Writers are a strange breed—seriously, what other group of people do you know out there who celebrate rejection like we do? My online writer's group has a rejection contest running right now, in fact. I can't remember who started it, but whomever gets the most rejections before the end of the year gets free ice cream, and the rest of us are invited to go along with them.
Now, this may just have been an excuse to get everyone possible together, we love sitting around talking about, well, whatever, but of course, our writing experience often takes a front seat in the conversation. Writing is, by nature, a very solitary pursuit, but it's hard to learn in a vacuum, and we all need support from time to time. Of course, we don't only share our rejections, but all of our successes as well. In a world where the average writer collects more than 100 rejections (one woman in my group is well past that now—but then, she's sold a large number of articles and short stories as well) it's important to remember that others who are striving for the same thing we are also get rejected. But sometimes a publisher loves what we wrote—it’s all about persistence.
Just because eight publishers/agents didn't think the story or article fit what they were looking for doesn't mean the next one won’t think it's perfect for his or her needs. Most all of us has received a personalized rejection at some time or other—a very rare thing in this industry. Comments range along the line of 'I liked dialogue but you need to work on exposition' to 'It's not what I'm looking for right now, but another agent will snap it up.'
Personally, I'm hoping to find someone to snap up my book, rather than pass it on. But as even my amazing paid editor—who is also a published writer—told me how amazing it was that I got a personal note back from a publisher, I'm hoping it will be sometime before the year 2020. Or better yet, early next year.
I'm afraid I'm not even in the running for the contest, but I'm going to try and join them all for ice cream anyway, even if it is the dead of winter. If nothing else, it might motivate me to keep sending those manuscripts in—after all, one of them has to hit eventually.