Last week, I blogged about learning from positive rejection. But let’s face it, not all rejection–even positive rejection–provides valuable gems you can learn from. Agents might call your work “luscious,” “exceptionally good,” “tremendously promising,” “magical,” “evocative.” You might be labeled “a very gifted writer,” “a great talent,” with “a lot of potential” and “a fresh voice.” They might say, “we’d love to see other works,” or “please do query us again,” or “you got it going on, dog!” (Sorry, crushed American Idol aspirations leaking into my blog post there.)
You’re not always going to get the golden nuggets. Rejection won’t always make sense. And it can be flipping frustrating to be rejected when elements outside your abilities are pointed at as the reason for rejection–like that the children’s picture book market has veered away from original fairy tales even though yours is extremely well written, thank you very much. It can be frustrating when you receive praise and then get the standard “not right for us” line without further explanation when it seemed your work would be exactly right for that agent/house. It can be frustrating when the agent you’ve gone back and forth with a few times, making nips and tucks per his/her suggestions, suddenly decides to leave the business to groom poodles in France. It can be frustrating to come thisclose and then…nothing. It can be frustrating to get one of a million mass-printed postcard rejections that offer zilch. Once, I even received someone else’s rejection letter. Poor guy, I wonder if they ever let him know, or if he was sitting around for a year waiting, hoping, wondering, feeling meloncholy, getting pissed off, kicking his well-groomed poodle. And isn’t that one of the biggest frustrations of all–not hearing back after you take the time to research agents and query?
And so, friends, today I want to share this hilarious video on rejection with you, dedicated to all of us who’ve experienced a maddening rejection or twelve. Here’s to finding the right person for the job–a task that requires part talent, part luck, and a whole lot of patience and good humor. Write on, everyone!