Monday, August 27, 2007

We’re All a Bunch of Rejects

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.


Tristi Pinkston said...

What a fun contest -- yes!! Get as many rejections as you can! The more rejections you get, the closer you are to the yes.

Anne Bradshaw said...

Glad I found this blog today. Enjoyed the read, and empathize re the writing rejections.

How about an invitation to visit my blog--this week if possible? My "Spotlight the Youth" writing contest ends Friday. Why not enter? Lots of votes are needed to make it work. So please spread the word.

Thanks so much.

Candace Salima (LDS Nora Roberts) said...


I had a writing instructor once (the one I've always had the most respect for) who said if you couldn't pepper your wall with rejection slips you weren't a real writer.

Her point being write, write, write, submit, submit, submit.

Heather please drop by my blogspot and find the LDS Blogs Webring. Click Join, we'd love to have you aboard. We're becoming a very fun community of safe blogs.

Candace Salima (LDS Nora Roberts) said...

Heather, if you are willing to post on a regular basis, hen I'd really love for you to join our LDS Blogs Webring. We're creating a community of safe, fund, informative blogs that people can cruise around on without running into the more nefarious parts of the blogging world. Please pop on over to my site, find the LDS Blogs Webring on the right hand side of my page and click on Join. Thanks.

Candace Salima (LDS Nora Roberts) said...

I'm back again with a really fun idea:

I'll admit it, I ripped this idea off the JustaBeachKat blog. But every woman blogger in my area of the country, within driving distance, let's get together for lunch? How fun would that be . . . it will be the first meeting of the Utah Chapter of BEAUTIFUL BABBLING BOISTEROUS BLOGGING BABES. Email me at and let's pick a day for our first meeting!

Candace Salima (LDS Nora Roberts) said...


Sorry to drop back by before you post again. But, I posted this on my blog today and wanted to share:

"Okay, I'll admit it. Anne Bradshaw over at Not Entirely British did a really good thing and I am shamelessly borrowing from her idea of spotlighting the most amazing youth in the world. I think it is incredible what she has done and the youth that are the finalists in her contest are truly amazing. If you haven't gone to her blog yet, read about them and vote, you're going to want to do that as soon as you're done reading mine, submitting a nomination and generally recognizing that I'm the greatest blogger to ever walk the earth . . . all right, all right, you don't have to do that last part. As long as it exists in my mind I'm okay with that.

Announcing the Best Husband in the World Contest -- please check out my blog today."

Imitation is the greatest form of flattery, right?

Heather Justesen said...

Thanks Tristi, Anne and Candace for your posts. I appreciate it, I'll get a hold of you Candace, lunch sounds fun! I'm really, really planning on posting more regularly.

Tristi Pinkston said...

Okay, young lady, this is the blog police! I've been here every day since August 27th and this post is still up at the top. Do you not know how bored I am and how badly I need blogs to read? Do it for me, if not for yourself!