Receiving rejections is inevitable when you share your writing with publishers and agents. As my dad always likes to say, 10% of life is what happens to you. The other 90% is how you choose to respond to it. This little piece of wisdom is especially applicable when choosing how to respond to rejection.
I recently shared one of my picture book manuscripts with an agent. A couple of days later, he emailed me back with a rejection. While I appreciated him taking the time to email me, it was apparent from his suggestion that he did not bother to read the end of my story. If he HAD read it to the end, he would have realized that I had, in fact, already incorporated his suggestion into my story.
My first instinct was to email him back and say “try reading the end of my story!” But we all know that nothing productive would come from that. My second instinct was to give up, throw in the towel, and claim back all my unpaid free time. Ultimately, I decided to choose a more productive route. I channeled my annoyance and frustration into productivity. I spent hours researching independent publishers of picture books and ended up finding three (previously overlooked) publishers to send my manuscript to. Sometimes we need someone to light a fire under us in order to take the steps necessary to succeed. So, to that previously mentioned agent who rejected my manuscript without reading it, I say, “Thank you!”
Have you received a rejection lately? How did you respond to it?