Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Kicking Writer Rejection to the Curb

Things have been a bit crazy this month at the O.K. Writing Corral out here in the Wild, Wild West. 

I've been trying to finish up a draft of my next novel for my super-cool critique partner (Think Outlander for teens), I've been attending an online self-editing workshop hosted by the lovely executive editor Angela James at Carina Press (yes, Carina Press is really that wonderful to its authors), I've got another novel publishing this summer, and I was recently awarded lovely blog awards from writer friends Angelina Rain, Carol Oates, and Margo Kelly.  Thanks again, ladies!!

And January 2011 is only half over!

Say what?!

The first two weeks of this year have given me pause, though.  I remember a few years ago when I decided to bite the bullet and write full-time.  Back then, I didn't have a blog, a web site, and I didn't know Twitter from MySpace.  If you had told me about Goodreads, I might have thought it was a breakfast bar or a pair of slippers.  Even more depressing, I was getting rejected left and right from agents, editors--hell, even the barista at my favorite coffee place couldn't get my coffee order right.   But I kept writing, despite the odds.  Despite the rejections.  Despite the doubts that would creep into my brain and sometimes take it hostage.  But then one happy day, it happened.  I got my first real break.

Why am I boring you to tears with this?  Because lately I've had a number of other writer friends dealing with agent rejections, proposal rejections, and creeping doubts about their skills.  That pains me to my core because I know their stories, I know how freaking talented they are.  My heart seriously breaks for them because I know the feeling.  It totally sucks.  It sucks lemons when you hear how great everyone else is doing and all you're getting is another form rejection in the mail. 

So all I say today is this:  Baby steps.  Find a way.  And don't forget that sometimes you have to kick in a window to get inside.  That's okay.  KICK IT!   Kick it with everything you got.  Everyone doesn't have to reach the goal line the same way.

Most of all, hang in there, friends. Believe in yourself and your stories.  Don't. Give. Up.


Áine Tierney said...

Thanks for that Liz. Congratulations on all your achievements - it's great to know there are success stories. It gives hope to the rest of us! :-)

Donna Cummings said...

Liz, this is a great post. It is easy to lose hope sometimes, because there's all this waiting, and then things start happening so fast all of a sudden. . .and then you're back to waiting. LOL

I know I'm getting closer, but sometimes it feels like they're moving the goal line. :) I'm just gonna keep practicing my kicking skills!

Kristabel Reed said...

You're right, Liz. And thanks for sharing your personal bumpy road to success! I've been thinking about the direction I want my writing to take and I'm sure rejections will be a part of it but am ready to take the leap. (I think!)

Angelina Rain said...

Great advice, Liz. And I can’t wait for your new book to come out.

Candyland said...

Holy heck I needed this today! I'm gonna kick that window with guns BLAZING!!!

Susan Newman said...

That's easy for you to say, because you are so brilliant :) Your post makes me think of those lines in Simon and Garfunkel's song "The Boxer" :

In the clearing stands a boxer
And a fighter by his trade
And he carries the reminders
Of ev'ry glove that layed him down
Or cut him till he cried out
In his anger and his shame
"I am leaving, I am leaving"
But the fighter still remains

Heather M. Gardner said...

Great post Liz. And it's always wonderful and hopeful to read about a writer getting their shot.

Elena Solodow said...

I always love these inspirational posts!

Francine Howarth said...


Brilliant news on upcoming release!

Rejection is par for the course along the way, so are revisions. The thing is, not to let either get to one. Just do what's necessary and hope for the best.

I'm quite philosophical about it all, but I think that's because I've been published before and I love writing. All the rejections in the world (now) won't stop me from writing.

Also, competition in the world of electronic publishing is really hotting up, and the big publishers - as a hot-shot techy will tell you - are not all ahead of the game technology wise. Some are great at putting on a professional image while others, equally as professional, are slick at getting the books into the market place. It's fun watching how the different publishers are coping with readers who want books readily available as soon as advertised. One delay and readers look around for faster delivery times, same as authors looking to faster turn-a-rounds on subs. It's going to get tough for pubs, as authors sub to more than one pub and go with the one whom bites their hand off first. Authors desperate to see their name on the front cover are going for gold not a maybe or a promise if they tow a particular publisher line. I think the possibility of Electronic War is already in the offing. ;) Ironic really, when a few years back these same publishers were saying ebooks wouldn't be a threat to them. Now they can't publish ebooks fast enough. Strange old world we live in.


Linda Leszczuk said...

Thanks, Liz. Had a little setback of my own this weekend so your timing on this is excellent.

Karen Jones Gowen said...

Wonderfully motivating post. Keep writing and doors will open. Thanks for sharing your story!

Sherri said...

Ha! You and Joely must be channelling each other. She has a post on baby steps today too.

Congrats! All your hard work is paying off.

Liz Fichera said...

Ladies, thanks for stopping by today. I'm glad these words may have made you laugh, given you hope, and even given you a little comfort today. Once thing's for sure: You are not alone!! :-)

Danette said...

Even the great writers had their bad days... if you read about any of them you find they had a LOT of rejections under their belt. Madeleine L'Engle had something like 20+ rejections for A Wrinkle in Time... and Hemingway had many stories rejected before he finally got published. Writing wrenches the soul in many ways.

Taryn Kincaid said...

Great post, Liz. I am now stealing some of these ideas to formulate as interview questions for you! (Sorry I'm so tardy, but I just got home from work!)

Joanna St. James said...

definitely baby steps and even now that I am regressing back into the not wanting to submit stage I am glad I am doing it in baby steps too.
Hows it been on your end?

Myne said...

Congrats on your upcoming book and I hope your friends get some good news soon. But more important, they should keep writing!

Nas said...

Thanks for the motivational post. Deeply appreciated and absolutely needed at this point in time!

Thanks again, Liz. (Can't use too many exclamations, Angela might call me on it!)

margaret blake said...

Fantastic encouragement - you just have to keep kicking. Many rejections could be because of a downturn in finances and nothing to do with the actual work. Remember that.