Wednesday, March 4, 2015

#IWSG Post for March 2015: Fear Will Merely Make You Take a Backseat

Last Sunday, I saw an article about an author who got rejected 60 times. When I checked the web earlier, I noticed that he's not the only one. For these authors, luck finally smiled on them on their 61st submission. That took a long time, but I knew it was worth it for them. Publication earned in that way is truly a great achievement. And I'm glad they kept submitting their work.

I've not reached that number of rejections yet. I hope I wouldn't. Sure, I get insecure every time I submit. But then, it's all a matter of perseverance, and a little tweaking here and there before the work goes on its second round.

Regarding replies, yesterday, I got another rejection--and I felt that it was well-deserved because I sent the wrong story to the wrong publisher. :-) Blame it on fatigue or that time when you feel that your mind couldn't wait another minute for its much-needed slumber.

On a positive note, another publisher wrote and told me that they're excited about the tale I submitted, but would need more time before they get back to me. I think that's great. I don't mind the long wait since there are lots of ideas in my head that are waiting to be born, waiting to be used, waiting to exist.

What I'm learning from all this is that fear won't do anything. It will merely make me take a backseat. In this case, I'm willing to see what's around the next bend and the next. If I let go, I wouldn't learn much. Fear will only stay, gain strength and push me away from what I want to achieve. Why should I let fear take the wheel when I can reach out and do that myself? You could, too, you know. And I hope you're almost there or have already reached that place where you want to be.

For those who visited my blog last month, I'd like to send my apologies. I wasn't able to publish that time since we rushed my sister to the hospital, and I had to stay there with her. She's at home now, but still recuperating.

Now, what about you? Care to tell me about your musings about reaching 60 rejections, and getting accepted on the 61st? Do tell. I'd like to know your take on this.

That's it for this month's IWSG. Time to visit the others.

I'll see you next post! Sending virtual *hugs*! All the best!


Liza said...

I haven't made it to sixty...yet. But am in the querying process and find it challenging. I'm curious. You say your are submitting to publishers. I've only submitted to agents. Curious why you have gone that route.

Diane Burton said...

You are the only one who directs your career. Editors only answer to their bosses (and the accountants) and agents only care about authors who can make them money. I wasted a lot of time waiting for editors to get back to me. I had an agent who did nothing but talk a good story. Get back in the driver's seat.

Diane Burton said...

Sorry to hear about your sister. I hope she is much better now.

Elizabeth Hein said...

The rejections are hard to take. There's no two ways about that, but you can get through it. I found that the first twenty or so rejections hurt far more than the one's that came after. Just keep going.

Elizabeth Hein - Scribbling in the Storage Room

Angeline Trevena said...

I love your attitude; make sure you hold onto it.

I tend to open my email inbox cringing, just in case there's a rejection there. And when I know it's a response, I open the email with my eyes screwed almost shut.

But you know what, my skin is growing thicker with every one. Our strength isn't shown by the number of times we get knocked down, it's the number of times we get back up.

Best of luck!

Anonymous said...

Hope your sister is feeling better, Sittie. I honestly have submitted a LOT of stuff over the years and only rarely earned any money for it, and nothing lately but I have been submitting (at most) a couple things a month, usually nothing. Definitely need to get back on that horse. 60 is a LOT and if that's what it takes I've got a lot more work to do. Thanks for sharing.

Mary Aalgaard said...

Scary stuff about your sister. I'm glad you were able to be there for her, and I hope she has a full recovery, soon. Keep writing and submitting, that's how you'll find success.
Play off the Page

Shannon Lawrence said...

I'm currently at 38 rejections with 2 acceptances in there, but that is for short stories. I guess those aren't bad odds, right? Looking at it that way makes me feel a little better. Good luck to you!

Nadine_Feldman said...

Fear can indeed paralyze us if we let it. I learn this over and over and over. As an indie author, I don't deal with submissions to publishers, but it's always a challenge to find an audience or reviews, so that's where I feel it.

It's always great when we're feeling discouraged to look at what other successful authors have gone through. Thanks for that reminder!

Chemist Ken said...

I suppose if I get to the point where I have 60 rejections, at least it means I've finally finished my story and am getting it out there. At least that's my positive spin on it.

Thanks for sharing.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Praying for your sister's swift recovery!

And, wow - 60 rejections, perish the thought . . . or "noooooo!" I guess if other writers can push past that, then the rest of can too. :)

Hart Johnson said...

I think there are a lot of people who get up there. It is sure hard though, to build yourself up again so many times... While I've published, it was an odd path and I am still trying to work up the nerve for submitting again...

emaginette said...

I'm amazed someone could stick to it that long, and I'm very afraid that if I'm rejected sixty times I might give up.

On a happy note though I've crossed my fingers you get a positive result from your editor. I know some publishers do debates -- one editor has to justify the project to their peers. I'm thinking that's the hold up.

Here's my link if you'd like to drop by :-)

Anna from Shout with Emaginette

Stephanie Faris said...

I lost count! I also quit writing around 2002, after about 7 years of trying to get published. I came back to it in 2008 and landed my agent a year later. So if you don't count all the years I took off, it only took me 8 years to get published. I have NO idea how many rejections, but I'll bet it was a whole lot more than 60. At one time, Harlequin told me I was submitting too often. I'm not sure any author has ever gotten a rejection like that before! It was worded something like, "We notice you've submitted a lot over the past few years. Maybe you should take some time off." What the heck?!

Stephanie Faris said...

(Correction: 8 years to get an AGENT--longer than that to get published.)

Michelle Athy said...

I'm somewhere around 12 rejections; I only began querying this past fall. Then there were the three agents I never heard from...

To be honest, I was surprised at how well I took the rejections.

Anonymous said...

"Everything you want is on the other side of fear." I don't know who said it but I LOVE IT. Rejections suck. Totally. They shake your confidence and make you question yourself. Someone on this blog hop (totally forget who - sorry!) wrote about giving themselves "rewards" after so many rejections. Like, once he got his tenth rejection letter, he was taking his wife out to dinner. I thought that was kind of cool. Maybe you could do something like that, add some fun to an otherwise crappy thing. Either way, rejection is a part of this lifestyle. But be strong! You can do it! Keep going!

SittieCates said...

@Liza: Hello, Liza! It is challenging indeed. But hang in there. Yup, I'm submitting directly to publishers. To answer your question, I do that because I find that it's more challenging. :-)

@Diane Burton: Your messages are always inspiring. Thank you so much!

@Elizabeth Hein: Thanks, Elizabeth! That means a lot.

@Angeline Trevena: "'s the number of times we get back up"-- I love that!

Thanks, Angeline!

@Annehiga: You're welcome. Yeah, keep submitting. Go for it.

@Mary Aalgaard: We're also hoping she'll have a full recovery soon. Thanks, Mary!

@Shannon Lawrence: Wow! 2 acceptances! Yes, those aren't bad odds. Good for you, Shannon!

@Nadine_Feldman: You're welcome, Nadine.

I'm also an indie author, and I feel your pain. That's why I'm trying my hand in submitting to book publishers and hope I break into print with that.

@Chemist Ken: True. The important thing is that it's out there. Thanks for the visit, Ken!

@Tyrean Martinson: Yes, we can, too.

Thanks, Tyrean!

@Hart Johnson: It's an odd path indeed, Hart. Good luck with your future submissions!

@emaginette: Oh, I didn't know that. That explains why she said they needed more time to review it. Thanks!

@Stephanie Faris: lol! That's a funny comment. They should be happy to know that you're one of those 'producers' and not a one-time genius.

Noted on the correction. :-)

@Michelle Athy: That's good, Michelle. I guess you have a tough skin. We all need that. Thanks for dropping by!

@authorcgcoppola: Wonderful quote! I love it!

And, yeah, that's a great tip: Rewarding one's self after each rejection. Will do that. Thanks!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'm sorry about your sister!
Fear doesn't do anything. Except paralyze. Just keep pushing forward with your new project.

Cherie Reich said...

We must push past the fear if we hope to get anything done. I think the thing for rejections a lot of times means the story wasn't what they were looking for. It doesn't mean it's a bad story. Reading is so subjective. Back when I was submitting short stories, I think my acceptance rate was around 3:1 (every three times I sent something out, one was accepted). Of course, now I self-publish and just have to worry about reader rejection, which is so much worse than publisher/agent rejection.

Feather Stone said...

I don't bother counting. I see it as just the universe saying that agent/etc was not right for me, and move on.

Suzanne Sapsed said...

Hope your sisters recovering well.

I'm fully expecting to hit triple digits with rejects, but I shall keep plugging away :)

cleemckenzie said...

Publishers and agents want things they think will sell. That doesn't mean the work isn't good. It only means, they won't be fairly sure to make money with the product. I always keep in mind that Van Gogh sold, what, one painting while he lived? Something ridiculous like that. Brahms was told he didn't have the power of invention. There are more!

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