Dealing with rejection

According to Duotrope, I have a 14% acceptance rate for short stories over the past 12 months.  Add in responses to novel queries, and I’ve received over 100 rejections in the last year.

For the most part, I shrug them off.  It’s easy because a lot of them are form responses: ‘Thanks for your submission, but it’s not what we’re looking for.  Best of luck.”

Some of them are personal, and they range from helpful – “The ending just doesn’t fit” – to just downright mean – “How could a character be so stupid as to act like that” (that one was based on my own experiences; ouch).  I get them, and I resubmit somewhere else, maybe with some editing thrown in.

Rejections from people I actually know are harder to shrug off.  “Who would want to read about boring real life stuff?” “What’s wrong with you that you write stories like that” (referring to my latest story, “Tim and Sara“)? “What else are you going to do at night, sit and write your book?”

I deal with most of that by not discussing writing stuff – publications, story ideas, etc – with people I know aren’t interested in any of it.  Which sucks, because I’d like to share my publications and ideas, but it’s worth it I guess for the decreased drama in the long run.

How do you handle rejections of your works and writing in general, both at the publications and personal levels?

1 Comment

  1. On the other hand, I’m encouraged by the stories of people getting agents who queried over 100 agents. I’m doing them 10 at a time – super slowly – so I don’t get discouraged too fast! (And even though I had good luck yesterday, I’ve had plenty of form rejections…)

    I guess for me it depends on my mood. A random form rejection can CRUSH me to the core, or I can laugh it off and be glad I can query someone else based on my random OCD rules.

    Okay, now I’m going back to critiquing your chapter 21 of Lone Wolf! I’ll get it off to you today or tomorrow.

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