What makes one editor turn down a manuscript and another accept it? We all know everyone has their own likes and dislikes, so we really shouldn't be surprised at rejections. Yet, with each rejection, we feel wounded, discouraged, and confused. Moreover, we're left with the unanswered question - why.
We're supposed to be bolstered up by the fact that all writers are rejected - and most writers - often. But, seriously, it gives no solace!
Sometimes we're lucky and get a line or two about why that particular editor didn't think our baby was right for them. But, most of the time it's just a form letter - sterile, cold, and impersonal. And that letter leaves us not only asking the universe 'Why?'; it leaves us questioning our own self-worth.
I've seen several responses to another blog about this. And yes, I've done it all: the angry rant to no one; had tears streaming down my face, and the thoughts that maybe I should just take up knitting (or whatever).
But, this is where we separate ourselves from so many people who 'write'. Because we pick ourselves up and regroup. Some of us eat pints of Ben & Jerry's ice cream, and others get a good bottle of single malt Scotch. We tell ourselves 'They'll be sorry . . .' and then, with a plaintive sigh and a deep breath, we start all over again.
Here's the thing to remember: We are all winners - because we've put ourselves out there. My mother used to write poetry. She must have been pretty good, because she got a scholarship to the University of Mexico City for a summer semester.
Why am I boring you with this? Because, of what she said to me last autumn. If you’ve read some of my earlier blogs (say Thanksgiving to Christmas), you know that for a while it didn't look like Gail and I were going to reach an agreement. I was very upset at the thought that I would come so close - and still never get published. That I would never succeed.
However, Mom insisted that I had already succeeded, because I had done what she could never bring herself to do - submit herself to the possibility rejection. And, by doing that - or not doing that - she had never given herself the possibility to succeed.
So, the next time you get a rejection, eat a pan of brownies, treat yourself to a mani-pedi, and start all over again.