Wednesday, 2 January 2013
Being an Author: Rejection
Rejection is a good thing.
(Shut up... down in front!)
It is. Really. I have received rejection. It is common amidst writers. But why do I say it is a good thing?
Rejection means growth.
And I'm not just saying rejection from publishers and presses. Rejection can come in many different forms. True, that can be from a submission to a call. But it is more than that. It is when your beta says, "No, dammit! That's donkey balls!" It is when your peers say, "Andawhatnow?" It is when an Editor says anything that starts with the word 'unfortunately'.
Look at it this way:
Every time you ask someone to judge your work, you are basically putting yourself to the test.
When you fail the driving test, you buck up and try harder next time.
Writing is the same.
When I submit to anyone - unless I pre-warn them that it is first draft type material (beta etc.) the work should be good, cleaned, polished. Hey - it's never perfect. But it shouldn't have piles of glaring errors in it. This comes from rejection.
If my tale weens a complicated path - too complicated - I rein it in next time. Try to make it easier to follow. This comes from rejection.
Rejection makes you a better writer, and that's what we all want, right?
Without rejection, you cannot learn. If you cannot learn, you cannot improve.
My last rejection was pretty much a form letter (one that is sent to many writer's with no personal feedback). It is hard to learn from that, but if you keep getting them from a story, then perhaps it is the story. Not the people rejecting it.
If you have received a form letter rejection it is unusual - and unlikely - that the sender with open into a discussion with you over the reasons. And to be honest, it's rarely because they don't want to tell, or talk, to you, but rather they don't want the abuse that experience tells them they are likely to receive when a fickle writer is told, "It simply doesn't make sense." I take people's opinions on board - I learn from it. Many do.
Some writer's will turn around to an Editor and thread them a line of expletives over a genuine reason for rejection. No one needs that. So they shy away from opening a dialogue.
That's when if you want to know the truth, you must ask for it from someone else.
I edit/proof sometimes, and I always try to be honest to a fault with feedback. Whilst it might massage someone's ego, me saying is all awesome and such, it won't do them any good.
And hey, a rejection from me over a few lines here and there, makes for a better rejection that the one shot deal you get with a publishing house. Right?
'Til next time...