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Chuck Wendig @ChuckWendig
, 12 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
Sure, #ShareYourRejections, I'm game to do that -- one of my earlier rejections was a short story submitted to a popular horror anthology, and it was so mean and shitty, I almost quit writing entirely. (Editors, mind your power in this regard.)
Most of my rejections haven't been particularly noteworthy though -- a mix of good and a lot of vague, all of them mostly justified? #ShareYourRejections
The rejections that swirled around BLACKBIRDS were the nicest, most upsetting rejections, though -- because they so often said, HEY THIS BOOK IS GREAT AND WE'D BUY THE HELL OUT OF IT BUT UHHH, WE DON'T KNOW HOW TO SELL IT? #ShareYourRejections
And at the time I was desperate enough to be like, OKAY SO I'LL CHANGE IT, WHADDYA WANT, SHOULD MIRIAM BE A DETECTIVE, DOES SHE NEED A PARTNER WHO IS A GHOST, OR A DOG, OR A GHOST DOG. MAYBE THERE ARE FREEMASONS AND TEMPLARS, THAT WORKED FOR DAN BROWN. #ShareYourRejections
Thankfully -- !! -- editors are, in general, pretty great, and they were like, "No no don't change it, it's awesome the way it is. We just can't buy it." Which is frustrating to hear but also ensured I kept the book the way it was. #ShareYourRejections
As a larger point, it's worth noting that I count myself as a failed author, and not in a bad way, or a negative way -- but I've been trying to write and publish stories and novels since I was 18, and so I've had way more years as a fuck-up than as a success.
Failure felt bad, but... it was good for me. Rejection, when it wasn't mean or callous or cynical, was helpful even when it hurt. It toughed me up a little, thickened my skin, made me actually do the work of ruminating and course-correcting. #ShareYourRejections
toughed = toughened, goddamn my traitorous fingers
I took five years to write BLACKBIRDS, a month or two to get an agent, another year and a half or more to sell it -- and all that is on balanced on the peak of a mountain of rejections for earlier novels sent to agents or stories sent to magazines. #ShareYourRejections
But that one rejection -- that popular horror anthology -- literally told me I should quit writing, and I almost did. It was crue, probably done under the bullshit auspice of enforcing toughness on writers, but real-talk, rejection is tough enough. #ShareYourRejections
"I don't want this story" is harsh enough -- and honest enough -- that you don't need to make it harder or more honest. It's already a knife between the ribs -- make it gentle and direct, no need to twist that blade. #ShareYourRejections
If any writers want advice on dealing with rejections, I offer: let those rejections be like the scars on gladiators in the arena or Vikings at sea. They, via this hashtag, are proof you can scrap, proof you're in the fight, proof of courage, a sign of life. #ShareYourRejections
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