Saturday, October 30, 2010

Tea and Sympathy

This is my REJECTION blog dedicated to healing the hurt with TEA and SYMPATHY.

Yes, all those who participate will be eligible to win one of multiple Teavana Tea giftpacks.  More details at the end of the blog.

Lately there have been numerous blog posts and comments about the rejection that writers face and the difficult position that agents are in as they deal out that rejection daily.  But they’re not the only ones in this circle of writing and publishing that deal with rejection.  Bloggers blog, to find no comments posted, or request interviews that never pan out.  Writers send manuscripts to readers to have them torn apart in all too honest reviews.  Agents submit to publishers, only to hear cold cruel time passing without a response.  Authors’ highs are challenged with a terrible review just as their publishing dreams come true.
Rejection and Fear of Rejection are things that plague the writing community.  We all deal with it to some degree or another and we all learn to handle it in various ways.  Hopefully you have learned how to deal with rejection in a constructive way and don’t let it grow into a bitterness that causes you to sabotage your own writing dreams.
I’m not going to offer lots of advice here, but what I would love to generate is a series of accounts of rejections from different people in the writing business, or book blogging business.  Maybe something that was huge when it happened and now in hind-sight has become something you can laugh about.  That first rejection of what is now a published masterpiece.  If you’re on the agenting side; that nightmare rejection that wouldn’t die, or maybe that rejection that you lived to regret.  If you have any fear-of-rejection stories those would be great too.
Share a little bit of rejection with us, and we offer in return our TEA and SYMPATHY.
Post your rejection themed comment/story below for a random drawing chance to win a TEVANA TEA gift pack!
The more responses we have, the more prizes to be given away, so get your friends and relations to enter as well.  I will keep you updated with number of prize packs to be given away.
If you want to get an added chance to win just go to Twitter and retweet the announcement of this contest (copy me too @geistwrite) and/or follow this blog…
This contest will run until Friday, November 12 at 10pm PST. 
I look forward to your commentary and shared experiences on REJECTION.

Here are a few of the fun, helpful, and diverse blogs posted on rejection that have caught my attention lately…


Jennifer Hillier said...

My first query rejection was almost exactly a year ago, on my anniversary! I was DEVASTATED. And it was a just one line form rejection. I thought I was going to be totally fine; I had read about everybody else's experiences and was determined to not let it get to me... but it got to me. I spent the whole night moping. I felt better the next morning, and that became the pattern. Get rejected, spend the night moping, then wake the next morning ready to give it another go.

It's funny, each rejection, even though the majority were form, stung like crazy. But when I read them all back now, they really were very benign. It's so interesting how your perspective changes.

Julie Geistfeld said...

Thanks Jennifer!

It's amazing what form rejections mean to each of us and how they affect our querying future.

I was actually stoked to get my first form rejection. I was under the impression that they would tell you at that point if you stunk, and since the form rejection was 'nice' it must have been a good sign.

Ha! It took about three of them, with all the same wording for me to go, 'oh, it really is just a rejection.' That's when I realized that 'good' or 'bad' didn't really apply here. A rejection was a rejection was a rejection.

But you know what, that first request for a full makes up for everything that came before it. Not the end of the road as far as rejections may go, but way improved!

Thanks for sharing your memory. What a difference a year can make!

Julie Geistfeld said...

Just want to take a moment to let you know how easy it is to win...
Make a comment, any comment, about rejection...

Does rejection stink?
Does it make you stronger?

Whatever you have to say,
Whoever you are and whatever you do...

Comment to win!
More comments = more to win!

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Personally I don't know this. But I have been there when the rejection letters come in for those I am close with. I have seen their hopes dashed...but in the end...they pick themselves up and keep going. I do believe it makes you stronger. It gives you renewed faith in yourself to keep striving for greatness. And where there is one agent to reject...there is a perfect agent out there that will welcome your work with open's just finding that agent :)

Julie Anne Lindsey said...

I feel like I could write a book on rejection. LOL. I've been writing in the hopes of publication for about two years now and with every new manuscript I am certain it is the one that will kickstart my career. Yeah. Not so much.Not yet anyway, and it hurts every single time. In fact, I recently received a super generic form rejection to a query on the same day I got an offer of representation on that story. The rejection still zapped my euphoria a little. Every time we hit send, we put ourselves out there and hope to get accepted, and it's hard to hear "no thanks" when you know you've given it your all. Ultimately though rejections thin the herd and the authors with the greatest determination and tenacity of spirit will come out alright. Hang in there everyone. It only takes one "yes."

Melissa Crytzer Fry said...

The first 'request' for a novel manuscript is always such a high. I remember mine well - and the following e-mail while I was on VACATION that said the agent felt the characters "relied on oversimplified language and clich├ęs." Funny thing is that the rural, Pennsylvania characters WERE authentic (this was another criticism) - that is exactly how they talk ... Can you be too authentic w/ dialogue? Other agents were more gentle & complimentary, but the rejection still stinks. I've decided to let novel no. 1 simmer for awhile, as I tackle no. 2. Rejection comes at us in life in all matter of forms. I guess the real "victory" is in learning how to deal with it and not let it deflate us.

Julie Geistfeld said...

Nikki, Julie and Melissa,
Thank you for all the great comments on rejection! I'm glad you all stopped by to share your ideas and experiences.
It is definitely something that writers have to learn to handle if they want to keep at it in the business.

I'm excited to have some great tea goodies to give away! Stay tuned... more comments will = more chances to win.

Meg said...

I've experienced plenty of radio silence as I've sent dozens of queries to literary agents, but I guess the coldest writing-related rejection I've experienced is blog related!

Not to toot my own horn (too much), but I've worked hard on building my book blog from the ground up. When I first started posting, I got few responses -- but it didn't matter. I was writing for myself, mostly, and didn't have any "audience" in mind. As the blog has grown, though, I've experienced more of a following -- and often receive dozens of comments on posts.

In that vein, I decided to be bold one day -- and post an excerpt from my own novel. I was quaking with fear, you see, and totally intimidated, but I knew that I couldn't talk about writing all the time without showing anything. So, with trembling fingers, I uploaded the first few pages of my new book and loaded it on the blog.

And then I waited.

And waited.

And waited.

And no one said a word.

Embarrassed, I finally took the excerpt down after a few days. It was too awkward to see the "no comments" under the post title each time I logged in, wondering what people were thinking after scanning the first few words. Was it terrible? Awful? Poorly written? Humiliating?

I'm still not sure. That was more than a year ago, but I still feel the sting of that quiet.

Debs Riccio said...

Oh I hate that buzz of silence when you've posted something and you get nothing back. It's horrible, isn't it? I posted the opening paragraph of a book I still intend to write and only one person commented on it. Oddly enough, though, I didn't announce it was by me - I just asked it anyone would want to read on. Ah, at least I'll have one reader when (if) I ever get published!
On the topic of "Rejections Proper", the one I remember most above others (and there's been a good few hundred over the years) was a hard copy that came back with my SAE - and the actual covering letter I'd written had scrawled across it in RED no less (could've been blood...)simply the word "NO!" (yes, with exclamation mark!!) with a coffee-cup ring stain on it.
If I didn't laugh I'd have given up by now!

Angela (Library Girl Reads) said...

I don't have experience in the writing world with rejection but I sort of do in the blogging world. There have been times when I've written posts that I thought had the possibility for discussion and asked questions at the end and got absolutely no response. The worst was when I asked people what kind of content they wanted to see or what I could improve and I got a whole two responses. That almost made me give up - I figured if people weren't even willing to tell me what they wanted to read about then they probably weren't reading my blog to begin with even if they were following. Sometimes I still feel that way when I post several things that get no comments.

But I really started blogging to keep track of my reviews and share my thoughts on books and that is what I'm doing whether anyone comments or not.

angela.donner (at)

Julie Geistfeld said...

Thanks everyone for all the great comments! I love the blog ones too.

I'm now up to four prize packs and have some extras too... Can't wait to announce winners tonight!

Julie Geistfeld said...

Thank you so much to everyone who commented on this blog!
It seems like there are endless sources of rejection in the writing and blogging world.

I must say that after beginning on this writing journey and putting a first foot out into the querying world I feel completely different about rejection.
Before I ever showed anyone a single book I had written, rejection was my biggest fear. But I was amazed that from the very first form rejection until now, my spirits have yet to be dampened by the no's.
If anything I realize how subjective 'likes' and 'dislikes' are and that everyone has different tastes.

I feel brave and more secure now that I have successfully dealt with the 'no thank you's' and I plug away, waiting for the 'yes' that I keep striving forward to attain.

I'm so glad that you all put yourselves out there everyday. I hope you keep it up. Win or lose, it's worth it just to take that risk.

Julie Geistfeld said...

Now, enough of the sympathy side and on to the TEA...

The winners, by random org are...

Nikki (+ bonus)
Angela (+ bonus)

You will all get a Teavana Tea, strainer, and green tea therapy chocolates. The bonus win means German rock cane sugar and 2 Tea blend.

I love Teavana Tea and I hope you enjoy your samplings from them. Contact me by email with your address and I will get those mailed right out to you. I will notify the winners on Twitter as well.

Thank you again for all of your comments, retweets, following...

and enjoy your Tea!

Jennifer Hillier said...

So awesome!! Thanks, Julie!

Julie Geistfeld said...

Tea is on the way to all the blog contest winners.

Thanks for making this giveaway a success!

Drink tea,