Tuesday, 21 April 2015

R is for...Rejection

Welcome to Tuesday's A to Z Challenge post! Today, we're talking about the letter R (obviously the best letter in the alphabet)!

Rejection is something that comes up a lot in writing. Whether you're submitting to agents, or even just finally opening to your family and friends about why you've been locked away in a darkened room for months on end, rejection is something we writers inherently fear. And with good reason - we pour so much of ourselves into our work that it can be terrifying to think that someone may not love it as much as we do. We can't bear the thought of our novel being rejected, because it feels like a part of ourselves is being rejected at the same time (which isn't true, but you can understand why authors think like that).

I have a confession to make. Do you want to know how many times I submitted Synthetica to agents? I'll tell you. The grand total was...twice.

Yup, you read that right. I submitted it to two agents, and it got rejected both times. Contrary to my advice yesterday about not quitting, I did indeed give up submitting to agents.

But why? I hear you cry. Why did you up give up submitting? Well, here's the thing - when I completed Synthetica, I was in a very dark place emotionally and trust me, receiving 100+ rejections would not have done anything to improve my mental state. I simply couldn't bring myself to do it. That, and I'd kind of already made up my mind to give self-publishing a go.

Here's what both agents said to me when they rejected Synthetica:

I don't know much about standard rejection letters but the second rejection letter, strangely, gave me hope. Perhaps if I'd taken my own advice and kept persevering, I would've landed an agent in the end.

But you know what? I'm happy with my decision to give indie publishing a go. It's hard work, but I wouldn't have meet all the wonderful people I have if I'd simply gone down the traditional publishing route. I still hope to be a traditionally published author one day, but for now, I'm having a blast being an indie author. And if my voyage into indie publishing fails miserably, I know I can always start submitting to agents again.

So don't worry if your work is rejected numerous times - just remember J.K. Rowling and the rejections she faced. And if you're really not getting anywhere by submitting to agents, remember that indie publishing is a completely viable (and highly recommended!) option too :).

Have you ever been rejected by an agent? How did you deal with it? How do you deal with other types of rejection in your writing?


  1. It's cool the second agent said you stood out from the crowd. I'd say that was a big compliment!

    I think choosing to continue submitting to agents or taking the self-publishing option depends on the book. I have written one that I'm going to submit to agents, while others I've known would suit going straight to a small press publisher. You know your book, you know what's best for it.

    Annalisa, writing A-Z vignettes, at Wake Up, Eat, Write, Sleep

    1. Thanks, Annalisa :)! That's a very good point, I hadn't considered that!

  2. Rejections are extremely normal. All writers who want to be published will get them. I couldn't even say the total number I've gotten. Let's just say A LOT! :p

    The fact that agent said your book stood out is awesome. I know it sucks though and you wish that had been enough. Agents have told me they loved my concept and it sounded promising and still passed. It makes me think that my writing is horrible. Though I'm not doubting a bit of work could have been done.

    Self-publishing is a big decision. I agree with Annalisa that it depends on the book and the writer.

    1. Haha! Thanks, Chrys :), it's so annoying when that happens - like being told you're a good match for a job, but then not getting it anyway...

  3. I've also blogged about rejections today. They're so hard to deal with! I've only had a few (seriously, I rarely submit my work anywhere) but still, they're hard.

    My latest post in the A to Z challenge.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Majanka! I hate dealing with any kind of rejection!

  4. I've never had an agent either and have received many, many rejections. But I'm very happy with the small presses who have taken on my work without representation.

    1. That's great, Susan :)! It's good to know that small presses will take on authors without agents :)


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