Wednesday 7 September 2016


Just keep going...
I know several people who are going through the submission process at the moment. Listening to them I realise there is nothing quite as painful, or lonely, as the whole submission and rejection process, however, sugar coated it might have been. A rejection leaves a raw patch that gnaws away, however much you tell yourself you are being pragmatic, and that what will be, will be.

But that is your head speaking. Your heart has a totally different agenda. Your heart has spent years pouring everything into that novel, and it is not quite so willing to roll over and accept whatever is said, with an enigmatic smile, and an 'oh well.' Your heart is actually running screaming to the hills, going 'How could you not love it, what have you done to me?' Before it rolls around the floor sobbing. No one sees that of course. No one admits that.

What also happens is another small part of you feels like it has died. It was not meant to be like this. It was supposed to be snapped up. Even though you know it is only one person's opinion. And these rejections appear after enduring weeks and weeks of silence.

There used to be a different process where it was done via post, when there was a physicality to it. A slapping of an envelope as it dropped through your letterbox. But now, with email, it is all a bit rapid and a risk that people may rush it.  Submitting it before it is truly ready (Not anyone I know I should add). And now the rejection arrives with the ping of doom via an email.

When you are submitting, it is important to send it when it is as polished as it can be, and to the right people. Research who you want to send it to, making sure you adhere to their guidelines. They are there for a reason.  Create a spreadsheet so that you know where you have sent it to, on what date and then list the response. Every time you do get a rejection read what it says. If several rejections are coming up with the same issue, then it is time to go back to your story, and address it before you send it out again. Plan your campaign carefully. Once you receive a rejection, are you sending it straight out to another agent, or waiting until you have heard from them all, if you are sending it out in batches?

You might have this campaign going on in the background, but to fill these hours of silence, you need to forget about it, you need to move on. Instead of sitting waiting for the responses you start a new story. Think about new beginnings. This will show any agent/publisher that you are not a 'one trick pony' as well as distracting you. Enjoy the thrill of doing something creative, let yourself free for a while and don't let those rejections knock you down. Your book will find its home when it is meant to. Good luck to everyone who is going through the process and keep the faith.

This has to be the aspiring writer's mantra

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