#Wipmadness Week 3-- Celebrate Rejections

I know, I know. Celebrate rejections? Who likes being rejected? I admit when I first started seriously writing back in 2002, I was told to expect not just some but tons of rejections. Of course, being all excited about my decision to write my first novel, I figured I could deal with it.

But actually getting the rejections at first did hurt.

I felt like this:

Or even like this:

Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx, once shared this about what she learned about rejections:

Life lesson learned as a child: My dad encouraged us to fail. Growing up, he would ask us what we failed at that week. If we didn't have something, he would be disappointed. It changed my mindset at an early age that failure is not the outcome, failure is not trying. Don't be afraid to fail.

Read more: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/219367#ixzz2WRD0M8mA

Also from A YEAR OF WRITING DANGEROUSLY by Barbara Abercrombie:

25. Failing better:

A couple writers I know have a quote by Samuel Beckett about failing better hanging over their desks. My personal favorite failure quote is by Thomas Edison: "I didn't fail one thousand times. The lightbulb was an invention with one thousand steps."

**What we need to do is think of all our failed drafts as simply steps toward the final one, the one that works...

True story: After receiving over 70 rejections for CROSSED OUT, I decided to come up with a story that would be lighter after one editor's comments. I used her feedback on a full and came up with the premise of NO MORE GODDESSES. I sent my query over to this same editor, who was intrigued and wanted more. The editor at Wild Rose Press was wonderful and helped me with suggestions/feedback/encouragement.

You never know where a so-called rejection can lead you.

I also had one rejection from an editor of a traditional press that gave me suggestions on what I could do to help Crossed Out. She gave me some great feedback! I've learned whenever an editor/agent takes the time to do this? Class is in session. You might not agree with it but I've found, after putting it aside for a few? Most of the time there is a nugget of truth.

Also I love this:

Remember all writers get rejected at some time. It's a part of this biz. I just love this other quote:

.."Fail. Fail again. Fail better." Beckett

The winner from last week's post is:


Please email me at ixtumea@gmail.com

I still haven't heard from Girl Parker yet...

This week's book selection include a YA historical:

And a new contemp YA series:

Remember Wipsters, I'm cheering for you all! Here's to a great, productive writing week!


Candilynn Fite said…
If we don't fail, how can we learn what it truly feels like to win?

Yay Clare!!

Wanted to shout out a special WHOO, HOO to our sister Wipster, Angelina. Your cover is way too cool! Congrats! You deserve it. :D
My son has been learning this lesson this year. Sophomore year sucks, but it is also a crucible for the soul, I think. He has learned that fear of failure paves the road straight there. Watching all of this was difficult, and it made me feel like a failure as a parent. By shear force of will, we pulled ourselves through it and now he is beginning to understand that he has to go for and fall down sometimes rather than jump of the cliff without learning anything first.

And of course, here I am...still taking rejection, still learning, and still hoping...

and of course, still writing.
Clare said…
Aww, thank you! :D I've emailed you with my choice.

I haven't had to deal with rejection in the writing world yet. The closest I got was not getting past the first round of DL Hammons's Write Club.

I try to think rejection makes us stronger. I certainly learned a lot from my first round knock out.

I love this quote from Anne Rice about rejectionsL "Did I get many rejections on my first novel? I got about a year's worth and they were scathing. But I just kept going. I was lucky. Some people get a lot more. Don't "believe" in rejections. Believe in yourself when you write."

When you think series like Harry Potter got rejections, it puts things in perspective a little more.

Good luck with your writing goals this week, guys! :D
Jennifer said…
YES to this post! Learning to handle both the ups AND downs makes it easier for us to deal with anything life throws at us.
What an inspiring post! Thanks for that.

I know it's not the same, but I count the contest submissions that don't place as rejections. I haven't sent work in to agents/editors yet but I'm bracing myself for that day, as well.

At a conference a few years back, a couple of agents and editors requested a partial for my then WIP du jour. It had gone though so many incarnations (POV/voice) the thing read like a potluck dinner, but they liked the idea behind it. Fear and the fact that I mothballed the story yet again led me to not continuing with that project.

I'll come back to it one day. But I think it's true that those pieces you think are going to be your first step into the publishing world may never leave your hands. That baby started in 2000 or 2001. I still haven't found the perfect way to tell it but it's paved the way to the work I'm focusing on today.

All words count, even though they might not be for the project, at hand. I'm a better writer today than yesterday. And communities like this one keep me going with words of encouragement.

As for the dreaded R word... as they say, "One man's trash is another man's treasure."

Here's to the treasures we share with the world. :)


Carol Garvin said…
Congratulations to Clare!

Life is full of failure and success, of both mountaintop and valley experiences. If all of life was lived on an even plain of doing things and always getting expected results, it would soon get pretty boring. Of course, when you try and try and TRY without any success, that can leave you pretty discouraged.

So yes, I expect rejections but I hope what I'm learning along the way will eventually produce the desired result. I like that Beckett quotation, but also the positive spin that says, "Try. Try harder. Try better." Just trying doesn't always accomplish anything. We have to learn from those rejections, take time to figure out why we're failing, and make changes so future efforts will have more chance of success.

I'm still plugging away, revising and polishing a ms, and working on a NF contest piece. I got more done on Saturday than all of the weekdays put together, but Sunday was a write-off as I did Father's Day things with the men of the family.

Hope everyone's week is productive. :)
Kim Baccellia said…
Very true, Candilynn!

Wait. What's this about our sister Wipster, Angelina? I want to see that cover too! Please share!!!!
Kim Baccellia said…
Omg, Mary Ann, I so can relate with this! My son is starting middle school this fall and it's so hard to see him have problems with certain things and not want to 'fix' it all for him. I just had one person at church yesterday comment on how no child should be on this one ADHD med and when I said my son was, well, he went off on how bad it all was. I felt like the worse human being on the planet. For a moment or two that is. Then I told him to not be quick to judge unless he walked in our footsteps.

Still very hard.

Thanks for stopping by!
Kim Baccellia said…

Congrats again, Clare!

Ooh, haven't heard the Ann Rice comment. Thanks for sharing!

And good luck with your writing goals too this week!!!
Kim Baccellia said…

So very true! We can't know the joys unless we experience the lows.

Thanks for commenting and stopping by!
Kim Baccellia said…

I have one similar project in my closet right now. I was so excited about my multicultural YA and sent the first 10 pages to a SCBWI Editor's Day event. Well, the comments I got, which included that I chose a different genre as dystopias were 'over', really hurt. Then I had a pitch with a publisher who told me to take out the multicultural part as my story really didn't need it. I'm like, uh, that's what makes my story unique. All I saw were those comments. After a while I pulled the critique out and read the other comments which nailed what was really missing in my pages. So yes, sometimes walking away for a while helps.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting!
Kim Baccellia said…

So very, very true! I also like your positive spin on Beckett's comment!

Thanks again!

Shaking writing pom-poms your way!!!
Denise Jaden said…
I've had a lot of practice at failing...I think I'm getting pretty good at it. LOL. Thanks for this post, Kim. So true, and a great reminder.

I finally got notes on two different books this week, so I have more than enough work to keep me busy.
Kim Baccellia said…

Yup. I think I'm the Queen of Rejections. So far I've gathered like 300+ for my three books. The way I look at it is each book is a stepping stone to a better deal.

Ooh, good news with your notes. I'm still waiting for the cover to No More Goddesses.

Thanks for commenting and RTing on Twitter for me!
Rejection. Something I've chosen not to subject myself to while I'm still healing emotionally. No matter how mature we think we are and how much we think we can "handle" it, rejection hurts.

And because I didn't give up on this super fun novel when industry pros and even my own agent rejected it, here's a link to the cover of my humorous MG novel releasing July 12th: yascribe.blogspot.com

Thanks for your enthusiasm, Kim. I look forward to taking the baton and hosting in July. ^_^
Kim Baccellia said…

Ooh, cute cover! I didn't know we were book sisters! My YA multicultural, Earrings of Ixtumea, is published with them!

Congrats on your cover!

Thanks for stopping by!
L.S. Taylor said…
Gah, sorry I've missed a few checkins!

I'm still revising, but the end is nigh. Next week I have some time off to hopefully finish! Then, finally, submitting to agents. :)
L.S. Taylor said…
(So, yeah, basically I'm dealing with my Critique Partner's awesome criticism right now. Real rejection in the form of agents will come soon. I just hope one of them will be willing to take me on!) :)
Kim Baccellia said…

Yay on seeing the light at the end of the tunnel with your revision. That's great!

Thanks for dropping by!

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