Tuesday, November 26, 2013

NaNoWriMo Pitfall #10 - Rejected in November

Yes, yes, I did #7 yesterday and #8 is already scheduled for tomorrow, but I had this one crop up and I thought it needed to be inserted.  Since it can't be a .5 post because it's not related to the others, it has to be #10.  Deal with it. ;o)

Pitfall #10 - Dealing with Rejection in the Midst of November.

(If you're working on your first book, or if you've never queried a book before, you can skip this part.  You aren't here yet.)

Okay, I already knew querying in the month of November is a bad idea.  First off, most likely you'll be too busy writing to concentrate on your submission efforts. 

However, if you've got other books, most likely one of them will have been submitted somewhere at some time before the November race to write a totally new book.  Which leaves the possibility for a rejection to come slithering into your inbox when you least expect it - like, say, the final week of NaNo.

Some rejections are easier to take than others.  This is true throughout the year.  Personally, I've never faced this 'rejected during NaNo' trial before.  (Not that I can remember, anyway.)  This year?  Well, here I am trying to finish this totally new-to-me-genre novel.  I'm typing away.  And I spy a new email in my inbox.  (Let's not get into the wisdom of keeping my gmail open while I write.  I keep my blog and FB open, too.  It doesn't interfere.  When I pause in my writing, I look to see what's new and then get back to work... usually.)

I figured maybe it was a note from one of my friends.  Or maybe something from my daughter.  It could've been a sales email from B&N or Amazon or Nikon.  It could've been junk and therefore easily dispatched.  I totally wasn't expecting to find what it really was.

Even after seeing the subject, which was Re: my query, I didn't think about what effect it would have on my progress.  I just clicked it open.  And rejection came tumbling out all over me.  What did I do then?  I closed it.  I pushed it all away to be dealt with later and got back to writing.

I'm dealing with it this morning.  And the old monsters are leaping all over me like a litter of retriever puppies - but not anywhere near fun and wonderful.  "Why bother writing a new book when they never liked any of the others?" is the worst among them. 

I have roughly 8500 words left to write before Saturday night.  I could stop now.  I could take my rejected ass and curl into a little ball of remorse and self-loathing.  I could wad this sucker into its own proverbial ball and do a perfect three-point shot into the circular file.  Or I could shrug and get back to work. 

Really that's the only thing you can do when a rejection hits you.  Rejection sucks.  It sucked last month.  It will suck next month.  Sure, it's particularly sucktastic in November when you really can't afford the distraction of self-doubt.  But rejection isn't fatal.  Letting rejection derail your dreams?  That's fatal. 

So, like I said, I really recommend against querying in November - just to avoid the shock.  But if you can't avoid it, roll with it.  Take the rejection and tuck it aside.  Cry over it in December.  Gnash your teeth, rend your garments, and vow to never darken that person's email doorstep again... NEXT MONTH.  Right now, you have work to do.  Rejection, like editing, will have to wait.

Now, if I can just keep this attitude through the rest of the week, I'll be fine.  If not, I'll be over there gorging myself on eggnog ice cream and reading books other writers have actually had published.  ;o)


  1. Is this a repeat pitfall? I don't remember it and you talk about the 'new-to-you-genre' and being so close to finishing your word count? If you got a rejection recently, ignore it and get back to work! You're so close!

    I figure what we need, as writers, is an e-mail that we can assign a good friend, family member to as administrator. We query from that, make a rule that all mail coming in with 'query' in the subject line goes into folder and that folder is ONLY opened by the person we've assigned. They can relay the results to us when/if we want.

    1. This is a totally new Pitfall. The rejection came last night during my writing time. And I am going to ignore it. It's not like I haven't gotten a ton of those in the past nine years. ;o)

      That sounds like a great idea, Janet. I assign you to receive my rejections and I'll receive yours. That way we can get stuff done without worrying.

  2. Rejections are like finding a Prince Charming. Gotta kiss a damn lot of toads before it happens. I'm sorry, my friend. They always hurt when you KNOW (and others who are in a position to recognize it) you have talent and you can't get your foot in the frickin' door. Eventually, the right project will land in the right inbox on the right day and the angels will weep with joy. Until then, keep writing. It's the best defense we have. Hand in there. I love the snippets of this new-to-you genre and look forward to the completed project down the road.

    Now go get another cup of coffee and get back to work. Me, too. I have to rewrite a scene in the mystery project and send it back for another round of "Not quite right/there yet." Dammit. *sigh* But it's getting there!

    1. Eh, I'm so over it. And let's not hope this doesn't take as long as finding my Prince Charming. He took me seventeen years and countless really disgusting toads.

      No writing yet. Yardwork! Writing tonight between Homicide Hunter episodes.

  3. I'm sorry you got a rejection! *hugs*

  4. Thanks, Nat. It's okay. It just hit me weird cuz of the timing.


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