What Form Rejection Means to Me

As per The Rejectionist: (you know me, I like an un-anything)

I wish I could say I’m a veteran of form letter rejection. Heck, I wish I could say I was a veteran of any rejection, period. I’ve been too busy writing as fast as I can, editing, more writing, more editing, pulling weeds in the guerrilla urban garden, staying cool during three days of brown out, writing, editing and more editing. My CTRL-V function has been working far more than the SEND button on my email, and that’s on the days when I have power.

That’s not to say I have nothing to send out to potential rejectioners. (Rejectionists? Rejectionistas? The Reject Police? S&M Rejection Agency?) I have plenty of material. My books are not ready, not yet. And it’s not as though I’m afraid of rejection. In my incarnation as a Real Lifer, I face plenty of it each and every day. In fact, you could say F* O* You Be-yotch is my middle name. I can’t say it to the customers, but oh, I think it plenty.

I’m also war-torn from being on a certain social-creative-highly toxic-troll infested web site where on a slow day the comments would run the gamut from mildly irritating to stalker scary. Since I use my own real name – and I’m published, in the book – I would at times be afraid if some goon were lying in wait right outside my front door, ready to give me a good going over (or worse) because of something I had blogged or posted.

You live on the Big Blue Ball long enough and you realize that rejection is a part of life. “Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.” That’s my motto, right after “I’m writing as fast as I can.” Have a ready made slot for rejection, and you’ll probably come out smelling like the proverbial and cliched rose.

My one and only non-form rejection from my one and only query was a honey. I blogged about it back at the time. It wasn’t a form rejection, but a rather thoughtful, generous email about how my work was okay, but not yet ready for prime time. (Told ya. What can I say? I placed in a Query Tracker contest and I had to try.)

I’ll likely send out a massive email blitz sometime in September once I am finished editing the last book I wrote. I’ll probably get a few dozen form rejections, I don’t know. Here’s the thing about automated form rejections: Most of them are machine generated, having never reached the human eyeballs of Agent or Agent Assistant. I can hardly fault a computer program for doing its job, now can I? I figure if a big gun agent sends out a form rejection, he/she is too busy for little old me. That makes me think the agent has no time for a new, aspiring novelist and I can cast my net into the uncharted waters of Agents Who Just Landed a Job and Are Hungry For Talent. After all, I’m so good (yuck-yuck) that I need someone who is driven to sell my property, which I have to say is unique in soooo many ways.

Form rejections are like those email from Nigerian businessmen wanting to give you a couple million dollars. It’s very close to the messages that promise you a Rolex for $9.99 or guaranteeing to grow your penis (even if you don’t have one) a full six inches. In that case, you do what I do.

You smile, say, “heh,” hit the delete and go on to the next.


4 Responses

  1. “My books are not ready, not yet.” <– it takes a lot of honest self-knowledge and writing ability to know that you aren't ready to submit yet 🙂 Lots of people jump the gun and lose their chances of signing a book because they queried every agent they could find with a MS that wasn't up-to-snuff yet. So, kudos for waiting! That takes bravery too 🙂

  2. I’m going to have to borrow a little of your attitude. Think of them like spam and cross them off the list.

  3. I’ve heard of people getting a three-minute turnaround. You just KNOW it was automated. Somehow I can’t feel badly if a machine rejected me.

  4. It is totally possible to read and reject a query in three minutes, just FYI. Yay for the positive thinking!

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