Ah, The Sweet Smell of…Rejection

Posted Apr 5 2017, 7:10 am in , , ,

Let’s all take a minute to appreciate rejection. Actually, I may need more than a minute. That first euphoric query “send” high has worn off – well, that didn’t take long! And now I’m in the second ring of Dante’s (query) Hell…rejections!

I had a week off last week – no blog, no writing, no TV. No obsessing over the rejections in my designated “query email.” Just inhaling lots of salty air on spring break with my family. And I realized when I got back how tightly I was holding on to the negative. I was deep in the submit/rejection trenches right before we left. I was over-analyzing. I was worrying. I was doubting. These are dangerous things for our dreams.

Have you ever wanted something so badly, you smothered it in the process? That’s what I fear I was on track to do. Like Hugo the Abominable Snowman , holding Daffy Duck, in the Bugs Bunny cartoons of my youth, I held my dream so tightly, I threatened to choke it to death. “I will name him George and I will hug him and pet him and squeeze him…” And kill him!

I’m one of those people. I believe in karma, kismet, The Secret. I believe what we put out into the universe is what we get in return. And I was putting out a whole boat load of yuck.

And I knew rejection was coming. I understood completely it was inevitable. But knowing it and accepting it still doesn’t take the sting out when it happens. There’s no way around it. Like a three-year-old in the checkout line at Target, it’s hard to hear no.

But as a writer who wants to be traditionally published, I’d better be able to hear that word. If not, I’ll never get to the yes. And as my patient and priceless writing tribe reminds me, it only takes one yes.

I’ve had a few precious crumbs in those no’s that keep me hitting send on more queries….words of encouragement, requests to read more, even a “this was a close call but…” which almost had me doing cartwheels and I can’t even do a cartwheel! Those are the words I have to remind myself to focus on. Those words keep me racing through this query gauntlet.

But I have to say it’s scary. I put it all out there. And I brought you in as well, showed you behind the curtain, invited you to sit and wait with me. I have to say, that part was one of the scariest parts of all. But sharing this journey with you has also been the most rewarding. Thank you for that!

Maybe there’s something you woke up with this week that you’re dreading because you know, in doing it, you will expose your soft underbelly to rejection. Well, do it. And if you get rejected come find me here and we’ll move on together, preferably with spicy margaritas.

In the words of Pink,

“But just because it burns, doesn’t mean you’re gonna die. 
You gotta get up and try, and try, and try.”

I’m off to send another query.


And the writing journey continues…



6 responses to “Ah, The Sweet Smell of…Rejection”

  1. Amy Talley says:

    Go get, em’. Jenn. Being rejected happens over and over and over. If it’s not an agent, it’s an editor, if not an editor, it’s the reviewers, if not the reviewers, it’s the readers. See? Complete circle of rejection. But in the midst of the circle is the bright spot. The “I want to see more” or the “I think this is perfect” or “When’s the next book out?” It makes it worth the while.

    You’ve got this. Keep on keeping on, sister.

  2. Jan says:

    Keep fighting the good fight, sister! And remember that you are not alone—I received 2 rejections from editors yesterday and it hurt like hell. Rejection is such a HUGE part of the process. I would even argue that it is over half the battle. Keep working. Keep writing. Keep submitting. I believe in you. 🙂

  3. It’s brutal. A cage match with the ego. No way out. Take it on the chin and push forward. Blind faith tells me I’m going to succeed. Little wins, like publishing a short story, help. I’ve been told I’ll feel the same way even after the first book gets on the shelf. Maybe. Maybe not. But I’m glad for your blog and a solid community of writing friends to help me along the way.

    • Jennifer Moorhead says:

      Me too Oliver! Love my writing circle-and retreats like Texas Writers Retreat where I get to grow that circle!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *