I’m friends with Jane Yolen. Gosh. Well, me and a zillion others, on her FaceBook page. Jane commented today about receiving 7 rejections (yesterday?), with editors commenting on her gorgeous writing, but….
I’m not really being sadistic, but I found this tid-bit of news quite encouraging to pre-book-published me.
She later wrote:
“The people who have been on my site (and my journal) before are not surprised by my rejections. Nor am I. I get them all the time. Got 5 rejections for OWL MOON, 13 for SLEEPING UGLY, both of which have now been in print for well over 20 years. I had 113 rejections for my poetry before I ever sold my first poem.
Dr. Seuss had over 30 rejections for TO THINK THAT I SAW IT ON MULBERRY STREET, his first book; Madeleine L’Engle, when she was already published, got 29 rejections on A WRINKLE IN TIME.
No one is saying you are ugly and smell, your mother dresses you funny, better give up writing (though all those things may be true.) A rejection letter is about the mss. and the perceived market. That’s all. As the don’s men said to the Mafia foot soldier they are about to execute in THE GODFATHER, “it’s just business.”
So (Sandy here, again), the bottom line for writers is:
1) Keep on writing (and, to finish your mss and revise them are givens);
2) Keep developing your craft (style, voice, plotting, etc) to produce page-turning, gorgeous writing;
3) Keep submitting your gorgeous works;
4) Rejections are not always about bad writing. In this present economy, it’s more about marketing. So, when you receive those rejections, eat some chocolate, cry if it feels good, run a marathon or two, and then get right back to #1 — Keep on writing.