I hope that my tips will give you pause for thought, help develop your writing or even provide a hint of inspiration. Come back soon to see the next tip.
So they turned it down… the short story, the synopsis and three chapters. Thanks but no thanks can be such a knock to confidence and feels very personal. Facing disappointment is part of every writer’s life. Published or unpublished it’s still a body blow especially when you know you’ve given it of your best.
What do you do with rejection? Kick it out of sight, stomp around the room, blame them for being blind to your talents, take it personally or give it all up? I’ve done all of these for a few hours but no more and then got stuck in again.
My friend, the novelist, Elizabeth Gill has a saying: Winners never quit and quittersnever win and we both should know...after some years in the publishingwilderness. Now with a new book out on Valentine’s Day called Miss Appleby’s Academy and a series of her backlist novels soon to be out on e books, she is roaring back...Rejection and a stubborn refusal to give up on a story has forced us back to the coalface many a time. Stamina and bloody mindedness are part and parcel of our craft.
If you’re lucky the publisher may write a note to say why your work wasn’t accepted. Listen and learn. Reader, be not proud. Any positive criticism is a gift to work on. That’s why the Romantic Novelists Association New Writer’s Scheme is such good value. Getting a first class rejection slip shows someone’s bothered to give you notes. Most people just get the standard rejection slip with its cold clinical, no. So...Did you send your work to the right agent or editor? Have you done your homework beforehand, making sure it got into the hands of a named person?
So many new writers can scupper their chances by not bothering to write a distinctive covering letter that alerts the editor or agent to possible talent ahead.
Believe me, if that letter is boring, unimaginative and badly assembled you won’t even get a fair read of the rest and don’t claim to be the next Hemingway or Joanna Trollope.
In today’s cut- throat market submissions have to shine like beacons, offer original insight and angles. Buyers need to feel confident that the work will hit the board running. (Yes, those clichés keep coming!)
It’s all very daunting but don’t despair. You have something precious to offer, a new voice, new name and no back history. Everyone wants to find that distinctive original talent with the X Factor. Perhaps you are what they are looking for right now?
Believe this and keep on writing, submitting, improving and never giving up. You are going to write something worth reading. You may already have done so self publishing and e book.. Think of J K Rowling and all her rejection slips… You can be right when others are wrong but markets are fickle and you need to be aware of trends and fads.. Dare to believe in your way of seeing things and write accordingly, polish it to perfection.