Friday, March 21, 2008

Rose-colored glasses . . .

I would like to propose a new way of looking at rejections. I think the word "rejection" in this context is a misnomer. You are not being rejected. Your manuscript is not being rejected. There is always another meaning. The key is to discover that hidden meaning.

So far, I've been pretty fortunate. I don't have a drawer full of rejections. Let's review - Immediately after I finished my manuscript, I queried an agent. A big one in the world of Christian publishing. Two weeks later, my SASE arrived with the form rejection. Oh, it said something like "although your writing has merit, it blah, blah, blah". I would tell you exactly what it said, but I can't find it. Anyway, the point is I wasn't rejected - I was informed that I wasn't ready yet. So I decided to seek and devour all the information I could about novel writing. I also made another great decision - I sent my manuscript to Donna Fleisher to have it edited. I did not immediately query 20 other agents. I did not deem that agency to be blind to real talent.

I then attended the fantastic "Writing for the Soul" conference in Colorado Springs. All three interviews went great. All three editors asked for either a partial or a whole. I still haven't heard from editor 1, therefore no rejection has occurred. Editor 2 informed me that publishing house X has changed its focus to YA fiction - therefore no rejection. Editor 3 sent my manuscript back and asked me to do a minor re-write and send it back. (still doing that) Again, no rejection.

I decided to query an agent again. And, although I made her final cut of three out of 160+, she didn't offer me representation. But she didn't reject me. She was kind enough to send me her thoughts about my writing and I must say that for the first time in this journey, I disagreed with a professional. So, she didn't reject me, she just informed me that we weren't a good fit. She has to represent the kind of writing that fits her eye. That wasn't me.

SIDENOTE: A few other editors who asked for partials over lunch at the conference also said no. BUT, these were not rejections. You see, they came so fast, that I really think they just asked for a partial because of the uncomfortable environment. I mean, really, who wants to say no to someone over dinner? So, still - no rejections.

Fast forward to ACFW conference in 07. I met with two agents and one editor. Again, all meetings went great. Apparently, I make a good impression in person :).

But . . .

To be continued.

2 comments:

Nicole said...

The glass half-full is enviable. Rejection to me is full on all out youain'tworthytokissmyboots spewyououtofmymouth rejection. At first. Then I calm down and remind myself about the pros and cons of business as usual and how this one happens to be subjective, trendy, and just plain not easy to break through. And finally I remind myself that my work is subject to God's direction and approval, and that's that. Everything's good. Yeah.

Kay said...

I think it would be great to practice this outlook. And for me, it would take practice. I haven't submitted anything, so I haven't had rejections in the writing world yet, but I have in other areas of life and I think this perspective of yours would be useful in all areas.

I have no problem having this perspective on other people's rejections, by the way. It's really easy for me to point out how much they still have in the glass. But when it's me - well...