Christian Romance Author Liz Isaacson: Learning From Rejection

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Learning From Rejection

So the Harlequin announcement for the From Blurb to Book announcement was last Friday. It was happening for me at 10:00, and I was attending a writer's conference that day, with a pitch session with an editor at St. Martin's at 10:10. 

I should've waited to check the announcement, but do you think I did?? Ha! No way. And when I didn't find my name on the list, I'll admit, I was disappointed. 

Which is ridiculous really. When you've been rejected as much as I have (which is A LOT), I know better than to be too hopeful, or too optimistic, or too whatever. But still. For some reason, which I still don't know, I really wanted to move on to Stage 3. I still really want to place my books at Harlequin. 

Anyway, I wasn't on the list, and I was with my critique partner and friend, and I had a pitch in literally four minutes. It was a tumult of feelings, and I didn't quite know what to do with them. So I hitched on my smile and went to my pitch session. It went well, and she requested the full manuscript. So yay!

And yet, I still struggled for the rest of the day. I had to leave early for my daughter's dance, and I went home uninspired and kind of down. I missed an super-inspirational keynote, and as I was reading the tweets, I was further discouraged that what I apparently needed (inspiring words from someone who's been where I currently am), I hadn't gotten.

I got my feedback email from the editors, and it's honestly not bad. The things are fixable. It's just a matter of me doing the work--which honestly, sometimes I don't want to do. I think that's the real problem. I always feel like I'm working, working, working, but never making it to SOLD.

I went back to the conference the next day, and I attended an intensive editing workshop. I got the inspiration I needed! The instructor said things that reminded me that I CAN do hard work, that I CAN edit my writing to make it better, that I CAN move forward after rejection to success. 

So that's what I'm going to do. 

What have you learned from rejection?

1 comment:

  1. Oh, Liz, I've been there! I have had some rejections that really weren't all that nice. Somethings I learned from rejection are: humility (I was VERY confident in my writing abilities before I submitted...more like arrogant), perseverance, craft (being rejected forced me to study the craft of writing more), and that publishing truly is a subjective business (what ticks all the boxes for one person does nothing for someone else). I still haven't developed a thick skin, though, so I still take rejections hard. I'm glad you got the inspiration you needed to tackle your revisions, and that your pitch still went well despite the bad news.


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