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Thread: Nice Rejections

  1. #1
    Rogue Mutt
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    Nice Rejections

    I was looking through my email archive on Gmail, where I have query rejections from the last six years. Now check out this one from 3/12/07

    Thanks for sending along the opening pages of Forever Young. Truth be told, though, I'm afraid they didn't draw me in as much as I had hoped. I'm pressed for time these days and, what with my reservations about the project, I suspect I wouldn't be the best fit. Thanks so much for contacting me, though, and for giving me this opportunity. It's much appreciated, and I'm sorry to be passing. I wish you the very best of luck in your search for representation.

    Gee, that's really nice! She's so apologetic. And it sounds so personal too, right? I mean she must have read the pages and not been drawn in, right?

    Well, flash forward 4 years later:

    4/12/11

    Thanks for sending along the pages of your manuscript, A Hero's Journey. Truth be told, though, I'm afraid these pages just didn't draw me in as much as I had hoped. I'm pressed for time these days and, what with my reservations about the project, I suspect I wouldn't be the best fit. Thanks so much for contacting me and for giving me this opportunity. It's much appreciated, and I'm sorry to be passing. I wish you the very best of luck in your search for representation.

    Yup, the EXACT same wording. So that's what I'm saying. Just because something might seem somewhat personal doesn't mean it's not actually a form.



  2. #2
    Senior Member John Oberon's Avatar
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    Right...I thought we all agreed that Debbie's was probably a form rejection letter. But your form letter is certainly a lot less encouraging than Debbie's. At least her work "stands out"; yours can't even draw an agent into the story, lol. If I'm going to receive a form rejection, I'd prefer Debbie's to yours. This strikes me as an average rejection, not the "Sorry to inform you that your work does not meet our current needs" (and please don't send us any of your trash ever again, lol) rejection.

  3. #3
    Rogue Mutt
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    The point is how these "personal"-sounding rejections are still just form letters.

  4. #4
    Senior Member John Oberon's Avatar
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    Not all of them, but most of them, yes. But that's just a tiny pinpoint.

    To me, the thrusting spear point is your attitude when you receive a rejection. Are you positive and encouraged to try again (Debbie), or are you negative and cynical (Mutt)? I think positive and encouraged is a better and happier road, though no less difficult, but that's just me.

  5. #5
    Rogue Mutt
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    Actually your attitude should be ambivalence. They said no, so move on to the next one. If you sit around analyzing form rejections or worse yet, take them seriously as Debbi did, then you can just drive yourself nuts reading between the lines and seeing things that aren't there.

  6. #6
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    This thread will just get closed like the last one. You really need to move on from this Mutt.

  7. #7
    Rogue Mutt
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    I posted this yesterday before the other one got closed. Try to keep up.

  8. #8
    Senior Member John Oberon's Avatar
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    Well, I don't know...I think this is a good subject. How do you handle a rejection? Here's what I think is productive: use whatever you can to spur you on and bolster your determination, discard whatever might stop you from submitting and hinder your determination.

    I often tell people to save all their rejections and tie the really scathing ones in a special bundle, because one day, you will be a published author, and someone might well ask you to speak to a group about your writing experiences. When that happens, you wheel out the rejections and start reading those really nasty ones out loud. Then you say, "This is what happens when you try to be a writer. Everyone tells you can't do it, you're a bad writer, you're boring, dull, stupid, uncreative, uninventive. Nobody's interested, you ain't got what it takes, and why didn't you get a clue and quit in junior high school?"

    Then you pull out one of your many published books and say, "Well, there's all the naysayers in that cart, and here's ONE of my books. I did it, and so can you."

    If you build a vision like that in your head, then even the bad rejections push you - "Boy, this one's going to be suh-weet at my keynote speech at a writer's conference!"

    In my opinion, ambivalence or indifference is a horrible attitude to handle a rejection. Much better to use rejection, whether hard and negative or encouraging and positive, to build yourself up and become the author of your dreams.

    And by the way, "seeing something that isn't there" is how you become an author. It's your attitude, your vision, seeing yourself as an author even though everyone and everything around you says "You're no author." It's, dare I say it, a matter of faith.
    Last edited by John Oberon; 03-12-2013 at 06:46 AM.

  9. #9
    Rogue Mutt
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    I doubt many agents bother to write "scathing" rejections anymore. The only place you're going to get scathed is on message boards like this by people like me. I guess if you feel the need to say, "Take that anonymous Internet guy I've never met in real life!" then so be it. I think the professional way to handle it is just to say "plenty of fish in the sea." It's stupid to get worked up about a form letter sent by the agent's intern one way or the other. It's like getting excited over those Publisher's Clearing House letters.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rogue Mutt View Post
    I think the professional way to handle it is just to say "plenty of fish in the sea." It's stupid to get worked up about a form letter sent by the agent's intern one way or the other. It's like getting excited over those Publisher's Clearing House letters.
    I have no idea why you keep on bangin on about this. No one ever got worked up except you! What you said above is *exactly* what my post said. Just because I put a positive slant on it though, and you seemed to be getting your period or something, you have dragged this out for 24 hours!!! LOL

    I said this:

    "So it's just onward we go!!! Things are definitely getting better though, along with my writing, so I know it is only a matter of time. Just how much time is yet to be established!!!"

    I never said - as all your posts on this subject ad nauseum have implied, that I think it means they love me and secretly want to represent me but they are just to shy to say. I am not the sad sack fool you keep on saying I am. I am simply a glass half full kind of gal.

    And I said that over the years I have been writing (probably more than you have been alive) my writing has got steadily better. And no, I don't need these letters - form or otherwise - to tell me that. I just know. No one knows my writing better than I do. And I don't think I am better than anyone else, either, before you pick that bit up between your teeth.

    No one is disagreeing with your point of view, it's just the nasty, vile way you always go about it.

    (Go on, give us some more lip! Yawn)

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