Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Rejection Letters

My writing group meets at Sparkytown again on Thursday. We've had a bit of a hiatus over the winter. We met for lunch a couple of weeks ago and it was so nice to get together again.

A couple of us in the group have been submitting our work in search of an agent and/or publication. It's a daunting task, to say the least. I compare it to blind dating, except you can do it in your pajamas without having to comb your hair.

Perhaps we're lucky to be doing so in an electronic age, also. Although we may miss out on a certain drama attached to waiting for a letter to arrive in our mailbox, slicing open an envelope and unfolding a form letter telling us our work had been found unworthy, rejection via e-mail comes quickly. The e-mail format allows the illusion that it's personal and not a "form letter" response. Somehow that lessens the blow, at least for me.

I don't paper my walls with my rejection letters, although I have one with a handwritten note pinned to the bulletin board near my writing desk. It brings me occasional inspiration. Others are in a folder. I consider them badges of courage. It's not necessarily an easy thing to send your work out into the world. I'll keep doing it though, and I'll encourage my writing group pals to keep doing it, too. Because somewhere out there is an agent and/or publisher who's going to pick up one of our novels or short stories or poetry collections from their reading piles, and they're going to like what they're reading. That's all it takes. Just like dating....that first look that you can't explain when you know you want more. It just happens.

Until then, I'm going to keep this Ray Bradbury quote in mind: "You have to know how to accept rejection and reject acceptance."


garnett109 said...

I guess they just don't know talent when they see it.

Anonymous said...

Jane Austen had over a hundred rejections before she was finally accepted and look how her writings have survived.

Sunny said...

Garnett....Awww shucks, you're making be blush. Thanks for reading.

SarahA...Welcome, I am honored you visited me and left a comment. I find your poetry very inspiring and enjoy reading your blog. Thanks for reminding me about Jane Austen!

Anonymous said...

You quit your job; not quite.