Today, just now, in fact, I received my first rejection notice via e-mail. I sent the query to this particular place only yesterday, so I obviously wasn’t a good fit for them.
I’m not going to cry about it, and although I’ve prepped myself for months in anticipation of rejection letters, this first one stings a bit. The notice was quite cordial, so I can’t even be mad at the agency (which shall remain nameless).
They said: “Thank you for your query. Unfortunately, your manuscript doesn’t sound like something that’s right for us. We wish you the best of success in placing your work elsewhere.”
See? How can I be mad about that? Hmm???
One thing I take heart in is that so many of the greatest authors (and I do not consider myself one of them) were rejected multiple times before they found representation.
Let’s look at the statistics, shall we?
Louis L’Amour: 200 rejections. (Yikes! I hope I have the stamina and wherewithal if my numbers reach that high).
Jack Canfield & Mark Victor Hansen (editors of the Chicken Soup for the Soul): 140 rejections.
Margaret Mitchell (Gone With the Wind): 38 rejections (I think I could live with that).
Stephenie Meyer (shudder): 14 rejections
Madeleine L’Engle (A Wrinkle in Time): 26 publisher rejections
Audrey Niffenegger (The Time Traveler’s Wife): 25 rejections
Kathryn Stockett (The Help): 60 rejections
Frank Herbert (Dune): 23 rejections
Nicholas Sparks (The Notebook): 24 rejections
John Grisham (A Time to Kill): 16 agencies and 12 publishing rejections
Jack London: 600 rejections!!! YEESH!! Poor guy!
And…. J.K. Rowling: 12 rejections. (By publishers, that is. I can’t find the stats for agencies).
Well… that’s quite a range of numbers up there. I’m just going to go ahead and dismiss the outliers. There’s my high school geometry coming back to haunt me. So, if I take the median(ish) number, I can expect around 20-30 rejections. Which means I haven’t even scratched the surface of how many rejections I’m going to get.
I’m taking this as the ultimate challenge. I will NOT give up. I will keep working and writing and editing and revising and CREATING, because that’s what I’ve been called to do.
Bring on the rejection letters, people! I’m ready to fight!!!
They haven’t heard the last from me!!! Mwahahahaha!!!!! *wringing hands evilly*
Happy writing, everyone!
“This manuscript of yours that has just come back from another editor is a precious package. Don’t consider it rejected. Consider that you’ve addressed it ‘to the editor who can appreciate my work’ and it has simply come back stamped ‘Not at this address’. Just keep looking for the right address.” – Barbara Kingsolver
“I love my rejection slips. They show me I try.” – Sylvia Plath
“As a writer, the worst thing you can do is work in an environment of fear of rejection.”