Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Dealing with Rejection...and getting better

Since I don't actually have a book out right now, and judging by you kind people who've actually left comments, there's a lot of writers out there looking to get their work published. I'm picking up a thread off Sarah's website actually, but it did make me think.
Getting rejected.
It WILL happen.
I've been rejected. EVERYONE'S been rejected. No-one's that good. But if you check my website I've shown a before and after sample of my writing. What's very interesting is that you CANNOT judge you're work objectively at the time, you can only judge it looking back, once you've improved.
Get rejected. Collect all those impersonal slips writing by the sixteen-year-old intern who's power belies her dress size. You'll be upset. Your feelings will be hurt and you'll doubt yourself. Maybe you aren' that good. YET. So what? Just think of all those other writers who quit at this point, all those rivals who WON'T be around next year to queer the pitch, while you're writing, writing and writing. But it does come back to the most fundamental point. You must love writing. Wholly and totally. To the point of irritation to your partner, friends and children. Take this blog, right now. I'm sure I have more important things I should be doing, but I can't help it. Only the desperate NEED to write will get you through the rejections.

7 comments:

Tracy said...

Hi Sarwat
I had read the thread too and had responded. You're right, rejection although a bitter pill, must only serve to make us stronger.
If there's one thing I've learnt over the years in my work in the film industry, is that tenacity and sheer dogged determination will get you somewhere. Any creative business is tough and can seem soul-destroying. We lay ourselves bare when we create our masterpieces, in whatever artistic form that may take, and that's why rejection is so painful. It feels so personal.

But my experience, I was rejected, restructured and rewrote, approached the same agent and she then said she wanted to see the whole thing.

By the way, Sarwat, I have asked you a question on the scbwi messageboard. I hope you don't think it too cheeky and I understand if you can't respond.
Tracy

Jon M said...

Sarah's post was interesting and I reckon the rejecting is as tough as the rejection. I think you have to see it as part of the process though and not take it personally.

I'm quite pleasantly surprised (even bemused) when people react positively to my work so being rejected is almost a default position with me.

But you're right, you have to improve your work and rework, change and hopefully the next rejection will have even more feedback with it! As you say giving up ensures failure.

Anyway, you also have to ask yourself are you only writing to get published? Isn't it fun too?

Stevyn Colgan said...

Everyone gets rejected boys and girls Name an author who's now worth billions and they got rejected. I got rejected three times by the agent who eventually took me on. Before that I was rejected at least once by every agent in the UK I reckon. And my 'Box of Despair' has 18 years worth of rejection letters in it. But perservere, get better and better, make contacts, talk to people and you get your just rewards. I did. Just hang in there folks!

Nothingman said...

i am yet to be rejected...i think people die with the level of awesomeness of my work and that's why they do not respond.

at least i'm decreasing the population of this planet in my own little way :)

N

joelmead said...

Sarwat,
You do get used to rejection. I have worked as a journalist for over ten years now and you get used to editors either never having the courtesy to get back to feature pitches or getting back to you with a curt 'no'. I want to do more books about Studio Space but there's no guarantee that I'll ever get another book published. People who visit Sarwat's blog, please feel free to swing by mine, since I talk about writing too…

SarwatC said...

Hiya Joel!
You're book's great and seriously made me want to pick up the ink pen again. Think I've got to accept my artwork's never going to feature, but had a great time trying.

For those that don't know, Joel and Steve have been major influences in me getting started on this writing path. We were all launching various literary and artistic venture back in the mid-90s. Now all three of us have books coming out. It really does boil down to STICKING AT IT.

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