I received an email from The Southeast Review announcing that the winners had been chosen for the 2009 poetry contest.  I scrolled through the names and noticed mine was not there.  Rejection.  I had been so happy with my entries and really thought they had a chance.  No such luck.

Rejection is the hardest part about being a writer.  After I finished my first novel I got so excited and sent it out to nearly 50 literary agents.  I managed to score one partial request (an agent asked to read 5 chapters) which resulted quickly in a rejection, but that was it.  I spent months sending out letters and waiting for responses, only to end up back at the drawing board, writing a new novel, hoping for another chance.

Now I’m at that stage again.  So far, I’ve sent 10 query letters out for “The Circle Home” and all have resulted in rejections.  And I am officially terrified.  This book is very close to my heart.  In so many ways, the main character, Emily, is me and I really want to see her in print.  Other writers keep reminding me about how many rejections Stephen King, John Grisham, and Robert Olen Butler received before they were published, but that doesn’t seem to help.  I just think of Stephenie Meyer and Nicholas Sparks and how they got their agents within two days of querying (or something absurd like that).  The life and future of this novel all come down to a three paragraph letter.  If I can’t summarize 60,000 words in 150 words or less than forget about it.

So with the receipt of this latest rejection, I am trying to figure out just how to perservere.  Writing has always been one of my passions.  I stopped writing for over ten years, but somehow found my way back to it.  I like to think there was a reason for that, that perhaps I found my way back to the path I was meant to travel.


5 thoughts on “Rejection

  1. Tara May 28, 2009 / 10:29 am

    I hear you. I hate the rejection, too. My DH keeps nagging me to write a book, but I just fear the rejection way too much to put that kind of effort into something like that. That and I’m lazy.

    • lesleehorner May 28, 2009 / 11:08 am

      I had a local author read and edit my book and I really need to do another round of edits on it. But I swear I’m like a deer in headlights. I can’t even open the box and get started on the edits b/c I’m so afraid to move forward with it….

  2. Carlene May 28, 2009 / 11:12 am

    Listen to your small voice! I love that we both have written how our inspiration comes back to us even when we let it go – it’s that expression “If you love something let it go; if it comes back to you, it’s yours. If it doesn’t, it never was.”

    This is your “thing.” Build up your fan club, both inside and outside, and once you start believing in yourself as much as your biggest fans do, everything will fall into place. It sounds a little trite, however I’ve discovered that I didn’t truly believe in myself until just recently, and the secret doubt I carried kept me down.

    Also, for what it’s worth, I’ve found that leaving the house and actually showing up places does wonders for what I’m working toward. Ever try visiting BNI groups and asking for help finding an agent?, they’re very helpful! You never know who has a brother or sister or friend in the business, and if you go out telling everyone you see about it, someone’s going to hear you at the right time!

    Put the fear aside, this is all working out exactly how it should. Believe that, and you’ll get your Nicholas Sparks experience.

    • lesleehorner May 28, 2009 / 12:34 pm

      Thank you so much for the encouragement! Glad you stopped in to read!

  3. Renee June 12, 2009 / 7:51 am

    If it makes you feel better, I think Grisham and King are far superior writers to Nicholas Sparks. I never read Stephanie Meyer.

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