Small text iconNormal text iconLarge text icon

INTERACTION

 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MembersMembers   GroupsGroups   RegisterRegister 
 User Control PanelUser Control Panel      LoginLogin 


All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 10 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: The pain barrier
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2007 10:47 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2007 11:56 pm
Posts: 8
Hello all.

I've been writing for a scant three and a half years now, and I began submitting material about eighteen months ago.

Needless to say I've had my fair share of rejections (and a few successes!), and, at first, the rejections really upset me. Recently, however, something appears to have changed. Now I find myself almost shrugging and thinking "Oh well--onto the next submission!"

Is this a common thing? Is it symptomatic of some realisation that either a: It's gonna be okay--I'm writing good stuff these days and my time will come; or b: Well, what's the big deal? I was never gonna be successful anyway?

Any thoughts?

_________________
Check out the Valentine Chronicles
for FREE serialised space-opera and awesome illustrations!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2007 11:11 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2007 12:24 am
Posts: 33
Location: wales
It just means that your emotion-business pendulum has swung to the business side... That's a good thing. It happens to most writers eventually... You should encourage your business side if you want to be successful. You are becoming immune to rejection. Don't question it too much. Just accept it, be grateful and use it!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2007 7:51 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2007 11:56 pm
Posts: 8
Well, if that's the case, I'm a lot happier embracing this "business side". It's nowhere as painful! :)

_________________
Check out the Valentine Chronicles
for FREE serialised space-opera and awesome illustrations!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2007 9:28 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2007 9:16 pm
Posts: 179
Location: Velcro City
Congratulations - sounds like a good place to be for a writer. If you can offer someone right near the beginning of the curve (still writing stories that I have to force myself to finish because I've realised half-way through that they're utterly awful) some advice on how to get there from here, I'd be very grateful. How did you keep faith in your ability to improve?

_________________
"I have a fatal compulsion to find a kind of higher sense in things that make no sense at all."

Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

VelcroCityTouristBoard


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2007 12:31 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2007 1:43 pm
Posts: 115
Location: Bristol (ish)
Paul,

I found that the more I stories I send out, the less emotion I have in each individual submission. That doesn't mean sending a story to anyone, but I try to have the next market mentally lined up even as I send a story out.

Some people actually celebrate rejection anniversaries (I've just passed 200 -- Ray Bradbury apparently reached 500).

But some still hurt, the ones I think are the best thing I've ever written. And I still haven't cracked IZ. Yet.

Colin

_________________
http://www.colin-harvey.com

Novels:
Winter Song -- US launch May 2010
Damage Time -- UK launch May 2010
-- US launch June 2010


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2007 1:33 pm 
I've been writing now for 21 years, and so have my fair share of rejections. In fact, I've kept every single one in a big folder. (It's not unusual for authors to do this, btw. My problem these days is that rejections tend to come by email, and I really can't be bothered to print them off.)

In my early days I got very down after a rejection. (I never went into short stories, but launched straight into novels.) There was one rejection in particular that was so cutting and insightful that it forced me to re-evaluate what I was doing. It was embarrassing, painful, but it was one of those rite-of-passage experiences that authors have to go through if they are to get anywhere.

Many years passed. After 8 years of trying to get my sf novels published, I had a letter from Orbit Books. This led on, over the course of the next 2 years, to me getting my debut published, and the sequel Glass.

Another hard lesson to learn is that, even if you're published by the big boys, you don't have a meal ticket. I had an offer from Orbit on my third novel Flowercrash, but I rejected it; both me and my editor thought we would go with the next one, Muezzinland. Unfortunately SF was heading for the doldrums and my editor said no to Muezzinland. That was one of the biggest shocks of my writing career.

But I'm back now with a new novel out from PS Publishing come the end of the year; my seventh. My advice is:

Never Give Up - Ever, Ever.
Perseverance.
Patience.
And an extra dose of perseverance.


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2007 3:39 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2007 1:37 pm
Posts: 174
Location: Brighton, UK
I've never gotten particularly discouraged after a rejection. Most have been fairly business-like or entirely fair in their dismissal, and some have been very encouraging and/or insightful. This does leave out the "giving the story/author a damn good kicking" category of rejection, which might upset me a bit. Of course you're unlikely to receive unfair and cruel rejections from most half-decent editors.

IMO, anyway. Gordon van Gelder could have once stabbed a rejected writer with a broken bottle for all I know.

_________________
Shaun C. Green

Nostalgia For Infinity
Literature, gaming, punk rock... and all that.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: The pain barrier
PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2007 5:57 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 5:24 pm
Posts: 60
Location: Waterloo, Iowa, USA
Rejections happen. Nothing to worry about. Sometimes they happen because (if one is honest with oneself), the story stinks. That's certainly been true with me more than once. Other times, there's nothing particularly wrong with a story, but nothing to set it apart, either. Even with great pieces, there are editorial considerations--did that magazine just publish a similar story? That could lead to a rejection.

Or ... maybe the magazine had just been inundated with a lot of great stories, and could only choose so many.

There's also the human factor. I once sent a literary story about the loss of a spouse to an editor who had (unknown to me) just divorced her husband. She told me so in her rejection note--she liked the story very much, but it just happened to hit her desk on the wrong day. (So I waited a month, sent it back to her, and she bought it!)

Finally, there's simply the matter of taste. I have published in F&SF, but never since Gordon Van Gelder's been the editor there. He's rejected every story I've ever sent him, yet I've sold every one of those stories elsewhere, including a couple to IZ. What he likes to read and what I like to write just don't seem to mesh. I should probably quit wasting my time and his, but as most editors will tell you, let them (the editors) decide about a story. Give them the chance to accept or reject it; don't make the decision for them. They can't buy what they don't see. (Besides, Van Gelder is inhumanly fast in his response, and he's always given me a little personal feedback. If he's going to say no, at least he does so quickly, which means I can send the story out to someone who's a little more favorably disposed to the kind of thing I like to write.)

The important thing to remember, in almost all rejections, there's nothing personal in it. If an editor says no to your work, it doesn't mean s/he thinks you're a bad person, or even, necessarily, a bad writer. It just means that that particular story, for whatever reason, didn't work for him/her. All that's left is to pack it up and send it out to the next place.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2007 8:13 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 8:50 pm
Posts: 30
Location: Somerville, Massachusetts
Rejections don't bother me overmuch. I got around 40 before my first sale.
Most have usually been form letters or sometimes a few, positive comments. I never got a "please, for the love of god, please stop sending us stories" rejection (but I hope to one day, if just to round out my collection).

I actually find the waiting after a story is submitted much more stressful than the actual response. I get increasingly stressed the more stories I send out and start watching the calendar like a fiend.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2007 10:46 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2007 12:24 am
Posts: 33
Location: wales
Don't keep your rejections. Don't count 'em! That's still having an emotional attachment to them -- in a bad way, believe me!

You need to get into a situation where a rejection is a minor annoyance rather than a betrayal! Keep going and this will happen naturally.

It's a bit like being dumped by girlfriends. The first time was the worst, wasn't it? Because not only did it hurt, it was suprising! After a while, it stops being surprising, then it stops even being the end of the world!


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 10 posts ] 

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group