Reject: When Syllabic Emphasis Counts

Reject. To turn away. Re-ject. Big fat loser. Same spelling but the pronunciation makes a world of difference. As writers, we get rejections on a regular basis from agents, if we’re querying, from literary, newspaper, blog and magazine editors. So many people out there who can tell us, “No.” It’s hard not to feel like the second pronunciation, a real reject. The loser kind. Some folks can’t handle the rejection and quit writing. Others feel the sting but soldier on somehow.

It’s hard to separate yourself from the rejection. In my head I knew that agent XWZ or editor ABC wasn’t rejecting me personally, instead was turning down the product I’d set before him or her. It still felt really personal. We all want to be liked, maybe even loved, and rejection messes with that mojo in a big way. I tried to take each  “Not for me” as it came, swallow the disappointment and think of the next opportunity. I still do.  I give myself permission to mope for a bit and to feel sorry for myself even. Then I drag out my big girl panties and move forward. Staying busy helps.  My family helps me; they’re quite a distraction and their needs so overshadow my own that I don’t much self-pity time. Just as well. It’s not all that productive.

How do you manage publishing or other work related rejections?  Deb Kim

7 Replies to “Reject: When Syllabic Emphasis Counts”

  1. It depends when you catch me. In my sane place, rejection rolls right off me. It’s part of the process, and if I keep enough balls in the air, it’s not a disaster when several go SPLAT into the ground. If the disappointment/worry/neurosis is going to catch up with me, it’s when I’m in the middle of the writing process, at a tough spot, struggling to make it work. That of course is the WORST POSSIBLE TIME to have those emotions rear their ugly heads. I hear meditating helps… but I find mass quantities of Panda Puffs just as effective. They’re crunchy, so the sound drowns out the Voices of Doom.

  2. When I was going through various rejection…er…submission processes, I didn’t find myself too affected by the many ‘No thank yous’ I received. I am a big believer in the number of fish in the sea.

    Work-related rejections somehow I’ve always found harder. Not getting a job I wanted, for instance, feels personal. I guess the attitude to have there is not that there’s something wrong with me, but that it’s just not the right fit. Which is exactly how I felt about writing rejections. Hrm. Physician, heal thyself.

    1. They do. And they ride up without being all sexy thongy. Soemtimes I wear big boy panties instead but let’s keep that to ourselves.

  3. I have a “back on the horse” rule. Rough paraphrase: “Don’t let the sun go down on your rejection.” If I receive a rejection, I have to send out at least one query before the end of the day. The only exception is when (as now) I have multiple partials out – as long as those are pending, the rejections roll off.

    That, and I remind myself that finding an agent is a lot like dating (ewww, yeah, but let’s roll with it) – you don’t want to get locked in with someone who just thinks “Wow, you don’t totally suck to be around” – you want to hold out for the one who says “YOU ARE AWESOME, I LIKE YOU BETTER THAN CHOCOLATE, COFFEE, AND CHEESE.” (At which point, you ask why (s)he is mixing coffee with cheese.)

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