Wallowing and Other Coping Mechanisms

Yay! It’s Friday. Casey here.

A common misconception amongst non-writers (and new writers) is that once you’ve been agented, published or signed a book deal, you will never face rejection again.

Pig at OSV
Professional wallower.

Well, I’m here to say, “Not true. You can and will receive rejections. Again and again.” While, I recently sold a book, two more were rejected. That’s how it goes.

It’s inevitable. And the sting of the most recent rejection can be just as strong as that first one.

First off, know that you’re not alone. I know every single one of the Scribes has felt the same pain. Sometimes, the same book that resulted in a book deal was rejected by many other publishers. J.K. Rowling. Need I say more??

Casey’s tips for handling rejection:

1. Wallow. Yes, that’s right. Feel bad about it. At least for a little while. Depending on the tone of the rejection, my wallowing can last anywhere from 15 minutes to the entire day. Then, I brush myself off and keep going. Anytime I start dwelling means I have to work on my next book. Onward and upward, I say!!

2. Don’t take it personally. So hard to do. I won’t lie. Some writers get mad and defensive. Others assume they suck as writers. Most land somewhere in between.

3. Be professional (see above). Writing is a profession. Thank the agent or editor for their time. DO NOT, under any circumstances, argue with them, demand a more detailed reason or be rude. All that will do is label you as an amateur and possibly get you a “reputation”. Don’t be that writer.

4. If you received more specific feedback, put it away and come back to it when you can look it with a calm, reasoned mind. Then decide if you want to make changes or submit elsewhere as is. It goes without saying that if you are getting the same comment over and over ( and I don’t mean – this isn’t right for us or any of the other standard dismissals), then you may need to make changes.

5. Don’t throw in the towel. Keep writing and keep learning. Honestly, that should never stop. If you think you don’t have more to learn, then remember – Pride goeth before the fall. Just sayin’.

And finally, focus on the future. In my case, MYSTIC STORM is coming out the end of May 2013!! And here’s the cover:


Share and share alike! I know we all have rejections lurking in our past.

21 thoughts on “Wallowing and Other Coping Mechanisms”

  1. Rejection? Don’t know nothin’ about rejections. HA! I was rejected 25 or so times before AND after I landed a great agent and made a sale. I will chronicle this in a future blog post. Some were forms, and some were more detailed. Sure, I felt a bit bummed as they came in, but there was something of value to me in every one of the detailed rejections. I know another author with a dozen traditionally published books under her belt who just came up with a multi-story project that she was really excited about–and she was rejected too. But the great thing about today’s publishing world is that there are so many options for getting your story out there. If you love it and you do the prep work (getting a good editor and cover artist), you can publish it yourself. Casey, I LOVE the cover for Mystic Storm. I can’t wait to read it!

    1. I love that there are so many options too. Especially for books that don’t quite fit the mold. Glad you like the cover, Suze. Another great design from Rae Monet!

  2. Casey, thank you for sharing your “misfortunes.” The line that upsets me the most is: “I’m not in love with it enough to represent it.” It’s a standard excuse, but I wish they’d think of something a little less stinging. I never think my story sucks, though, I just think “they’ll be sorry!” Hmph!

    Your cover is absolutely breathtaking. Wait …I’m still catching my breath … 🙂

    1. I agree. Bland rejections are so blah. But it is better to hear a no then nothing (which drives me crazy, especially if the agent or editor asked for the information in the first place!).

  3. Totally awesome cover, Casey. I can’t wait to read this one! As for rejection, I prefer to think of it as one no closer to a yes. I agree…wallow and then suck it up and keep writing. It’s part of the business.

  4. Yeah, I hate rejections. I had one after I got published that was so nasty I simply deleted the email and forgot about it. Then I got one the following week that was so nice–complete with a detailed critique–that I wallowed for almost a week. It took me a week, but I eventually got around to thanking her for her critique, because what she said was a) spot on and b) super generous.

    Great post, Casey!!!

  5. Casey, I LOVELOVE the cover! Can’t wait to read this story!

    And you have some wise advice regarding rejection. Thanks for sharing it. And here’s a hug, just in case you need it. : ((((Casey))))

    🙂 xo

    1. Hi Rose!! Thanks for the hugs. I appreciate them. 🙂

      I hope you enjoy the book. I wasn’t very nice to Zephyr, but then again, it’s a romance so you know it’ll work out for him in the end!

  6. Love that cover Casey, gorgeous … umm, yup. The last time I was rejected was by my ex-husband in 1978, and man, did it hurt. But that’s only b/c I haven’t submitted my manuscript to anyone … yet. Maybe I won’t. Remembering. Besides, I am not done, isn’t that a great excuse? Great post!

  7. Rejections are like bad reviews, just a different audience. They sting at first, but with time and perspective, blend in with the many other sources of feedback we receive. I always remind myself what guts it takes to put work out there to be judged. How many people say they want to write a book and don’t? Or do and then don’t submit? Hold tight to what you’ve achieved when rejections get you down. (I know, easier said than done!) Also wanted to add… no one likes rejection and certainly not me, but I found the “I’m not in love with it” ones the easiest to take. *You* want your editor to love it. If they don’t, try someone else. Congrats on the new cover! 

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