And I'm not crying.
Nope. I'm doing a Snoopy dance.
Yep, I received a great rejection letter.
The reason this rejection letter was great is the editor took the time to write and inform me of the strengths she saw in my writing. She took the time to explain why this particular manuscript wouldn't fit into her line. She took the time to explain some elements she was looking for in her line. She took the time to point out some solutions to the problems.
Wowza! A busy editor took that much time on a proposal of a manuscript she wasn't going to buy. Do you know what that tells me? That tells me the editor liked my writing. That tells me the editor thinks I am worth her time. That tells me not to give up. A rejection letter like this is Encouragement with a capital E.
So how many of you out there have received rejection letters?
And just so you know, that once you are published doesn't mean you won't ever receive another rejection letter. No way. Published authors receive rejection letters and dread them just as much as a "not published yet" author.
One of the speakers at Desert Dreams Conference who is Best Selling author showed us all the rejection letters she had received in her career. They filled a suitcase. And she stated she had over 1,000. Well she has been writing a long time. But the point is, she didn't let those rejection letters get in her way. She pushed on to the best seller list.
|Rejection in a suitcase|
So what does that mean? How can a rejection letter be great?
Here are some of the reasons:
1. A busy editor thought enough of your writing to take the time to respond. This validates your writing. It shows you write well and other factors were involved in the rejection.
2. The editor or agent who rejected you, may have left helpful hints and/or suggestions for improvement. This is an opportunity to improve your manuscript. They may ask you to resubmit. Be sure you do it because this now becomes a requested manuscript and passes up the slush pile.
3. The editor or agent thought enough of your writing to respond so they like your writing style. If they don't ask you to resend the one they rejected, they will more than likely be interested in something else you wrote. So get busy and send them another proposal.
4. Your rejection may have had nothing to do with your writing, but may simply have been some other in-house reason to reject it.
For more detailed information on the reasons, check out the post I wrote in 2012 on rejection letters .
The above reasons are practical reasons why a rejection letter can be great. But there are deep underlying and spiritual reasons also:
One thing about having lived this long and written this long, is hind-sight is very enlightening. We may be certain that God has given us a gift to write and that He expects us to use it. But then we become puzzled with why we get so many rejections when we are so sure we are supposed to be writing.
Well it isn't my place to question God's wisdom, but hindsight and living life has enlightened me to a small degree. (Notice I said SMALL degree lol)
1. It isn't the right time: There have been many times in my life when circumstances would have made it next to impossible, for me anyway, to have fulfilled a contract. I have gone through some circumstances that made me say "thank you" that I received that rejection letter.
2. Need more information: Maybe I needed more experience or research. My heart's desire to write a historical that begins in Spain has been put off for years because I knew that I needed to go to Spain before starting that novel. Well, it took me awhile to get there, but as you know, I went last fall so now have that research and I also made contacts for further research. So thankfully that proposal was delayed.
|Roman bridge in Spain|
3. Another reason related to time is maybe the timing of the novel isn't right: Love's Miracles is a story about a Vietnam Veteran. I received rejections for that book because it was too soon to publish a book about that heart wrenching time. But now it is well received because it has become historical. There are many books that were rejected, but became popular because the time was right for them.
So what does knowing all these wonderful reasons for rejection mean to us as writers? I am hoping that it will give you encouragement to keep on writing in spite of rejections and seeming impossibilities. Look for the bright side when a rejection comes. Think beyond the immediate disappointment and look for the positive implications.
Does anyone have a wonderful rejection letter story to share? Please do because it helps to build our hope and faith. We can say all we want about relying on Him and having faith in our work, but sometimes it is tough to see until we've lived a little and can look back.
Sees Candy has a Build Your Own Dream Box so help yourself and let's hear how you are doing. Yummmm
|Build your dream box at www.Sees.com|
Thanks to Walt Mussell's suggestion earlier today, I will give a $25.00 gift card from See's Candy to the winner. You can build your own dream box.
Preview for my September blog post. Last weekend, my former editor, Amber Stokes came to SunRiver, Oregon on vacation and we finally met face-to-face. We had lunch at Hola's and talked and talked.
|Amber on her bicycle in front of Holas!|
It was soooooooo much fun to meet someone you have worked with for the past couple years. She has a new job she is going to tell us all about in September so keep watch.
|Sandra and Amber|