Monday, February 25, 2013

Giraffe Stuck in the Drawer

Editorial rejection has infected me like a demotivating virus.   I have let it drive me from my office, until I rummaged in cupboards for Tylenol, tea bags and re-organization projects.

My ‘giraffe’ manuscript has languished for a few months.  I know I should send out the manuscript to several new and different editors. Yet, I have had trouble pulling it out of the file drawer.  It’s like my giraffe has entwined itself among the hanging files and is holding the drawer shut.  I know if I coax him out, we may be able to find him a home.  If he stays in the drawer, well...
that’s a sad way for a giraffe to go.

Optimism Search and Recovery??
(Photo by EPO: Wikimedia)
This is a notoriously subjective business.  I have not tried hard enough and I will keep at it.  Options include:  smaller, independent publishers, agents, conference opportunities.    I'm simply looking for ways to recover my optimism.   I take heart in the success of other writers, especially my fellow Paper Waiters -- well done Robin and Brianna!  

Anybody have ‘resurrection after rejection’ stories they want to share?  How do you manage rejection?  How quickly do you come back at it?


  1. How soon do I come back from rejection? It depends. I think there are three sorts of rejections - given here in descending order:
    1. A "good" rejection - when the editor gives you suggestions, but she doesn't want to see it again. (Ouch, but at least you got someone's eye and you have something to think about.)
    2. A bad rejection - when you either hear nada or get a form letter. (Double ouch, but very common these days and you have to remember your chances in this market are one in a million. Bitch for a few days, then start something new.)
    3. The worst possible rejection - when an editor asks you to revise and you do, only to be rejected. (To me this is the most painful rejection and I dwell on it the longest.)

  2. I received the bulk of my rejections on Fridays. And even one big fat one (actually several all rolled into one fat one) on my BIRTHDAY! (yes, really) I would feel the sting...then have a drink (or two), laugh with my family/friends, try my hardest to forget about it, maybe have some chocolate, or do something non-food airy fairy as it sounds - you have to let yourself feel it, then just move on. Work on something new. Go to a movie. Do something entirely different for awhile. Garden. When you get rejected you have more in common with every single writer that has roamed the planet. It's part of it and while it's hard NOT to take it can't. Perseverance is the number one skill to have in this business. (patience is pretty darn important too!) Get your giraffe back out there, he can't find a home, as you said, in the drawer. And get to work on something new!!

  3. Ideally I would get a manuscript right back out there after a rejection. But rejections tend to eat away at my enthusiasm for a manuscript. So the ideal didn't always happen. Sometimes I just needed to work on something else for a while till I could see the rejected manuscript clearly again. After all, a rejection is just one person's opinion! I agree with Robin. Get your giraffe back out there! :o)

  4. P.S. Forgot to add something to my "bad rejection" paragraph: after you're done bitching and working on something else, go back to the rejected manuscript and figure out where to send it next.

  5. I loved the search and rescue photo. Your humor is working for you. That's great! Now, the giraffee does need to be let out of the drawer. He must have an aching neck and twisted legs. I'm surprised he hasn't devoured all your tylenol. Maybe this can be the story you write while you gather your wits about you. Write the giraffe a sympathy letter and include a get out of the drawer free card or something silly. Who knows, this may be the one that brings in the big contract. There's that optimism again! Hang in there.

  6. You can view the idea of a rejection as this- "If it doesn't kill you, it makes you stronger." Keep in mind that it takes a brave soul to even submit your work- to send your babies out into the world. You have already taken that huge first step. Some of us are still working on that one...