Rejections 4, 5, & 6: Five Stages of Rejection

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“Dear Author, Sorry, but blah blah blah blah…”

More rejections. No biggie. Agatha Christie got 500 rejections before she got published. J.K. Rowling got 12. Even when she did get published, they told her not to quit her day job. Dune was rejected 20 times. Some of Vonnegut’s rejections are framed and hanging in museums. This is all part of the plan. I’ve still got almost twenty other queries out there, floating around. I am a leaf on the wind.

Of course…

This would be a lot easier if these agents had an ounce of vision. Why don’t they stop looking for stuff that follows trends and look for stuff that starts them? A plague on them all, I say. A plague on them all! If I see one more young adult story about a sparkly vampire zombie trying to find young love under threat of some hideous dystopian government, I’m going to set myself on fire in the lobby of the nearest lit agency. That’ll show’em. Bastards. Just wait ’til I’m a bestseller. They’ll come crawling to me, begging to represent me, but I’ll just laugh and maybe pee on their shoes. Yeah, that’s what I’ll do. Pee on their shoes and the papparazi will catch me doing it and I’ll become even more popular and sell even more books! Oh the revenge will be so sweet.


Why did they reject me so fast? Typos? Was my query filled with typos? The synopsis! I knew I should have led with the exploding chickens. It wasn’t exciting enough. They never even saw my writing, they’re judging me by one silly little letter and now all is lost. Well, some of them saw my writing and they rejected me too. I knew my opening was all wrong. My protagonists’ name doesn’t fit. The dialogue is too stuffy, the plot too thin. They’re laughing at me. These agents are gathering for drinks after work and they’re laughing at me. They’re using my query as a warning to others. Oh God, another six months of rewrites are in my future, I just know it.

Who am I kidding?

I suck. I’m the world’s worst writer. How can I blame them for rejecting me? I’d reject me too. I should stick to finger painting and noodle art or maybe I’ll shoot myself in the face. John Kennedy Toole killed himself and went on to win the Pulitzer for A Confederacy of Dunces. I don’t think I can go on living with this torment. Will no one validate me? No. I’m not worth validating. A suicide might get someone to read my manuscript. Out of pity. That is, if they don’t cremate it with my body to get rid of the evidence of my abject failure. All is lost. All. Is. Lost.

Oh stop it.

Tomorrow is another day. There’s always the next agent, the next publisher, the next book. Keep writing. It can only get better. Validation is over rated anyway. I’d rather stay true to my vision then cater to the whims of the market. I’ll persevere. I’ll keep writing even if I’m the only one who ever reads a word of it. The satisfaction of telling the stories I want to tell is enough.

There. I feel better now.

Rejections 7, 8, & 9 incoming. Rinse and repeat.


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Black Leopard, Red Wolf

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