Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Ah, The Sweet Taste of Rejection

Well, it's been more than a week and I think I can talk about it. After I'd finally given up, decided they'd lost the proposal-or the return address (I screwed up and deserved it, but they found me anyway)-the rejection came. My sixth. Granted, I have a few more in my file cabinet, but it is my sixth for my novel "Rollercoaster," Expectation Failure," "Expectation," or "Back on the Rollercoaster" depending upon when it was sent out.

Now, mind you, I should be pleased. Only two of those were rejected flat out, without much thought. I came home from conference with six requests for a proposal. many people don't get past the interview, I hear. They didn't seem to be terribly discriminating to me. But, neither did I write a "Historical Fiction Missionary Infertility Story Set in the 1970s" which my friend Melanie and I decided had to be the epitome of what publishers didn't want. We got rather hysterical about it one rather trying afternoon. Poor Mel had a Missionary story set in the 90s and I had the infertility issue, but we came up with something worse, for sure.

None of our staunch, serious writing friends thought it was nearly as funny as we did. Compatibility, I tell ya. We had it.

Anyway, I had my manuscript out to four pubs and two agents. I already had one pub and one agent reject me out of the gates. One of my rejections allowed for a re-read if I gave her a re-write. (I did.) So now I'm still waiting for two houses and one agent. If that house rejects me again, I get to count it as two rejections, right? Because I'm determined that I will either get picked up this year, or win the "most rejections" title at conference. By my count, I have 12 to go.

Anyway, this rejection was a form letter. Very sad. Up until now my rejections have been pretty personal. Change this, don't like that, whiny, not likeable, title, issue, flashback, bored. You know, standard weep in my cheerios kind of rejections. I give myself 24 hours to feel sorry for myself, then I pull up my bootstraps, evaluate whether I think I can "fix" that particular problem, thank the rejecter for such helpful criticism and get to work.

But this was a thanks, but not thanks form letter from an admin. There wasn't even anyone to thank for their time and no comments to thank them for their enlightenment.

They didn't like me. They really didn't like me.

And I didn't even cry. Because how can you take that personally? Whiny, bored, issue, I cried over--after I got done laughing--but this?

I realized it was true. I'd rather have the rejection in my pocket than wonder another day.

I'm not sure that holds true for the other three out. One I want the rejection so that that circle can close. It's been a year now, after all, all said and done, and I really have no hope of anything good coming from them. But the other two, I really, really want. Both were my number one choices. One agent. One house. And they haven't rejected me yet. (Okay, one has, but she gave me a second shot!)

Enough blubbering. If I'm going to have 18 rejections by September, I need to get on the ball.

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