It may sound like an oxymoron to use rejection and self-confidence together but, trust me, they go hand in hand. That’s because you need to believe in yourself regardless of whether you get rejection after rejection slip from agents or publishers. And that only happens if you have the self-confidence to believe that your work has merit. You learn to believe that there is the right agent out there just waiting for you to make contact.
How do you know if your work is good enough to be published? One terrific way is to take a creative writing class and get the input from other participants as well as the instructor. They bring fresh eyes to your work. Sometimes, as writers, we have looked at our work so much that we just don’t notice what is glaring omissions to others.
How do you learn to accept rejection? It’s tough, but what I do is try to figure out why a particular query was rejected. Sometimes, the wording of the rejection holds clues. If the rejection letter states that the query just doesn’t fit with their needs at this time but encourages you to query them about another project – that, to me, is a definite plus, not a downright rejection at all. As far as I’m concerned, that means they like my work and my writing but perhaps they just don’t need that specific type or genre of novel at that time. They definitely go into my pile of literary agents to be queried again with another project.
And that leads me to my final point about rejection and self-confidence. If you have spent all your time writing only one novel or several versions of the same novel, you are making a huge mistake. Diversify so that if your current project does not make the grade with all the literary agents you have sent it to, you have something else on the go … and something else … and something else. You never know which one will make contact with the right agent or publisher.
Do you think rejection and self-confidence go hand in hand?
2016 Creative Writing Classes at Beyond-The-Lamppost
Tues. afternoons January 12 – March 29 in Oakville “Shaping Your Story”
Wed. afternoons January 13 – March 30 in Oakville “Get Your Story Finished”
Thurs. afternoons January 14 – March 3 in Oakville “Almost there: Revising & Rewriting Your Manuscript”