How to Avoid the Rejection Blues
When I started out as a writer, rejection letters were commonplace and usually they were simply form letters. I got a sense of dread seeing them arrive in the mail. I didn’t want to read them, but I had to see if it was a rejection or acceptance.
I knew my writing was starting to get better when the editors started adding little notes to the rejection letters like “Almost” or “Keep trying”. Then the rejection letters started becoming specific to my submission.
Finally, I started getting those treasured acceptance letters. Nowadays, I get more acceptances than rejections and I even get editors asking me to take on assignment.
That doesn’t mean that I still don’t get rejection letters. They don’t bother me, though. I’ve developed ways of dealing with them over the years that work well at keeping me focused on the positive.
Keep things in the mail
When I started writing, I would send out a short story and then wait for three months before I heard back a rejection. I spent those months wondering and worrying about what the editor was going to say.
After I had a few stories written, I got into the habit of not worrying about the stories that were in the mail but finding markets for the new stories that I was writing.
As soon as a story would come back in the mail, I would simply send it back out to the next market. By not having to focus on the rejection and let it get to me, I started focusing on the future and finding new markets. With dozen of queries in the mail at any one time, I don’t have time to focus on a single rejection.
Have a list of markets
After I send a story out to the magazine I most wanted to see it published in, I would create a list of additional markets. When I would get a rejection letter, I would simply prepare the story for the next market on my list.
By keeping a list of my top five or ten markets, I didn’t have to look at an unsold story sitting on my desk.
I always have a new market to send my stories to so I don’t worry about a rejection.
Enjoy positive comments
When you do start getting personalized comments on your rejection letters or even personalized rejections, pay attention to the comments. Some of them can help you improve your writing. If the comments are positive, enjoy them. Let them inspire you to write more and write better.
If an editor is interested enough to write you something personal, it means that he or she is interested in your writing. It is a market worth trying again.
Keep writing to remind you why you do it
Don’t let an editor’s opinion make you doubt your writing ability. Write because you love it and want to do it. Keep at it. This is probably the best way to keep from feeling down because of rejection.
Write because you love it. Write because you want to do better.
The Civil War split the United States and now it has split the Fitzgerald Family. Although George Fitzgerald has returned from the war, his sister Elizabeth Fitzgerald has chosen to remain in Washington to volunteer as a nurse. The ex-Confederate spy, David Windover, has given up on his dream of being with Alice Fitzgerald and is trying to move on with his life in Cumberland, Md. Alice and her sons continue to haul coal along the 184.5-mile-long C&O Canal. It is dangerous work, though, during war time because the canal runs along the Potomac River and between the North and South.
Having had to endured death and loss already, Alice wonders whether remaining on the canal is worth the cost. She wants her family reunited and safe, but she can’t reconcile her feelings between David and her dead husband. Her adopted son, Tony, has his own questions that he is trying to answer. He wants to know who he is and if his birth mother ever loved him. As he tries to find out more about his birth mother and father, he stumbles onto a plan by Confederate sympathizers to sabotage the canal and burn dozens of canal boats. He enlists David’s help to try and disrupt the plot before it endangers his new family, but first they will have find out who is behind the plot.
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Genre – Historical Fiction
Rating – PG-13
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