First, Probably Not The Last

I got my first form rejection today. Last autumn I submitted my book to Harper Voyager’s open call for unpublished works, a month after I’d finished the first draft.

I was surprised at how not-upset I was. I’m notoriously thin-skinned, after all. I take very nearly everything personally.

I fully expected rejection. Thousands upon thousands of people were submitting, and I rushed through editing my first draft in order to get it in on time. I also wrote my first query letter with absolutely no research beforehand. “Still,” I thought, “I’ll be sad when that rejection comes.”

I totally wasn’t. It was a very nice form rejection, actually. It didn’t say my book sucks. It didn’t say I’m a terrible writer. It didn’t suggest a career change. And so I feel emboldened, ready to try again somewhere else, with something that’s changed so much from what I enclosed in October.

I may be singing a different tune when I have a hundred form rejections under my belt (although let’s be optimistic and assume I’ll never amass that many), but for now, I’m actually weirdly proud of that rejection letter. It means I submitted my book in the first place. That’s kind of a really big deal for me.

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5 Comments

  1. Well done for submitting and remember, rejection happens to every writer (even J.K Rowling) πŸ˜‰

  2. Lolly DJ

    Your realization of how not-upset you are is great. Some people don’t follow their dreams for fear of rejection, disapproval, etc. Your ability to take it in stride means that you’re confident enough in Who You Are and your work. It emboldens you.

  3. Totally agree with the first two comments. Rejections are to be expected, not because you’re bad,but because the recipients are swamped. Good for you for keeping your head up and moving forward!

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