Learning to Deal with Rejection

banksy, follow your dreams cancelled, tag, graffiti, writing, rejection, So most of you know already that I’m trying to get book published.  The other day I got another rejection from yet another agency.  The crazy thing is, I’m totally aware of the process and have embraced it.  My wife on the other hand said, “why do you pick these types of careers to follow?”  When you are a creative-type like I am, this is part of it.  Before writing, I was a photographer––currently I own a photography gallery.  I dealt with rejections as an artist and have watched artists that I represent go through it as well.  I’m usually the one on the other side of the table commenting on artists portfolios.  Now the tables are turned.

So receiving rejections from these literary agencies is totally understandable. Without naming names, I am going to show you some of the responses that I’ve received over the past few months.  Writers who are trying to get published: get used to this.  You’ll get a lot of these.  Embrace it and move on.  This is the only way you’ll stay sane.  I took this photograph a while back of Banksy’s ‘Follow Your Dreams-Cancelled‘. Don’t listen to him.  Follow your dreams to the end.

Food for thought:  J.K. Rowling was rejected 12 times before finding a publisher for Harry Potter and Stephen King received 30 rejection letters for his book Carrie.  One day someone will come along that will want to work with you and then you’ll freak the fuck out!

enjoy!

Dear Jason,
It’s my belief that an agent needs to make a strong emotional connection to any memoir she takes on in case the submission process turns out to be long and difficult, and she has to hang in there with it. Unfortunately, I didn’t make that connection here, and so, have decided to pass. I’m sorry not to be writing with better news and wish you the best of luck elsewhere.

Dear Author,
Thank you very much for giving us a chance to consider your work. Unfortunately, your project is not right for us at this time. Publishing is a matter of taste, however, and another agent may feel differently—we encourage you to keep looking for an enthusiastic editor or agent. We wish you the very best of luck with your work.

Dear Jason,
Thank you very much for your query. I’m afraid I’m not going to be the ideal agent for this and I’m going to pass. Good luck.

Dear Mr. Landry,
Thank you for your query. After consideration we have decided not to pursue this project, as it doesn’t seem quite right for us. As you know, this is a highly subjective business, and other agents are sure to feel differently. We wish you all the best in your search and hope your book finds a good home soon.

Dear Jason,
Thank you for thinking of me for your book project.  Unfortunately, I don’t feel this project is quite right for me and have decided not to pursue.  Please know that this business is highly subjective, and that what doesn’t work for one agent may work perfectly for another. I hope you will continue to search for a home for your manuscript. I wish you the best of luck as you move forward with your writing career.

Dear Author,
I regret that I am unable to answer your query with a personal note—please know that I read each and every letter in my inbox. At this time, I am only responding personally to projects which I intend to pursue. I’m afraid that in this instance, I did not have the enthusiasm necessary to request pages. I apologize for the frustratingly subjective nature of this business and I do wish you all the best of luck finding the right agent for your work.

Dear Jason,
Thank you for sending this through to us. We wanted to let you know that we greatly appreciated having the opportunity to review your work, but are sorry to say that we do not feel able to offer you representation.

Sometimes we must pass on books, even very good books that we feel are either out of our range or would require an amount of attention we cannot provide at this time.  In addition, we can’t afford to take on projects that we’re not absolutely confident we can sell.  But we very much hope that you will find an agent with the right enthusiasm for your work.

Many thanks again for considering our agency, and we wish you the best of luck with your writing.

14 favorite literary themed quotes

quote, quotation marks, writingEverybody can use a little inspiration, especially when writing.  Here’s a few quotes that I’ve tracked down to do just that.  If they don’t inspire you, maybe they’ll make you laugh, or think – and then I’ll feel like I contributed in a way:

“I try to create sympathy for my characters, then turn the monsters loose.” ~ Stephen King

“Words are a lens to focus one’s mind.” ~ Ayn Rand

“The first draft of anything is shit!” ~ Ernest Hemingway

“This wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. One of us has to go.” ~ Oscar Wilde

Your intuition knows what to write, so get out of the way. ~ Ray Bradbury

Mistakes are the portals of discovery. ~ James Joyce

“One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“Tomorrow may be hell, but today was a good writing day, and on the good writing days nothing else matters.” ~ Neil Gaiman

“What is art? Prostitution.” ~ Charles Baudelaire

“My object in living is to unite
My avocation and my vocation
As my two eyes make one in sight.”
~Robert Frost from Two Tramps in Mudtime

“Writers are a little below the clowns and a little above the trained seals.” ~ John Steinbeck

“We have art to save ourselves from the truth.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ~ Maya Angelou

“Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.” ~ Hunter S. Thompson

What’s your favorite quote?

I read how many books in 2012?

There aren’t a lot of books on my list, and I’m not publishing it here for bragging rights.  Fifteen was my magic number.  I have a friend who keeps a spreadsheet of books that he reads – I think for him it’s a little brotherly competition, plus he likes to make lists.  He and his brother tend to read between 40-50 books a year each.  I don’t have that much time on my hands, nor do I think I could ever read that many books in a year.  Anyhow, check out these gems!

Anthony Bourdain: Kitchen Confidential
Anthony Bourdain: The Nasty Bits
Anthony Bourdain: Medium Raw
Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
Shucked: Life on a New England Oyster Farm: Erin Byers Murray
Richard Branson: Like A Virgin
Ernest Hemingway: A Moveable Feast
F. Scott Fitzgerald: The Great Gatsby
Malcolm Gladwell: The Tipping Point
Malcolm Gladwell: Outliers
Photographs Not Taken: edited by Will Steacy
Inbound Marketing: Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah
The Startup of You: Reid Hoffman
REWORK: Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson
Stephen King: On Writing

There were probably a few others, but they are escaping me at this moment.  My goal is to read twice as many books this year.  I’m not so concerned about topics (since some were all over the map) – rather, I’m interested in how people write about their past experiences.  With that in mind, if you run into me in a bookstore, chances are I’ll be in the Memoir / Creative Non-Fiction section.  Where would you be?

There were also a few business-related books in that mix.  I was able to extract a few great ideas and put them into practice.  You can always use a few great ideas.