Rejections are always hard. Be it a rejection from a boy/girl, from the bank that won't accept our mortgage application, from IBM who simply fails to see what an asset we are when we apply for that job there, heck even from that apartment manager in that building we always dreamed of and that finally has a vacancy.
Let's go back to that job we never got for a moment.
Having your manuscript/query rejected is similar to that. After all, this our job. And if someone doesn't want to publish our stuff, that means we didn't get the job.
There can be many variables that affect your rejection from an editor: wrong market, not following guidelines, acting in a manner not befitting a professional, not to mention personal taste.
You must make sure you control what you can. All of the above to varying degrees can be controlled by you, the writer. It is the writer's job, your job, to make sure you send your manuscript to the right market, after all, you won't send a resume to a job posting for a financial adviser if you are a programmer. You must make sure you address the right person, just like when you send a resume, you should always follow the guidelines. I mean, you won't email a resume if the posting requests the resume to be faxed, and so on.
But if you did send your manuscript to the perfect market, and followed the guidelines, and acted professionally, and you're pretty sure the editor accepted similar stuff before, don't forget that you are still competing against many other writers.
And there is also the possibility, remote as it can be, that you're not good enough. Not yet that is.
What to do?
I'll tell you what not to do first. Don't sulk. It hurts, I know, I have the letters to prove it, but you must keep going. Plowing away.
So what to do?
Go over the manuscript, make it better, and send it to someone else. And above all - keep writing!
Categories: writing, publishing