Wednesday, July 21, 2010

There's rejection, and then there's Rejection!

I am happy to report that I've never gotten as harsh a rejection letter as the ones in this book. The young woman featured early in the video doesn't understand that rejections to writers are best done via letter, because slush pile readers get stalked sometimes (check out pages 2 and 3 of this article). Let's be honest, some writers are whack jobs. More of us would be if it weren't for the invention of psychotropic medications.

My wife specializes in receiving 'nice' rejection letters - you know, the ones that tell you what a wonderful writer you are, but your story doesn't fit for whatever reason. She didn't know whether to be flattered or frustrated as hell. Fortunately, she recently received the most important acceptance of all and her first novel is on sale.

When I get rejected, I get form letters. When I don't get form letters from an editor, it's because they take issue with something in my story. Yes, I know that I should take these to heart and correct my mistakes. I do correct those mistakes, but there isn't enough Lexapro in the world to salve the pain of a writer who takes rejection to heart. No wonder writers are famous for drinking.

Have you ever gotten an exceptionally vile rejection letter?


CrackerLilo said...

I got mostly form letters when I shopped a relationship guide for bisexuals and those who love us. But one publisher informed me point blank that there was no need for such a thing. A couple others said it would be good if I were a therapist or psychologist--they didn't take me up on my offer to work with a bisexual psychologist, either. I gave up, honestly.

Sarah G said...

I think the publisher was wrong about there being no need. There are guides for straight people, gay men, and lesbians. Bisexual relationships come in so many permutations that a guide would be very helpful.

You might be better off getting those magic letters after your name (LCSW, PhD, etc.) for a nonfiction book, but the publishers sound like they were hostile to the idea to start with.