June 8, 2011

Dealing With Rejection as a New Writer

Everyone knows the axiom that it's better to try and fail than to not try at all. However, Nathan Bransford recently had a post about how to deal with rejection letters. Granted, I've never submitted a novel to an agent or publisher, but I was really surprised at the comments from other writers. They said when they got rejected they would do everything from gorge themselves on ice cream to getting in a drunken stupor. It's like their cat got AIDS or something.

Perhaps it's because I was a junior officer in the US submarine force that I'm accustomed to having heaps of scorn and ridicule given to me, but sometimes you have to roll with the punches. This first month in this new found activity, I've been trying to shop around some short stories and flash fiction pieces. I have received two acceptance emails (here and here) and three rejections. One of the editors was even kind enough to tell me why he thought my story was lousy. This is actually tremendously beneficial for me, because it's more helpful to get negative feedback than no feedback at all.

It might be my day job as a personal assistant creeping into my life, but I'm a total ass-kisser when I get these letters (yeah, yeah, there's not a lot of men in my profession). Here's how I have responded:

Dear xxx,

Thank you kindly for your consideration, and I look forward to seeing the future works of fiction you publish on [xxx].


Paul Salvette
http://paulsalvette.com  <---Never hurts to include the URL in your sig!
In my mind, it's the only way to be professional. I'm new at writing, but I know that being a likable and decent person always pays off in long run.

Dean Wesley Smith has a helpful and detailed post for new writers, and he advises to never stop learning and to keep at it. Besides, the worst that could happen is I end up getting zinged in Slushpile Hell.


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