wife's murder, and become the type of killer he's hunted for so many years?
Adam heard a few sounds of Velcro peeling from its straps. Suddenly, Black Mask shed the mystery and ambiguity of his head gear. He became another mystery altogether. What happened to this guy? He looked like he’d seen hell, escaped, and doctored his face to give everyone else on Earth a preview. Black Mask obviously suffered from rosacea because his skin was inflamed, swollen, and the angriest shade of red Adam had ever seen. A jagged circular scar similar to a clock face ran from Black Mask’s forehead down his cheeks to his chin. A vertical scar ran straight down the middle of his forehead and along the bridge of his nose. Two horizontal scars extended from the side of his nose and curved upward toward the temples. Two additional scars extended outward at angles from just under his nose, across his lips and ended on either side of his chin. All of the scars connected to the outer circular one like spokes to resemble a starfish shape. Adam struggled not to have any reaction, but failed to keep the corner of his mouth from inching up into a grimace.
Black Mask smirked and put his right hand up to his face. He pretended to be admiring himself in the mirror. “It’s okay, Detective. Your reaction is fairly common and a lot more subdued than most. Of course, I bet you’ve seen a lot of horrors in your line of work.
“So, you want to know the tale of Heath Grim, do you?”
About the Author:
Joseph Spencer is the author of the Sons of Darkness series launched by his debut novel, Grim, on September 1, 2012. Work on his second book of the series, Wrage, is already underway and is expected to be released some time in 2013.
THE ROAD HERE
The Sons of Darkness is a series of paranormal crime thrillers following investigations into mysterious deaths in the central Illinois city of Prairieville. Home of the notorious serial killer, The Reaper, Prairieville has had a history of violence centered on an ongoing feud between the Marino and Black organized crime families. When bodies start showing up again at the abandoned Marino State Hospital, many fear the Reaper has returned. The people of Prairieville are about to find out their problems stem from a supernatural source which has lurked in secret for decades.
THE STORYTELLER’S STORY
As a boy, Joseph Spencer immersed himself in the deductive logic of Sherlock Holmes, the heroic crime fighting of Batman and Spider-Man, and a taste for the tragic with dramas from poets like Shakespeare and Homer. Before Joseph took to spinning his own tales, he pursued a career in print sports journalism, graduating with honors from Clinton (IL) High School in 1996 and summa cum laude from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale in 2000. He covered such events as NASCAR’s Subway 500 race in Martinsville, the NBA Draft Camp in Chicago, the Junior College World Series, and Minor League Baseball’s Midwest League All-Star Game during a ten-year career throughout the Midwest. Now, he works as an emergency telecommunications specialist with an Illinois police department. The combination of years of writing experience with a background working with law enforcement professionals gave rise to his writing aspirations.
Joseph was married Dr. Amy (Waggoner) Spencer, an accomplished veterinary doctor, on March 14, 2012. He received word his debut novel was accepted by his publisher, Damnation Books, the next day. Joseph and Amy look forward to their honeymoon in Paris in September 2012. Murphy, a 15-year-old orange tabby, is perhaps the most vocal member of the family. The Spencer family enjoys reading Charlaine Harris, George R.R. Martin, Mary Janice Davidson, and most paranormal stories. The Spencers also enjoy quoting movie lines from The Princess Bride, Rain Man, Bridesmaids, and Office Space.