Receiving Rejection

Receiving Rejection

I have an abnormally high fear of rejection. I have known for years this can serve to incapacitate me. This is not a good trait for a writer. When combined with an obsessive nature and the inability to put things out of your mind, it makes the submission process quite difficult.

Last year at the Get Publishing Conference, Wendy Morton was one of the key note speakers. Her message was clear and up-lifting, “The worst they can say to you is ‘no’.”

I remember thinking at the time, the worst thing they could say was it’s the worst thing they’d ever read, but I’d already heard that. Which, I think, is one of the main components of my fear of rejection. It’s not so much the turning down, which is bad enough, but that so many people don’t seem to care how they do it.

A friend of mine recently received a rejection which said one of his techniques “sucked the life” out of his story. This now tops my list for the worst thing they can say. I told him he should print and frame that one, because it was a beautiful example of a horrible response. Who says that to someone? Honestly?

It happens, though. I can understand frustration and annoyance and just being sick of seeing what comes in day to day, but I can’t understand the need to send that letter.

Writers have to possess a thick skin for this reason, I suppose. Well, maybe that and have parties to laugh at the worst lines they’ve even seen in a rejection letter.

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