Rejection doesn’t sting. It burns. Every time I get an email from a publisher containing the word “sorry,” my eyes start to well up with tears, and I’m sure it’s the end of my writing career. I’m not good enough. My writing is different from others’, and I struggle to think of a single reason why it’s necessarily better.
But there is a lot of horrible published material out there. Walk into a bookstore, and you will be amazed at the cheap, formulaic books that are earning the full-time living expenses of the high schooler who undoubtedly wrote them. Or open a literary magazine and cringe at the lack of taste within. So why can’t you make it? Why do rejections seem to keep coming?
There are many, many reasons you could be rejected–and it might not even have to do with the quality of your writing. Someday I might even make a list of all the reasons you could get rejected. But in my experience, there’s one thing that keeps resurfacing as the reason for rejection: you and the publisher aren’t right for each other.
It’s a relationship. Publishers have to take a gamble with new authors. Their reputations rest on it, and one wrong move could screw up a whole business. But there are many, many publishers out there. Each one is different and has different tastes, and many are still looking for a new author who could take them to the next level.
Getting accepted is usually just a matter of submitting, and resubmitting until your novel finally lands on the right desk in the right office. Don’t take rejection personally–it just means you’re that much closer to getting accepted!
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