Rejection – The Taboo Subject.

I’m still an aspiring author, waiting for an agent to pluck me out of the slush pile. Along the way, I know that I will be rejected, and that is something I have to accept, get over and move on from. This journey could be made easier if we (the unagented writers), were open about the rejections and dashed hopes, but it appears to be a taboo topic.

Somewhere via Twitter, I read a blog where the author said that writers should never mention being rejected, as any agent chancing upon your blog would be immediately dissuaded from looking at your work.

Okay – I thought – that may be true, but then how is it that once an author has an agent/publisher, they can admit to receiving 50/ 70/ 155 rejections for their now published novel. How is it that we can read about the numerous rejections received by authors such as Stephen King and JK Rowling (to name but a few).
It appears that once we are accepted, we are able to declare the tortuous path we had in getting there, but in the meantime, we have to deny – or at least, not mention – any rejections along the way.

And yet, we all know that other writers are experiencing the same disappointment – every time someone mentions they are sending out a query, we all know the possibility of rejection is lurking in the background.

I once DM’d a friend on Twitter to say that I had a partial request, – but it was subsequently rejected. It was only then that they admitted to having numerous partial requests and a few full requests, until finally they found a publisher to take them on. It felt good to share and to know that I was communicating with someone who appreciated the pain I was feeling.

I would love to know your views on this matter – should rejections stay hidden away for our own good – or should we open up about the disappointment that rejection inevitably brings?

Happy Word Flow One & All

After how many rejections do you give up?

Before you worry, this isn’t a maudlin piece about feelings of failure and hopelessness, no, it’s more to do with understanding the process and reflecting on my lack of insight and knowledge when I first began flirting with the writing scene.

When I wrote my first novel, I sent it off to 4 agents and received 4 rejections – and there I stopped. I lost faith in the book and my writing, so I began a second novel. I eventually sent that one off to 4 agents and again, I received 4 rejections – although there was a little more interest after my query letter.
 I then decided to write in the genre that I love to read which made the process of writing even more intoxicating.

When I googled ‘how many rejections’ I was astonished to see that the number ranged from 40 to 85, with 65 being the average – therefore, i hadn’t even scratched the surface.

Kathryn Stockett spent 5yrs trying to get an agent for her debut novel ‘The Help’, and she accumulated 60 rejections. Finally she got an agent for her novel, which then spent 30 weeks on the New York Times’ best-seller list. he could have given up so easily – so her story is inspirational and a reminder not to be defeated too quickly.

On reflection, my first 2 novels weren’t all that good –  I didn’t execute the telling of the story as well as I do currently. I realise that with every novel I write and with every article, blog, book and novel that I read, my understanding of the art of writing is developing and maturing – like the proverbial fine wine.

The psychological thriller – Attic of the Mind – that I am currently seeking an agent for, is by far the best I have written so far. That being said, I am still learning all the time and trying to refine my work, as I don’t believe that one can ever know it all.

Hence, with Attic of the Mind, I’m not going to lose the faith after 4 rejections, I’m going to keep going as as quote I read on Twitter – ‘A published author is a persistent author’ – keeps popping into my head.

I would love to know what you feel about this topic – do you give up too soon or are you a persistent author?

Happy Word Flow One & All and welcome to the new followers – I appreciate the support.