Friday, July 23, 2010
What Form Rejection Means To Me
So why did I choose him as my first query target? Because he usually responds to queries within 24 hours. In my case, I think I got my form rejection in about 3 hours. And that's exactly what I was looking for. So, why was I so anxious to get my first form rejection?
Because form rejection means you've put yourself out there. It means you're playing the game. Writing can be lonely work, and getting back form rejections means that you've decided to get out of your own head and share the work with the publishing industry, to perhaps one day share it with an actual reading audience.
Mur Lafferty on her podcast once asked her listeners to participate in a year of rejection: to try to gather as many rejections as they could within a year. Because lots of rejections means you're submitting LOTS of short stories to LOTS of magazines. It means that you're doing your research about which markets are right for your work. It means you're building a thicker skin. It also means you've opened yourself to the possibility of success; how many people write and edit forever, scared to put it out there, scared to find out their work isn't perfect?
The lottery commission says you can't win if you don't play. In publishing the odds may also be bad... but you can control the quality of your entry. You can increase your odds of winning by sending out multiple entries, and with so many agents and magazines accepting email queries, it probably won't cost you a thing.
I needed to know that I was no longer working in a vacuum. I needed to get a response from the publishing world to prove to myself that I really had sent my writing out, that I was being heard even if the answer was NO.
So when Nathan rejected me, I didn't think That's so unfair! or Wow, he just made a big mistake...
I thought, Let the games begin!
I thought, BRING IT.