My manuscript has been reviewed by two editors at well known publishers, in addition to an agent. It has not yet been picked up, which means I have faced three rejections. How many times has/did your manuscript get rejected, and what helps/helped you to persevere?
I've received so many rejections I get suspicious when someone likes my work--and that's no joke. Well over a hundred and I'm in good company--you should read about Stephen King.
There was a time when I was counting every rejection that came in, but there came a point when I was highly emotional and spent, thinking I couldn't really be as good as I thought I was if no one wanted me. But then I seriously had to ask, does it matter? I didn't start writing because someone told me I should--I write because it is a comfort and release. It is medidation and prayer. I write because I love it and I will be writing until I die, no matter if no one likes my work.
When I came to that realization the rejections hurt less. I got a contract from a publisher that appreciated my unique voice and keep discovering people every day who think my work is fun and special and maybe a little different than what they're used to.
An important thing to know, even established writers get rejected. At first it feels like a slap in the face but it really is nothing personal -- just because that editor or agent didn't feel they could do you service doesn't mean that another one can't. Keep trying!
Thank you for the encouragement! I do have a question. Did you continue to mold and shape that same manuscript with each rejection, or did you move on to your next piece of writing? I am setting aside time this summer to polish up my manuscript again, but in the meantime I have started working on the next. Do you tend to go back and forth on projects? Until my first manuscript gets published I think I will constantly feel the need to revise. Thank you for taking time to reply-your input really is helpful and it gives me hope :)
That's trickier for me. At first, i was modifying my manuscripts according to feedback but at some point you have to determine the feedback that is valid and the feedback that will change the authenticity of your story.
I usually work on the first two drafts of one book before moving on to another, but the revisions never stop. Even the book I published, i look at it and think i should have changed a few things. I try to keep submitting even if I'm still revising. I have one book that has an alternate ending because i can't decide. Until it's in print, its fair game for a work-over, IMHO :-).