Take heart, it happens to us all. JK Rowling talks to the HeraldScotland about her experience of rejection slips for her Harry Potter book as well as for her adult books. Some rejections weren’t so kind. And aren’t we all glad she didn’t take them to heart!
Of course, traditional publishers don’t always get it wrong; they often get it right. Rejection can be a sign that your writing isn’t good enough yet (yet), your plot needs to add up better, or you need to cut the waffle and make your prose tighter. It might even be that your book is great but the subject has been covered too many times recently and the market is saturated. Keep writing.
Sometimes, although I’m sure the industry would protest this, it’s just that some agents and publishers aren’t as wired into what the public wants to read as they think they are. Some agents and publishers are running scared and won’t take a risk on anything new, no matter how well written, by anyone who can’t prove they’ll make lots of sales. And some, sadly, are snobs who think the public shouldn’t be reading all that “popular” tripe anyway. Thankfully, these are few.
It’s great when they get it right, though, and there are thousands of excellent traditionally published books out there to prove it. There are also more and more excellent independently published books too. Books that are well written, professionally edited and a joy to read. Yours might be one of them some day. So bear that in mind when you get another rejection from a traditional publisher or agent. Keep writing.
Here are a few quotes I feel are particularly apposite for writers:
Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.
Nothing you write is ever as bad as you fear or as good as you think.
You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.
The worst enemy to creativity is self doubt. Sylvia Plath.
Miracles start to happen when you give as much energy to your dreams
as you do to your fears.
And, as someone who often lacks the discipline to have a set writing routine, I love this one:
Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow
until the faucet is turned on. Louis L’Amour
So go on. Why are you sitting reading this blog? Write!
Author of Treasure This