Friday, 7 May 2010


"There is only one sure-fire way to avoid rejection - never send a manuscript out."
Carole Matthews

A post Lydia wrote on Wednesday about queryphobia inspired me to start thinking about rejection (thanks Lydia. heehee).

We write. We sit for hours hunched over a keyboard, our fingers scrabble over keys with the clicking, and the tap tap tap. Our nearest and dearest threaten to pull us from the room by the scruff of our neck if we don't spend some time with them.

We get so engrossed in our editing we forget chocolate isn't a meal, and then eat a bowl of cereal at 10pm (yup, that was me.)
We think about our characters, develop them, love them and then...we feel the fear.

It's small at first. The tiny little voice in the back of our mind that whispers. It tells us our MS isn't ready - which sometimes it isn't. We revise, revise, revise and then...nothing. Well, for some of us.

Yes, we have - as Lydia defined it - queryphobia.

What is is about rejection that freaks us out? We all accept finding that perfect agent for our work can/will take time. We need to spend time getting our MS edited and shiny.

But will we ever find our agent if we never send our query out?

Matthew over at theqqqe is an example of dominating this fear (for me anyway, he may disagree. Hi Matthew). His blog never fails to inspire me to keep going, and his Friday guest blogs on successful queries are great too (Lisa and Laura Roecker today folks).

And it's not just Lydia and Matthew who keep me going. It's all my fellow blogger friends.

I read your blogs (sorry I didn't get round to everyone yesterday). I admit, I get excited when one of you signs with an agent, gets a book deal or a submission request.

I share your pain if a rejection comes through. I want you all to land that agent so I can buy your book and say, "I know the author, and they are amazing."

And you are. Each and every one of you.

Our journey will be different - thanks for reminding me Elana, you rock - but we all have the same goal.

And my queryphobia? Well, lets just say I'm working on it.

Promise. :)


Matthew Rush said...

Morning Lindsay. You are so sweet. Thanks for the linkage.

I have to agree. I was so afraid of rejection at first (but not enough to actually research querying properly for some reason). Now it's like nothing. Okay it still hurts, but a lot less.

Thanks so much for covering this topic today!

Today's guest bloggers are Lisa and Laura Roecker!

Talli Roland said...

It's so hard to release your baby out into the world for appraisal - it's tempting just to hang onto it. But as with rejection, the only way you'll get published is by sending it out, too!

MissV said...

OMG...I didn't have to click the hyperlinks cuz I've already read them! I'm up-to-date and in-the-loop for once!

Rejection sucks...makes me feel uncool and unwanted. Like a Loser (yes, it should be capitalized there). Think the reward (published!) outweighs the negative though

Stina Lindenblatt said...

What do you mean chocolate isn't a meal????

Yep, I'm trying to get over queryphobia. Fortunately I've got a couple more months to get over it. :)

Mayowa said...

Great post maam.

Think queryphobia has been creeping up on me lately. After sending out fifty or so queries and getting 35 or so rejections, i'm pretty much like eh (shrugs). Haven't sent out any in ages.

I shall return to the query vault and blast the (ahem well researched) agent's inboxes.

AKAmamma said...

Just got a rejection letter today. I experienced that low on the way home after taking my daughter to school. A rejection feels like validation that my work is crap or reminds me of Mrs. Crabapple, my third grade teacher shrieking that I didn't know what a noun was. But about an hour later, I realized that the people choosing are looking for something that fits the context of their market, and my work wasn't it. Nothing more, nothing less.

Oh well. Heather

Jaydee Morgan said...

I need to remember this post when that times comes for me. But you're absolutely right, you can't celebrate the success without being willing to go through the rejections and defeats first.

Traci said...

Love this! What an honest and inspirational post! If you don't mind, I'm gonna link to this post in my blog today...thanks!!

Kathi Oram Peterson said...

I still feel that nagging little doubt when I send a manuscript to my editor. Maybe it is part of the attraction, rejection or acceptance. We all like to shake the dice and take the chance. Or maybe not...

Melissa Sarno said...

I wish you luck with your queryphobia. It's hard to know when your manuscript is ready and when you're emotionally ready to take the leap. I've just begun to query...veeery slowly, and I've found that you're never emotionally ready for a positive or negative response (yes, you will get both and they'll both freak you out) so you might as well just jump into it and see what happens. Best of luck to you :-)

Creepy Query Girl said...

Yes, the fear has its ups and downs. The ups usually come after a request. The downs after a rejection. Getting up and dusting my ms off is the hardest part but I agree that following my blogging buddies' journeys helps me to go on. Great post!

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Great post - and I love the quote! I'm glad you found your award. :-)

Angela said...

I have such horrible query phobia right now! I used to get excited when I would send out a new query...waiting for what would (hopefully) be a request. Now, when I send them, I feel fearful and dejected. I've been burnt by too many rejections.

Lydia Kang said...

Ah, but isn't it nice to know you're not in it alone? It's true. We won't find success without trying, and with trying, we must get rejections.
thanks for the linkage! I love reading your blog too!

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...

Matthew. Always happy to spread your blogs greatness.

Talli. Good point. My baby won't see the light of day if I never set it free.

MissV. Oh yeah, the being published outweighs the rejection. :)

Stina. I know, I was upset about chocolate not being a meal too. :)

Mayowa. I think we all need a breather with some queryphobia. Glad to hear you are getting back in the trenches.

AKAmamma. *Virtual hug.* Sorry about your rejection, but I love way you said you felt after you realised it wasn't about you.

Jaydee. I agree with you. Rejection sucks but the celebrations when it happens will be awesome. :)

Traci. Glad you liked the post. Of course I don't mind. :)

Kathi. I guess the nerves never really disappear then. Sometimes I wonder if we need that little bit of doubt...

Melissa. Thanks for your kind comments. I agree with you. I'm not sure we can ever be emotionally ready for responses, but unless we try we shall never know.:)

CQG. I agree, having other bloggers is a lifesaver.

Shannon. Glad you liked the post. My award is awesome, thanks so much for thinking of me.

Angela. Aww, I'm sending you a cyber hug. I know one day soon your request will come. I believe in you. :)

Lydia. Wise words Lydia. It is nice to know I'm not alone. Cause you guys rock!

Shannon said...

Excellent post! :) Thank you Lindsay.

Have a great weekend!

Palindrome said...

thank you for this. It is always nice to know that we are not alone in our publishing struggle. :)