Since I'm out there in Queryland with my latest novel, I've been pondering the world of rejection. I've been writing for seven years now and querying for six and a half, so I've pretty much 'been there, done that, nailed it shut and got the t-shirt'. Over the years, there's been a lot of 'It's not you, it's me' and 'It's not me, it's them'. There've been a lot of excuses and accusations. I've been through the stages of denial - both slowly, pausing to wallow in grief and anger, and quickly where I jumped right to acceptance and stopped querying anybody for anything.
This morning, I'd like to take a moment and list some of the silliest thoughts that have come through my head about why I was rejected. (All of which were split second thoughts and discarded almost as quickly as they came.)
You rejected me because...
- I'm a woman.
- I'm too outspoken.
- I'm not outspoken enough.
- I'm brain-damaged.
- Of what I said that one time on that one forum four years ago.
- You've already rejected me for three other books and think anything else I send is crap and therefore a waste of your time.
- I don't edit my blog and you think this genuinely reflects how my books are going to be.
- Of who I like on Facebook.
- Of what my teenage nephew said on my Facebook that one time.
- My voice sucks.
- I once said/wrote/commented that I like X and you hate X.
- I once said/wrote/commented that I hate Y and you love Y.
- My command of the English language rivals a retarded chimpanzee's.
- I'm not a Democrat/Republican/GreenParty/Libertarian... pick a party - I'm not it.
- I'm too gritty
- I'm not gritty enough
- I suck.
- You suck.
- Everything I've ever written sucks.
- Everything you've ever accepted sucks.
- I'm unlucky.
- I'm on the Big List of Blackballed Authors* (BLoBA) because of one or all of the above.
- I just posted this list of insane reasons why I might've been rejected.
Anyway, I guess my point is that we can always find something to blame our lack of success on. Sometimes the odds of getting published seem almost insurmountable (or totally insurmountable, depending on the day) and I'm flailing around trying to put my finger on the exact reason why I just got rejected by my dream agent, my kinda dream agent, or that one newbie who you'd think was so happy to be an agent she'd request anything that doesn't totally suck - so I can fix it.
In the end, though, if I've done the very best I can do - both on the writing and on the submission materials - it's out of my hands. I truly believe there are no bad thoughts, just bad actions. So, I let myself think those totally whacked-out, irrational and sometimes insane thoughts. And then I move on.
Because not moving on would be the bad action (or inaction).
Ever think some out-there thoughts about why you were rejected? Feel free to leave them in the comments, and if you're worried about joining me on the BLoBA, be Anonymous - just don't be mean.
*you know THE LIST... the one they all have and share between each other that may or may not be on a super secret website only agents have access to