I now have two books under contract, awaiting release, which is a marvellous feeling, but for every acceptance there are 10, 20, 30 or more rejections. Unless you’re one of the lucky few (and it does happen) who get accepted with their first or second go, this is a screen many unpublished – and published – writers will be all too familiar with.
In this picture you can see my submissions page for one particular publisher. I have eight rejections, the earliest going back to 2014. And this is only one publisher. I have many more rejections from many other publishers.
The one at the top is my most recent submission. I’m hoping the ‘received’ button doesn’t turn into another ‘rejected’, but odds are it will, ‘cos that’s the world of writing! And if it does, then I’ll try more publishers, and write more manuscripts until I see ‘accepted’.
Some of these rejections came in after my books were contracted – albeit they were accepted by a different publisher. Being a published/contracted author does not give you automatic licence to get accepted for every future manuscript, although wouldn’t that be nice?
Receiving rejections is part of life for the vast number of writers. The secret is to never give up! I truly believe that if you are a good storyteller and you persevere, then you will one day get there. But sometimes keeping going feels like a race you can never win, and it can feel oh-so-tempting to put down your pen and take up a new, more instantly gratifying hobby. Like gardening. Or cooking. Or watching TV while eating a whole trifle.
Don’t give into temptation! Imagine how you’ll feel when your book finally hits the shelves. It might be a year after you started writing, it might be 20 years, but if you keep going and believe in yourself, then eventually someone else will believe in you too, and it WILL happen. You’ve just got to make it.