No, I haven’t just been sent one of those nice “We’re sorry, but . . .” letters. I recently sent in another submission to my editor and the waiting is killing me. It also made me think about how I felt the first time I received one of those lovely missives. This happened years before I’d discovered e-publishing and Ellora’s cave.
I sent my wizardry fantasy ‘masterpiece’ to one of the New York publishers. Their reply took months, about six of them. After that wait, the rejection hit me hard.
I didn’t write for two months. I almost gave up on becoming an author entirely. I began writing again, but I did it just to tell the stories bubbling inside of me. I couldn’t stop myself from picking up a pen or sitting down at a keyboard and allowing the words to flow.
That first rejection was the worst– partly because of the nonspecific reason for rejection in the letter and because that work was my ‘baby.’ At the time, I was certain that it was perfect. Now, I realize that it needed a lot of work.
With what I know now, I’m not surprised that it was rejected. It was one of my first completed works. Now, it’s a long-term pet project. When I get time, I take it out and work on it, but that’s not often.
I’d like to hear from all of the other authors, published and unpublished, about how they handled their first rejection.