The Disappointed (Dealing with more rejection…)

Yesterday I read a blog article on Dealing with Disappointment from the Urban Muse, which was being featured on The Writer’s Block Carnival. Although the Urban Muse has it geared towards freelance writing, I could totally understand where she was coming from. She gives a few pointers on dealing with rejection that became quite timely for me, as I received Yet Another Rejection yesterday. (Hmmm…I think I’m gonna have to shorten these things to YAR…they seem so prolific…)

I feel pretty bad about it because it was the first story I’ve ever written and sent out, but, at the same time, I’m glad, too. You see, because it was my first story, I never sat down to come up with a marketing plan for it. I just did research online, thought, “Ooo…here’s a cool place to send it to,” and sent it off to the first couple of places that looked good to me, without any regard for what the market was, or what type of stuff they would publish. Add to that is the fact that the story I wrote is rather hard to pigeonhole and is quite long–7900 words. What genre is it? Slipstream? Magic Realism? Literary? Hard to say. I simply thought, “Eh, it’s Christian.” And sent it off that way.

I’ve come a long way since I finished that story and sent it out. After writing a few more stories, I’m beginning to streamline the process of finding markets for my work. I don’t just pick and choose just a couple of places anymore. I now gather fifteen, maybe twenty or more markets that might take my work. Then, I start winnowing each market down, checking out their stories, seeing if they have samples, figuring out if they would be the right fit for my story. It’s a long process, but once I cut out the chaff, I have a more decent list of markets that I can now work with. My recent stuff have been easy when it comes to categorizing by genre, but harder works, like the story that just came back to me right now, need special care. It means that I have to expand my definition of a story’s genre to figure out what will be the right place to send it, which could be a market I’ve never considered before.

Today, I spent the time I usually eke out for writing Willow to focus on finding markets for my returned story, and this time, doing it right. I feel better about it–I now have a more focused strategy on sending this story out. We’ll see if it works.

So I guess this fits in with the suggestion from the Urban Muse: “Have a plan B” when it comes to dealing with disappointment. I don’t feel bad anymore. In fact, I feel quite hopeful. But hold on. I think I’ll feel better if I do this:


Ah. There. I feel much better.