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Linda Epstein @LindaEpstein
, 14 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
Let's talk about rejection, shall we? I'm used to doling out a LOT of rejections. I request about 1% of queries I receive. For all you non-math people that means 1 out of 100. And I receive a lot of rejections, too! I've got a LOT of client manuscripts out on submission. <thread>
Mostly when I reject a query I only read the letter & never get to the actual pages, because I'm rejecting for a query-letter-level reason, like I don't need another PB client right now or I don't like thrillers or I already represent something with the exact same plot. <thread>
I also reject things at the query level based on my personal preferences. For example, I'm not into sports, can't relate to sports-driven stories & frankly I'm just not interested. Even if it would be a big success. Even if well written. Because I don't want to read it. <thread>
When a query interests me & I move on to reading the pages, I often reject it after a page or 2 because I don't like the voice. If you don't draw me in right away, I'm out. I've got other things to do. Clients to take care of. You need to hook me right from the beginning.<thread>
There are many (many) reasons I might send a rejection. Does that mean your writing sucks? NO. Does that mean that you suck? NO. Does that mean you should quit writing? NO. It only means it wasn't for me, for whatever reason. <thread>
A rejection MIGHT mean you should go back & revise your work. Or write something else entirely. Or tweak your query letter. Or try other agents. Or put this ms aside for a bit. But it doesn't mean anything about YOU. <thread>
When I submit client work to editors, I carefully choose the editors I think will like the ms. So when I get a rejection, it sucks. I'm disappointed. Sometimes sad. Sometimes frustrated. I've hoped & crossed fingers & wished hard. But it's part of the submission process. <thread>
When my own writing has been rejected by agents & editors did I take it personally? Absolutely not. To be honest the rejections rolled right off me. Was I disappointed? Yep. Would I be delighted if it went otherwise? Yep. But where my focus went was to improving the work.<thread>
It's not easy to let clients know an editor has rejected their work. I'm supposed to make their writing dreams come true! I often do. Sometimes we decide to put a ms aside, only to sell it at a later date. Sometimes it's just a matter of finding the right editor or time. <thread>
If you're querying agents or your ms is out on submission you might be getting a lot of rejections this week as folks clear out inboxes before the end of the year. Keep it in perspective. It's the work, not YOU they're rejecting. And it's ok to have feelings about that. <thread>
I ask my clients to do a year end assessment of what they've accomplished as writers. I invite you to do that, too. Make a list. Count each rejection as a moment you were brave enough to put your work out in the world. That's an accomplishment. <thread>
For the coming year, find someone, a critique partner, a friend, a family member, who you can share your rejections with. Ask them to congratulate you on each rejection as an opportunity to improve your writing & strengthen your commitment. <thread>
Getting rejected is hard. You might want to quit. You can quit if you want. It's truly ok. But just know that then you'll never get the yes you've been working towards. If that's alright with you, it really is fine to quit. No judgement. If it's not ok though, better get used it.
To be totally honest, I'm shocked at how much this thread has resonated for people. Glad to lend my perspective. Now that I have your attention though, let your local writing conferences and SCBWI RAs know that I like to travel, talk, and teach about writing & publishing.
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