It isn’t because I consider myself better than everyone else, but I have to take a laughing is better than crying approach to life. If I didn’t, I’d probably spend my entire day sniffling over something or other.
When I first began writing, I never thought about rejection. It never occured to me that people wouldn’t want to buy my books. I mean, they were great! Funny, touching, sexy…you name it, I so had it in my stories. Of course, I just had to finish a story before I could submit it anywhere.
So I sat at my computer and pecked away at the keys for two years. Okay, that isn’t entirely true. I put the manuscript on the side for nearly five months before I decided I had to finish it. I did and went to my first conference with a shiny new manuscript and a take-no-prisoners attitude. I had requests for partials and fulls. Yippee skippy!!
I never heard back from the editors. I submitted to agents who requested fulls and partials and some got back to me with rejections and some didn’t. I was despondent, hovering on the brink of despair. (Do you feel the drama building?) And then one day, I just decided I wasn’t going to wait for the editors and agents to e-mail me a rejection letter. No. I was going to write my own…
Dear Ms. Avet,
We are sorry to inform you that your manuscript, Ruby: Uncut and on the Loose has passed away. It fought the good fight, but after numerous slashes with the red pen, died from a lack of wit and plot. To save you the despair of burying your manuscript yourself, we decided to cremate it in an intricate ceremony complete with champagne and a weenie roast. The service was attended by all the editors here at (insert publishing house) and a lovely time was had by all. We’re sending copies of the pictures from the service and the after party.
I cracked myself up laughing as I wrote that rejection letter. It was a relief to say all the things I figured they wanted to say about it. After I wrote this letter, I felt free. If you can laugh at something, it loses the power to hurt you. Sure, rejections sting. They burn. They…wait, why does this sound like Nazareth’s Love Hurts? Anyway, the point is, you give things the power to hurt you. Take that power back and look at rejections as inspiration to come out swinging.
By the way, the manuscript I mentioned in my rejection letter was later picked up by Siren Publishing. It’s gone on to be a Top Pick by The Romance Reviews, and led me to my fourth book in the series, Ain’t No Bull which comes out today. Dreams really do come true, sometimes you just have to fight for them.