“I really like you,” she said. “I never loved you though.”

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Rejection is usually hard to take. We writers live with rejection. It looms forever in the background of the budding artist. We are so full of hope. We feel so sure…this one is it. It will fly. This work is sooo good.

You go to bed after one last read, and you nod your approval. Yes, this story will be published. It’s just that good. You rise up the next morning. After a sobering night’s sleep, your read through your narrative one more time, and it is still good. You go to the Submittable page. You paste in your bio…of course they’ll need that, hahaha.  You hit “SEND.” The waiting game begins.

One month, two months, three months go by. It’s okay. God, those guys are reading like 400 manuscripts a week. It’s tough. They haven’t gotten to mine yet.

Imagined Scenario: Senior Editor rushes into Associate Editor’s office waving your manuscript in the air (it has miraculously become hard copy). “We’ve got to publish this! Oh my God! I’ve never read anything this good.”  Associate hangs up receiver. “I was just calling you! Yes, you have it. Quick, send that author a letter of acceptance. Email, Twitter, Blog, Telephone! Use every available avenue. This is great talent. We must nurture. From now on, every story this person writes, we will publish. Maybe a special edition!”

Back to Reality. Three months have passed. You go online to see if you paid the damned Discover bill. You were sure you had, but a crappy little notice came in the mail. Stupid credit cards. Your unread mail pops up, and there’s the lit mag to whom you had submitted your story three months ago. OMG!   You aren’t ready for this. You don’t even have your coffee. The coffee maker is still sputtering out this morning’s first carafe. You nod bravely. You click the Bold Face Notice.

Dear person, Thank you for your submission. Unfortunately it does not meet our current needs. Managing Editor.

That’s it. Rejection. It’s over. No comment. No reason. No nothing. Total and absolute REJECTION.

Imagined Scenario. Literary Journal Office. Smart ass graduate student slumps at his work desk. He is the primary reader. He has a degree in Agriculture. He decides what goes to the Big Guy upstairs. He can hear him guffawing and choking on an Egg/Sausage with Double Cheese McMuffin as he blabs on the telephone. Graduate student is hungry. His girlfriend dumped him last night. He drank too much. He wants to be a writer, but has no time to write. He feels that his genius is yet to be recognized. He’s reading Dostoevsky’s CRIME AND PUNISHMENT. He scoffs at your on-screen submission. He starts first sentence. His cell phone rings. It’s his ex telling him to return her fucking key. He says something as rude and clicks off. He scrolls down to the fourth paragraph. He picks up his stale chocolate covered doughnut left over from the day before and munches. He wipes his hand on his pants. His cell phone rings again. It’s BOSS upstairs. He goes up. They complain about dearth of good writing. “It’s all crap,” boss says. He agrees because he wants to keep his job. Boss says he really likes a story he’s just read from a cute chick who lives in Ryazan. Rayazan? Where the crap is Rayazan? Story is about some boy’s ghost–he’s near death in some far off land. Blah, blah, blah. He nods and nods. Finally Boss dismisses him. He returns to your online story of which he’s read one half sentence. “What is this crap?” He mumbles. He scrolls to the end. He’s thinking about Googling Rayazan, but he doesn’t know how to spell it. He pulls up your email. “Thank you for your…” He says this aloud and with a laugh, hits DELETE.

Back to Reality. Okay. I need to rewrite. Those guys know what they want. I’ve got to work harder. Get the word count down. Tighten up. Work hard.

So there it is Bloggers. Rejection is difficult. I imagine all sorts of terrible things, but then, hey go back at it. Never stop. Never stop.

How do you deal with rejection? I’m curious. Do you take a nap? Have a drink? Do you cry? I’m talking about a story that you’ve been working on for months, years. It’s good. You know it’s good, but there’s the rejection. So how do you deal with that? Please let me know.

18 thoughts on ““I really like you,” she said. “I never loved you though.”

  1. Deb

    I haven’t dealt with it yet in the writing world but here goes – Imagined Scenario they rejected me ~ I start my affirmations ~ only good things come to me, I am a magnificent writer, I am sought after by many publishing companies, I am read throughout the world, I am globally known, I am writing the best book ever; Reality they rejected me ~ I cry! 😉 Sorry they rejected you, they are just waiting for the best seller you are going to write!!

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. paulabroome427 Post author

      Thank you! I’m back to work. It’s impossible I believe to not be affected by a rejection notice. I think in time one’s skin does get thicker. Time is always the answer! 🙂 Thanks for great confidence. It definitely goes a long way!

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  2. ruminationville

    Well, as you know from reading my recent post, I can’t bear to smell the hard stuff, much less drink it, but, after many rejections of all kinds through the years, I have learned to do what any modern, spiritual, thoughtful human being does: I watch TV and eat chocolate. So sorry, though, about the notice before you even had a chance to grab your coffee! Leslie

    Liked by 2 people

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  3. misskzebra

    Well, you’re a big step ahead of me. I have never submitted any fiction for publication. As soon as I sit down and try and write a piece for a competition or calls for submission, I just completely freeze up and can’t think of anything to write about.

    I think I just have zero discipline. If I can’t write about exactly what I want to write about, the way I want to write it that very second, it won’t happen.

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. paulabroome427 Post author

      And that’s okay too. One thing I’ve learned is that we’re all different in the way we approach writing. I had to quit reading books on “writing” cause I got tired of them telling me I had to write every day for hours! Screw that. It’s not me so I quit reading the advice. You gotta stay true to yourself. I think maybe for you the writing will eventually come easier.

      Liked by 1 person

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  4. dweezer19

    I submitted my then not fully edited novel out to John Hunt publishing about two years ago. While they likened it to JRR Tolkein, they said it was too “deep” for most of their audiences and too long and would ineed be willing to publish it, at there “writer pay all” level with a guarantee I would also be buying “X”number of copies to start. The result? I am still editing and will publish again even if it is for myself becuase I love my story, its characters and the message. Yeah it hurts when you think you really have something worthwhile. But just think about an everyday conversation among a group of friends about what they think is the best food in town. Different tastes for different folks. And some have absolutely no taste at all!

    Liked by 2 people

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  5. ladycee

    Hi, I hope you won’t hate me for this but I have not laughed so much in a while. It was absolutely hilarious! Thank you for making me smile and laugh out loud. I could picture the scenarios you painted so clearly. Even now I am giggling and chuckling as bits of what you wrote come back to me (particularly the “dear person” part”. I hope you did mean to be amusing, because I do not mean to be insensitive. Rejection on any level is painful. As a writer, it can be excruciating. I look forward to reading more of your work.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. paulabroome427 Post author

      Thank you so much. Yes, I did mean to be humorous. It’s one of our great defenses against the cold world of publishing. So thank you and I’m glad you like my blog.
      I am following your blog and look forward to your next. Thank you and stay strong.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  6. calmkate

    I felt massively better once I knew that JK Rowlings had 16 rejections before she self-published the Harry Potter series …. it does prove that editors really don’t have a clue! Mindless tellie and some chocolate always help. Well written, I would have published you for this alone.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
      1. calmkate

        Exactly so totally proves that editors got that very wrong! Of course we’d all like recognition but maybe that comes later? Just keep enjoying your writing and be very wary of the ones that charge you, please.

        Liked by 1 person

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