So this week I got another big “R”. The bane of writers. Yep, a rejection. Ba da – da da. (That was supposed to be that ominous music.)

This particular manuscript has been bumping around for over 2 years. It has been written, rewritten and edited by several beta readers. It has been through several agents. One of them calling me on the phone to request the full manuscript. (That was an exciting day.) And it has been rejected by countless editors.


There was a time when rejections really bothered me. They caused a setback that could keep me from writing for days. But that’s not the case anymore. I’m sure it has more to do with the fact that I am published. I don’t feel that desperation I once felt to get my writing out there. It’s out there. I’m writing stories I know will find a home.

But this story? It’s a goooood story. It’s different from what I usually write. It’s not erotic romance. It’s a romantic suspense that includes a mysterious FBI agent and a stalker and a couple of murders and … really, I just love this story. I want it to find a good home with someone who will love it as much as I do.

But this rejection has made me sit back and re-evaluate the story. There’s something missing. Something that isn’t quite right about it. I’ve learned a lot about writing. More than I knew when I first sat down to pen this manuscript and even more since it had its first rewrite.

So I’m not bummed. (Okay, that’s a totally lie … I was completely disappointed when I got this rejection, but I’m over it.) I see this as a challenge to pull the manuscript apart. Look at it scene by scene and really see if my writing is up to snuff. After the rejection an editor/author offered to take a look at it and gave me some very valuable feedback about the beginning … too slow. Yeah, I was married to a prologue that needs to go.

Which then begs the question … what else needs to go? What else needs to be tightened? Wow, now instead of being bummed out that my baby was rejected I’m now being challenged. Challenged to mine the beauty of a diamond from the rough story sitting before me. Challenged to throw out the sagging scenes that slow the pace. Challenged to step up and make this story the best writing I’ve ever done.

Wow. That’s a totally different mind set than thinking I’m not good enough or that this story will never find a home. I’m finishing up another story and when that’s sent out I’m sitting down with this manuscript and tearing out all the dull scenes and rewriting until it shines.

Then it’s right back into the world with it. Because if I don’t keep sending it out, this book I love so much will never find its way to readers.  

So now, I’m curious … how do you handle rejections? Do they depress or motivate or perhaps a little of both?  

7 Responses to My Scarlet Letter

  • I don’t handle rejection very well.
    First I get very, very angry
    (throwing things around the room angry).
    Then I sulk and have a good cry.
    Finally about a day later,
    I buckle down and make the changes needed.

    Oh, and I also eat chocolate.

    Yep, extremely mature.

  • I haven’t had to handle rejection… yet. I’m sure I will have to learn how to yanno… put on my big girl panties and deal with it. Not something I’m looking forward to. Wait, that’s a lie, I am looking forward to it… does that make me morbid?

    I think the worse part will be the fact that I HATE doing edits… ’nuff said. LOL

    I’m sorry, hon. Lots of chocolate should help! 😀

  • Kimber – LOL!

    Kealie – Never rejected? That’s awesome. Hope you never have to experience it. But I don’t mind edits. I think we’re both touched.

  • All of us hate when we’re told our baby isn’t up to snuff. We LOVE our baby. Then some of us go through a stage where we HATE our baby. Put it in a drawer and deliberately forget about it. But finally, we’re ready to take a good look at it. It just might be that the baby isn’t ready for prime time. Or it might even be that it will NEVER be ready for prime time.

    I have one that I had to just let go. But there are many elements of that story that I can use in other stories. Sometimes that’s what we have to do. Just let it go.

    Best wishes with your story!

  • Anny – I hate to let this one go. It’s one of those where everyone says “it’s ugly” and I keep trying to give it a makeover. But you know. I may just have to pull it apart and use elements. I’ve tucked it away for a little bit.

  • Hi Nina, it depends on the situation, generally, how I handle rejection. The worst is when I think the story has a good chance. That’s crushing. If I’m just throwing it out there as an experiment, then if it gets the big R… well, I deal with that a lot easier.
    When a rejection hits me hard, I get really depressed, and yes, eat chocolate. I’ll attempt to use a combination of logic and intuition to decide what to do next, if there is no clear path. Or, just go onto some other project.


  • Savanna – Yeah, I guess sometimes it just depends on how committed we are to the project. Thanks for stopping by.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *