The R-word just won’t go away. I’m talking about rejection. Writers know it well.
As an independent author, rejection is just a painful part of the game. I didn’t mail my manuscript to a hundreds of publishers like other authors, but I did mail it to several over the years. And, well, you know the rest.
However, my story is a little different because I finally got a “nice” rejection from a major publisher. And when I say nice I just mean the editor liked my book, but those with the decision-making power did not. The one who liked my book encouraged me to keep writing. So that’s what I did. I took my bruised ego and hurt feelings and decided that I had enough encouragement to find another way to get published.
I surmise many of us who opt for partner-publishing or self-publishing decide the same thing. We just don’t have the patience, interest or heart to sit around and wait to be discovered. But somehow we find the money, time and determination to get it done.
Now that my novel, “The Second First Lady,” is out, the R-word is still an issue. I made a call recently and it wasn’t exactly a rejection, but it was an honest “call us back in a few months.” Yet it felt like the R-word at work.
Just because you finally have your book in hand doesn’t mean rejection will leave you alone. It’s challenging to get press coverage. It’s tough to get people to buy your book. And if you’ve ever sat at one of those vendor tables as people walk by, you know what I’m talking about.
Sometimes it’s tough to be taken seriously.
But I’ve decided to face the R-word head-on, not run from it. I tell my kids that life isn’t fair and rejection happens. I tell them they have to tough it out sometimes and do whatever it takes to get what they want. So I’m taking my own advice and putting on my game face, doing what I have to do to get what I really want.
My stories – and your stories – are just as amazing and engaging as those who have the big publishers behind them. The world just doesn’t know it yet.
So, c’mon Mr. R. Give me what you got. I’m ready.
Vanessa W. Snyder is a writer, National Board-certified teacher and mother of two daughters in Washington, D.C. The author of a new novel, “The Second First Lady,” and co-author of titles in the “50 Ways to Christ” series, she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.