Rejection letters. Everybody gets them. J.K Rowling got twelve or so on the first Harry Potter book. Steven King nailed his to a wall just to stay motivated. So I was in great company when I got mine on Wednesday.
There are different kinds of rejection letters of course. There’s the form letter. The one you get when your manuscript is returned to you having barely been perused. There’s the nasty one that suggests you take a writing course. I’ve only ever gotten one of those. As I was fifteen at the time, I don’t worry too much over it. Then there’s the positive, nice, personal rejection letter. And yes, they do exist!
Unlike other types of rejection letters, these personal ones tell you how much the editor enjoyed reading the story. Generally they’ll mention strengths and weaknesses they found in the novel and they even remember your characters names! Receiving a personal rejection letter indicates you’ve made a giant leap up the ladder toward publication.
And yet, they don’t really feel any better. The one I got one Wednesday was lovely, positive and even slightly apologetic that my book wasn’t suitable for their list. And it was that very same letter that saw me fairly growling with frustration. How much did they really like the manuscript if they’re not willing to change their list to suit it? Are they just fobbing me off with politenesses when the manuscript is really rubbish? Should I change any of it? Should I leave it the way it is and send it off to someone else? These are all the questions that flooded my head upon receipt of the ever so positive rejection letter.
Mostly though, it’s a case of ‘so near yet so far’. That’s the frustrating bit. My goal is so close I can smell it, almost taste it…and yet not. What a horrible shame.
So how do I cope with rejection? I have a couple of scotches. I sigh. I throw the rejection letter in the bin. And depending upon the nature of the rejection, I post the manuscript off to someone else. Hopefully someone who’s list will better suit my style!
That’s tomorrow. Wish me luck!