ON WRITING

“It’s very easy to quit during the first ten years of writing. Nobody cares whether you write or not, and it’s very hard to write when nobody cares one way or the other. You can’t get fired if you don’t write, and most of the time you don’t get rewarded if you do. But don’t quit.” Andre Dubus

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Monday, 15 July 2013

How do you cope with Rejection? Here's a happy ending for you! Plus a writing challenge and blogfest.

You open your email, and there it is...the Subject Line that you've been checking feverishly for months, weeks, days...but do you like what you see?

When you receive a rejection letter or email, what do you do after you finally open it?

a) Yell, scream, sob, and vow never to put yourself through that pain again.
b) Keep on reading, hoping there is some gem you can take away from the experience and use in the future.
c) Decide that you don't care...that agent/editor just didn't get it! They're so dumb.
d) Look skywards and thank that agent/editor because you know you can make your ms even better...and send to someone else.
e) All of the above...(sometimes we go through stages)


Whatever you answered from the above multiple choice, I'm guessing most of us (if we've been brave enough to submit our work) have received heart-wrenching letters ourselves. But there is an upside -- don't get down in the dumps -- give that ms the workout of its life. You never know, it might end up bright and shiny and published. My guest today, Sandra Harris, has just such a story to share...

 
Over to Sandra...

Rejection – It Can Be Your Lucky Break


Several years ago I attended my first Romance Writers of Australia conference. I’d girded my loins and applied to pitch to an editor and an agent. I can still recall how hard my heart pounded as I waited to go in to my first pitch. Fortunately for me, the husband of one of the girls in my writing group was volunteering to help organize us terrified pitchers. Seeing a friendly face certainly helped calm my nerves, but I’m sure my pulse was at least 170bpm when I went into that pitch room.



Long story short, I was asked for a full of the ‘Alien, Mine’ manuscript by the editor. Man, I thought I was in. After conference, I took four weeks to polish the ms then sent it off.


I held my breath and waited.


And waited.


After eight weeks, and having turned a rather unattractive shade of blue, I sent the editor an email, asking in the most polite and respectful way if she’d had a chance to read my submission, and if so what were her thoughts. A lovely email came back, apologizing for the length of time she’d taken to reply and saying that she liked my voice, thought I wrote very well, but wasn’t sure if the story was right for their line and that she’d asked another editor to look at it. But no, sorry, it wasn’t a story they could accept.


I gave up writing for fully, oh…5 minutes.


I put ‘Alien, Mine’ aside and began my next ms. Then, my lucky writing angel smiled on me and I connected with my Critique Partner, the fabulous C.T. Green. Working with C.T. brought my writing to a whole new level. I went back to ‘Alien, Mine, tore it apart and rebuilt it.


That rejection gave me the opportunity to improve my story, to have it published at a standard that I will always be proud of.
Sandra's Alien, Mine was released by Soulmate Publishing in June 2013.

Alien, Mine



Back Blurb


THE BLUTHEN HAVE ONE CONSUMING PASSION: THEMSELVES.


IN THEIR EXPANSION ACROSS THE GALAXY, THEY WILL GO TO ANY LENGTHS TO DOMINATE SPECIES THEY ENCOUNTER.


Torn from modern day Earth and stranded on the far side of the Galaxy, Sandrea Fairbairn must use every particle of courage she possesses to adjust to her new life and live for tomorrow/a new day.
Eugen Mhartak, a general in the Tri-Race Alliance Army, refuses to bow to the merciless Bluthen. Haunted by the loss of far too many innocent lives he has vowed to drive the ruthless invaders from Alliance space.
The strength and valour of Eugen Mhartak attracts Sandrea as no man ever has, but she struggles to read the enigmatic general’s heart. Determined to help him triumph over the Bluthen she uncovers a diabolical plot against the Alliance.
Drawn by the courage and exotic beauty of Sandrea, Mhartak battles to overcome the barriers of cross-cultural differences that separate them and claim her ardent interest. He must conquer his deepest fears to be the man she needs. When his principles are betrayed by his own government and he is faced with the impossible prospect of taking Sandrea’s life in order to save his home planet, Mhartak desperately searches for a way to keep safe both his world and the magnificent woman who has stolen his heart.

Sandra has a giveaway of her Alien, Mine for one lucky commenter! It is a great novel -- it starts with a bang, has wonderful world building and completely grabs you throughout. If you don't win, I highly recommend it to you.

Sandra Harris on the web:
     Facebook     Twitter      Author Page
Buy Links

SoulMate Publishing        Amazon      Amazon UK


  • How do handle rejections? Have you a story to share with us?


If you'd like to read about some of my travels, with photographs, go here to RomanticFridayWriters where it's all about honeymoon this month. You can write a story/poem with 'honeymoon' as the theme. Linky goes up on July 19th, for 3 days. Join us! 

And I've joined Charmaine Clancy's Imagination Sparks blogfest, where we share what gets our writing juices sparking and find new ideas to help our creativity. Why not join up too?





58 comments:

  1. This book sounds amazing! I will definitely read it whether I win a copy or not :D

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    1. Hi, Trisha, thank you! I hope you enjoy it. :) I have to admit, I sweated over that blurb.

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    2. As I said, Trish, I'ts a great book!

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  2. Rejection has always spurred me to work even harder, being told I can't, only makes me want to - all the more!

    Congratulations Sandra, and good luck with Alien, Mine!

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    1. Great attitude, Yolanda :) and thank you.

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  3. Sandra, thanks for helping authors cope with rejection.
    Hope your book sells millions.

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  4. Hey, Suzi! Rejection can be tough and turning it to one's favour isn't always easy, but sometimes there is a silver lining. And thank you for the good sales wishes! :D

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  5. Rejection is tough. I've queried a couple of different projects, and you always get your hopes up so much, especially when you feel like you connected with someone at a conference who asked to see the full. Glad you were able to take your rejection and work even harder so you could get your ms published. Well done.

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    1. Hi, L.G. Yes, rejection can be the dark side to our craft. Good luck with your projects and thank you. :)

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  6. Great story about not giving up and learning from every step along the way. Thanks for sharing, Sandra and Denise!

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    1. Thanks, Karen. :) Yes the learning curve might not always be vertical, bit it is always there.

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  7. We can learn something from rejection if we just look.

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    1. That's what I eventually took from it, Alex. Thanks for dropping by. :)

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  8. Could answer yes to all the rejection questions! But I always try and look on the bright side and move on to the next. Congrats on the book, Sandra.

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    1. Thank you, Suzanne. :) Great viewpoint.

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  9. Rejection has been one of my best teachers over the years. My only regret is that i didn't save all those letters... They would have made nice wallpaper for a small room...

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    1. LOL, with the wallpaper, Tracy. They're your badges of service.

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  10. Thanks Sandra.for the inspiring post! I have wall papered my living room with rejection letters. But I will again look for a publisher and agent next year for a stand alone book I have outlined and will finish by year end.

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    1. Go, Stephen! That determination will see you over the finish line. Best of luck. :)

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  11. Hello Denise,

    Maybe I'm just lucky, or maybe I not really that bothered. I haven't ever got rejection in regards to my writing. If I did have a rejection, I would also take in stride and learn from the experience. I do know that we are not defined by our mistakes. What we learn from our mistakes, defines us.

    You writers, no that your passion for the written word will never let a rejection be a barrier in your determination. Thus, Sandra and articulately stated so.

    All the best to Sandra and her book. And wishing you much fulfilment in your writing, Denise.

    Oh, before I go, blogfests, blog hops, blog parties, alphabet challenges! Arggghhhh!!!

    Gary :)

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  12. Thanks, Gary, a positive mental attitude toward rejection certainly helps us through it.

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  13. All of the above :). Just because it bums me out doesn't mean I give up.

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    1. Never give up, never surrender, J. E. :) Keep the faith!

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  14. The only rejection that can hurt us is the one that makes us stop writing altogether... and it's not rejection that makes us stop, but ourselves. I love your take on it.

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    1. Yep, we have to grow a particularly tough skin, lol! Or be thankful for the free wallpaper!

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    2. Thank you, Lynda and yes, belief in oneself, even when battered and covered in wallpaper is a must.

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  15. what about buying stock in ice cream??

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    1. How could I forget that one, Tammy?

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    2. Ah yes, ice cream, a well proven antidote for rejection! Good call, Tammy.

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  16. I did all those things when I started out; now I just read it, add it to my rejection list, and move on.

    Yes, ice cream does help the supposedly non-existent hurt.

    ........dhole

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    1. That's the trick, isn't it, Donna? Learning how to deal with it and move on.

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  17. What a positive post. The message: Never Give Up Never surrender! Congrats Sandra
    The blog fest looks fun too.I may even join in :O)

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  18. Hi, Denise, Hi, Sandy,

    WOW... Congrats to you Sandy... What a wonderful end. I admire your determination and strength.

    And, Denise, ... well you know I ALWAYS have a rejection story. Just received another one a few days ago... Such fun. I just wish for ONCE an agent would at least send me a personal letter instead of the DAMN form letter rejections. But on the plus side, at least his assistant wrote "Dear Michael"... So I guess that's an improvement. WHOOPEE!

    ALL THE BEST with your new book, Sandy!

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    1. Thanks, Michael. :) At least you're in there batting, good luck with future endeavours.

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    2. Oh Michael...so sorry. But you will have a win soon! How you will appreciate it as it's been hard won!

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  19. An inspiring post! Never give up writing--that's a good lesson to keep.
    Nutschell
    www.thewritingnut.com

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    1. Thanks, Nutschell, and we keep learning all the time.

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  20. Sandra's story tells me that we need to believe in our work to the extent where we continue working at it until we get that yes. I hope the book does well.

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    1. Thank you, J.L. Yes, believing in our craft isn't always easy, but perseverance can pay off. One thing is for sure, if you don't keep trying you definitely won't make it.

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  21. I've gone through all of those feelings too. Good to know hard work can pay off. Good luck with Alien, Mine.

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  23. Thanks for sharing such an inspiring and uplifting post with good outcome at the end. Loved reading this.

    Thanks Sandra and Denise!

    Nas

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    1. Thanks, Nas and thank you Denise for hosting me. :)

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    2. It was a very encouraging post Sandra. Thanks Nas for visiting :)

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  24. Rejection, sadly, is an inherent part of the creative process. Thank goodness for those who keep trying.

    Denise, I hope you'll consider joining my bloggers' book club. Here are the details: http://armchairsquid.blogspot.com/2013/06/the-cephalopod-coffeehouse-july-blog.html

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    1. Yes it can be crushing, Squid, the trick is to bounce back.

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  25. Yes, I thought I wrote good until I got a few strong remarks about my work. I felt I should quit too...for about 5 minutes and then started writing again. Now I am a better writer. Great post. Hope you do well with your book.

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  26. Definitely "all of the above" - and in that order!
    Congratulations, Sandra!

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  27. I'm always a little too optimistic about rejection, I just silently add the words 'yet' to the end. Sorry, we don't want your story (yet). We will not, under any circumstances, publish this rubbish (yet). You can not write (yet).

    And thanks for mentioning the blogfest - I'm looking forward to trying out lots of different writing activities - we might even use a few in the writers group!

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    1. What a great way to tackle the knocks, Charmaine! Well done. :)

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  28. love this rejection journey!
    and so glad it had a happy ending, which everyone can achieve. the only way to fail is to stop trying!

    and thanks for the limk to the fest!

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    1. Lovely to see you Tara. I always love a happy ending too!

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    2. Thanks, Tara, :) and you're quite right, the surest way to fail is to stop trying.

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Please take the time to share! I love hearing from you! Hit me with your wisdom!