I used to get upset. Rejections used to make me feel depressed. I’d get into such a state that I couldn’t think about anything other than how I was no bloody good at writing cover letters, no bloody good at writing a synopsis, no bloody good at writing the narrative in the first place. In fact, I might as well admit it; I was no bloody good for anything. I might as well take a long walk on a short pier.
And then, I’d read other people’s blogs and websites.
NEVER GIVE UP, they’d shout at me. KEEP AT IT. After all, you’ve got to be in it to win it, girl. You have to persevere. Don’t lose heart.
But each rejection was a little death and my heart was fading. And that’s when I got angry. Not with the people who were rejecting my work. With myself. Who did I think I was? The best thing since Margaret Atwood? Get your finger out your eye, I told myself. Use your brains. WHY are they rejecting this particular short story or sample chapters? Hang on a minute . . .
You’ve got to hang on, haven’t you, in a situation like the guy on the left? Or else, what? The end of everything.
I have things to say. I want to say them MY way. I have to find the people who want to read the things I say my way.
Many years ago, I rented my own space at a country craft outlet. You know the sort of place, with converted barns and stables occupied by artists and potters and handicrafters of all kinds. I sold my paintings. I sold prints of my paintings. I made greeting cards out of reproductions of my work and sold them too. Sometimes, I’d be surprised by what actually sold. Ideas I thought hadn’t worked so well might turn out to be popular. I did a series of military and naval uniforms through the ages, ran a load off on an inkjet, put them in inexpensive frames, took them to a maritime festival and sold the lot.
You have to find a matching outlet for your product. Rejections mean you haven’t found the right match yet.