Rejection!


You want to know what one of the hardest things in writing is? And one of the hardest things in life? Rejection.

This is hard for me to write, but here’s what happened. I had written a novel that I was extremely excited about. I loved the story, the characters, the writing . . . everything. I was really proud of this one and couldn’t wait to submit it to my publisher. I was sure the editor would come back just astounded at how great the book was and certain it would have all kinds of ridiculous success.

You see what’s coming, don’t you?

I did submit it and a few weeks later, this week in fact, got the news that they were not as excited about it as I was and they were going to pass on it.

Ouch. Ouch. And ouch again.

You’d think after ten years of enduring rejections I’d get used to it. I haven’t. I was disappointed almost to the point of just throwing in the towel. Swallowing hot coals would have been more bearable than receiving that rejection. Okay, that’s a little dramatic but you get my point. As a writer, I had stumbled and landed on my backside . . . and it hurt.

But then the editor sent me the reasons why they rejected it. Ouch again. Not because they were devastating but because as much as I hated to admit it, as much as that piece of humble pie was going to hurt going down, they were right.

So what to do when faced with that kind of rejection? The only thing to do, pick myself up, dust myself off, sit my tail end down in a chair and keep writing. And pray and rely on God and give it to Him. Another lesson learned the hard way.

The editor did say they wanted to keep working with me and she wanted to see what ideas I had for other books. That’s something.

This morning I was reading from Psalm 37 and my eyes kept going back to these verses (23-24): If the LORD delights in a man’s way, he makes his steps firm; though he stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand.

I like that. A lot.

Questions to self: Are my ways delighting the Lord? Is my writing glorifying Him? Is my attitude about my writing healthy and God-honoring?

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About mikedellosso

Mike Dellosso is an author of wide-eyed suspense. He writes stories that not only entertain but enlighten.

Posted on November 21, 2008, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Susan J. Reinhardt

    Hi Mike -As a pre-pubbed author, I can only imagine how difficult that rejection was for you. On a much smaller level, I’ve had pieces published by a periodical only to have them reject a subsequent submission.Thanks for your example of taking the rejection and continuing to write. When it comes right down to it, our focus belongs on the Lord.Blessings,Susan 🙂

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  2. Mike – This is a wonderful insight for those who read your work. I guess we tend to think that since you have two books under your belt that every word you write from now on will be accepted and raved over. What you’ve taught here is that you have to work HARD at what you do, and sometimes your words still miss the mark in the big bad world of publishing.The more important thing you’ve shared is your heart toward your talent and God. You write submitted to HIM. That’s what we all must do whether we’re writing or anything else. Thank you so much – again – for sharing your heart!Kim

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  3. Good to hear that you’re pressing on, Mike. I was rejected in May and I still haven’t quite recovered.

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  4. Mike, Thanks for sharing. First, I definitely feel for you. I’ve experienced plenty of rejection myself, and I know how hard it is to have someone tell you that he doesn’t like the project you poured so much of yourself into, especially when you were so certain that the project “worked.” I remember approaching various agents and hearing in response, “That kind of story isn’t for us.” It was hard not to take their words personally; after all, what was wrong with my story? It turns out that though the story wasn’t for them, it WAS for someone else. Second, you’ve got an agent, and you can always “shop around,” right? Perhaps take the feedback from your editor and pray about how to rework the novel. You have one published novel and one on the way . . . that has to speak for something. Other publishers should be interested, knowing your track record. Hopefully, you’ll be able to revamp your hard work and present something another publisher will want. Third, your words are sobering for me. With my first novel coming out in the spring, it is easy to fall into a mind trap and assume that my publisher will now love all my ides. I am reminded that no one can assume anything. And though I have a novel coming out, I still have to work just as hard on the next project and still nervously wait to hear whether my publisher likes itI’m wondering . . . Is there some way you can run your novel summary by your publisher for a preliminary green light BEFORE going through the hard work of writing the whole thing? It seems like such a waste of time if you have no idea if they will even like the big picture of where your story goes. Just some random thoughts. I appreciate your spiritual response to this experience, though I know in your emotions you are probably still struggling. I know I struggled after the many rejections I experienced. You’re right; failure is all part of learning and growing, but that truth doesn’t make the experience any easier. I’ll be praying for you.

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