Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Big R (Rejection)

Crap. Got a rejection letter yesterday.

“After careful consideration, we have decided that your material is not suited to our current needs.”

Well, what about your future needs? Why don’t you keep it on file just in case your needs change? Yeah, right.

These generic, impersonal letters used to devastate me. No longer. I’ve developed emotional body armor and a few tactics to diminish the severity of the blows.

I always have a second (or back-up) place in mind to submit to so that when (and if) that first place rejects my submission, I immediately whip off another cover letter and submit elsewhere — pronto. No time for weeping and gnashing of teeth. (On occasion, I will do the multiple submission thing but generally respect admonitions not to do so.)

At this stage in my freelance career, I always have other work “out there. ” Thus, I am still eagerly and optimistically awaiting word of an acceptance which takes the sting out of any rejection received. I am also always currently working on some new project which provides a distraction. “Oh, was that old thing rejected? I can barely remember writing it.” (A bald-faced lie. Everything I write is my “baby.”)

I remain unbowed. You’ve got to have a healthy ego to be a writer.

Remember that song by Chumbawamba?

“I get knocked down...

But I get up again

You're never going to keep me down.

Pissing the night away…”

All true but the last line. I no longer possess the youth and fortitude to piss a night away.

BTW — my score was 151 out of those 1001 books. If you are shocked and appalled (as I was) check out other scores at Baby Got Books. Doing so made me feel somewhat better. Better yet (if you’re scoffing at my piddling score), try it yourself. Thank God I took a Russian Literature course in university — it boosted my numbers.

Yesterday was a humbling day.


Anonymous said...

Okay - I scored 162. I credit being a total geek in high school.

Beth said...


Kudos to you for that impressive score. I was only 3/4 of a geek in high school. Guess that explains why I scored slightly less.

Anonymous said...

3/4 of a geek is still, predominantly, a geek, my dear sister. However, I beg to differ - you were a beautiful, (perhaps shy) intellegent young woman

Anonymous said...

yikes, I should have emphasize that you still ARE a beautiful, intellegent woman (not so shy anymore,tho!)

Heather said...

Well - I scored 110. I guess I have a long way to go and I'm already 51 :(

That was quite humiliating given that I was supposed to be an Englsh minor.


Beth said...

Heather - Do we really, truly care about our scores? So we didn't even hit the halfway point. You know what? If we'd really wanted to read the books on that list, we would have by now.