No matter what stage we're at on the writing journey, we face rejection of our work. Today, author Mary Alford shares what she's learned to help us through the experience. -- Sandy
Mary: We writers are an interesting breed. We see stories everywhere we look. We pour our blood, sweat, and tears into every story. For us, writing is very personal.
Today, I thought I’d share some of the things I’ve learned on my journey to becoming a published author and how I’ve learned to move beyond the dreaded rejection letter.
1: You Have To Finish The Book
After weeks and sometimes months, if not years of polishing and stressing over every single word, you finally limp towards the finish line. You type those fulfilling two words. The End. Now what?
2: It Takes Courage To Submit
So now that you’ve worked up the courage to submit for the first time, where do you go to look for the perfect fit for your manuscript?
Having a circle of published authors who were willing to share their experiences with me was an invaluable part in my learning process. And some great places to go for resources is Romance Writers Of America, and, if you write Christian Fiction, American Christian Fiction Writers.
3: It’s Okay To Cry
The day finally arrives. The one you’ve waited on for so long. Only the news is not what you expected. You’ve just received the worst thing any writer can get. The dreaded rejection letter.
Dear Ms. ________ Thank you for your submission. Unfortunately, it’s not what we’re looking for….
Those are the hardest words to hear. It’s almost like getting punched in the gut. It hurts. The manuscript you worked so lovingly on has been rejected.
Take it from me, someone who has received MANY rejections along the way, cut yourself some slack and realize is okay to cry, (remember when I said writing was personal?).
If you’re lucky, the editor will have taken the time to give you some advice on what worked and what didn’t in their opinion. Some rejections are simply form letters. Those are hard because you have no idea really what you did wrong.
4: Don’t Take It Personally
Easier said than done, I know. When you receive a rejection letter, the hardest thing to do is not take it personally because that’s exactly how it feels.
The reality is, the editor isn’t rejecting you as a writer, they are simply letting you know the story you submitted didn’t work for them at that time. Sometimes it a matter of having another story similar to yours already under contract.
I wish that I could tell you that I breezed right through every single one of my rejections and didn’t let them get to me, but that wouldn’t be the truth. There were several that made me cry. Some made me angry. All were learning tools.
5: Every Book Deserves A Second Chance
The real challenge for every writer, it to pick yourself up after you receive a rejection, and keep going. Don’t stop, because it isn’t personal…its writing.
All the best…
What gets you going again when those rejections get you down?
About Grace And The Rancher:
Grace Bradford is living a lie. To the world she has the perfect life: A promising country music career and a husband who adores her. But her husband isn't the man everyone believes him to be. When a car accident widows her and ends her career, Grace escapes to Delaney Mountain. But moving to the remote town doesn't wipe away the ugly secret of her marriage. Kyle Delaney never intended to return to Delaney Mountain, but he promises his dying father that he'll turn their land into a working cattle ranch. He uproots his life in Austin, sells his flourishing business as a music agent, and returns to the Colorado town of his childhood. Can a runaway singer and a makeshift rancher, thrust together by circumstance and held together by the common thread of loss and a love of music, find hope and a happily-ever-after under the stars of Delaney Mountain?
Mary Alford grew up in a small Texas town famous for, well not much of anything really. Being the baby of the family and quite a bit younger than her brothers and sister, Mary had plenty of time to entertain herself. Making up stories seem to come natural to her. As a pre-teen, Mary discovered Christian romance novels and knew instinctively that was what she wanted to do with her over-active imagination. She wrote her first novel as a teen, (it’s tucked away somewhere never to see the light of day), but never really pursued her writing career seriously until 2012 when she entered the Love Inspired Speed Dating contest and sold her first Love Inspired Suspense, Forgotten Past.