Dealing With Rejection

After reviewing my last few posts, I have noticed that I have steered a little off topic recently. I started this blog, Reading with Teque for three reasons:-

  • To give myself an outlet, some breathing room from actual writing.
  • To offer help, advice and guidance to others who may or are writing stories.
  • To help raise awareness of my projects, to build an audience.

This post will hopefully get myself back on track. This post is going to touch upon all three bullet points I’ve just mentioned and will be presented in a far more professional way, unlike my last post called ‘2017 Plans,‘ that admittedly was all over the place and not one of my best, actually it was possibly my worst piece of writing yet. If you would like to see how not to write a blog, check it out, have a laugh and write me an educational e-mail, or send me a step by step idiots guide on how to deliver a message effectively on WordPress. In saying that, I did gain a few followers and likes from that one scruffy looking article, so to those of you who took notice, to those of you who read it, thank you and I hope you enjoy ‘Dealing with Rejection,‘ rejection being part of every (yes every) writers career. I also want to share with you a few stories about the benefits of rejection, yes you read correctly, there is positivity to be found in rejection and I am going to explain where and how to find it. I feel like this is an important topic, one that everyone who works within the creative realms can relate to because rejection can have severe effects on someones self-esteem, especially young writers with big dreams and are full of great ideas who simply do not know how to articulate them, and if you’ve not experienced a rejection letter or e-mail just yet, I hope my words will help you through the cold, gut wrenching experience. I have talked briefly about rejection in earlier articles, but never dedicated more than two minutes of my time to it. So, let’s get to it shall we? But before I start writing, I need to fetch a drink, I suggest you do the same, reading always goes well with tea or coffee.

I’m going to begin by saying, that everyone gets rejected and I mean everyone, this includes you. Sorry to start off by being so blunt but I am not going to lie or sugar coat the truth, you will suffer a rejection if you decide or have already decided, to become a member of the creative club, whether it be in writing, music, photography or film, anything artistic big or small will receive criticism and sustain a push back of some kind at some point. These rejections usually happen at the beginning of your journey, when you’ve busted a gut crafting your vision into the master piece it is, and are on the look out for someone to represent you. In the writers community, we usually finish our story, edit, then hunt down a Literary Agent for representation. After accepting your work, the agent can then start getting your work onto the desks of publishers and the process begins again. In short, a writer must receive two yes’ before he or she can crack open the whiskey. Depending on how you deal with a rejection however, will define you and may or may not develop your thick skin which will see you through to the very end.

We’ve all heard of J.K Rowlings numerous rejections for Harry Potter, we’ve all heard of Stephen King’s, Carrie, getting rejected plus twenty times, I could sit here all day and babble on and on about Rudyard Kipling being told he didn’t know how to use the English language or George Orwell getting told that there is no market for animal stories, but I will assume you’ve heard them all and are as tired of hearing them as I am. The reason I bring up such examples however tedious they may be, is to show you that even the very best started somewhere, that they too went through what you’re going through and have essentially walked a similar path to the one we’re on. Thinking about it this way fills me with a sense of hope and a sense of excitement, you and I can relate to such influential people, we can relate to them on a level not many others can and could probably hold a decent conversation with them should we bump into them one day at the bar, or the coffee-house or at the strip club at 1am, where ever it is you like to hang out. This is pretty cool and brings these icons down to earth where they should always be, not in the clouds as the media likes to portray them as. So give yourself some credit for simply attempting to create something, do not shoot yourself in the foot or let the opinions of others ruin what you have or what you want to do with your time on this planet, instead, use it! Use it to your advantage, see the rejection as added time to improve your vision or craft and do not say your work is already perfect, because if you think this way, if this is your chosen mind-set, you are destined to fail. I finished my first book The Utopian Dream in 2011, I got it published in 2016 and I am still finding things that can be improved upon. I re-read a chapter last night in fact and had to pause for a few seconds to let what had been said sink in to my exhausted skull. The lines did make sense but was presented in a needlessly confusing way, I corrected it and re-uploaded it to Kindle because I am in a position to do so, but the point is I still find the odd thing that could do with an adjustment; Do you know why? It’s because I am a freaking Human being who is by no means perfect, far from it and the same applies to you and everyone else (besides Keanu Reeves and Olivia Wilde, they are an exception to the rule, they are perfect).

One of my favourite films is Alien, directed by Ridley Scott, released in 1979, and if you’ve bought it on Blu-Ray or DVD, you have likely seen the five-minute talk before the extended cut begins. Ridley says that “After fifteen years, you see things that are worth changing” Those aren’t his exact words but it is close enough. If Ridley Scott, the master of science fiction can admit to his imperfections as a film maker, someone who cannot get any higher in his field, then we must be humble and admit that we will never write, shoot, film or create THE perfect piece, we can only aim to get as close as we can, it’s all one can do. At the end of the day you need to get through the no’s to get to the yes’ and it only takes one yes to turn your life around. No’s are weak in my eyes, no’s are nothing, I can let them no’s hit me all day everyday for weeks on end and they won’t make a dent on my armour, but a yes, a yes gives me wings without the need to down a can of Redbull in the space of five seconds. A yes can elevate you and give you all the strength you need to be inspired and to carry on regardless of how many people are telling you to “Get a real job” “Focus on something that pays well” “Get a life” “Stop wasting your time” “Do something productive” … I’ve heard them all and so many more and am still hearing them. My response to such people can vary from nothing at all (because they won’t understand) to “If you choose to live your life living someone else’s dream, go right ahead, always do what makes you happy, but understand that to deny the very thing that makes you an individual, you are wasting something valuable, so valuable that no amount of money can hope to replace it.” In other words, use your time wisely in accordance with what it is you wish to achieve on this planet.

My story of rejection is nothing particularly special, it falls into same the category as all the others at the end of the day, stories you’ve heard time and time again, whether the rejection be “It too hard to market” or “Not good enough” “Not what we’re after” or simply by being ignored, which hurts more than an actual response sometimes, not being worthy of a response by the people you look up to is awful. I’ve experienced rejection so many times I’ve actually lost count. The exact number is saved into a folder named REJECTION BIN, but I think I must have missed a few during those busy years for I am still finding the odd rejection e-mail within my inbox. At first it is hard to take, you think; How? How can someone not see what you’re seeing? How can they reject something you’ve poured years of your life into? “What did I do wrong and what do I need to do to get noticed?” Before I delve into how to turn these negative feelings right the way around, I will share with you my best rejection, a rejection where I was written to, and conversed with over the course of about two weeks. I wrote to a new publishing company who were accepting unsolicited manuscripts, this means manuscripts that have not been in the hands of Literary Agents. I sent them the usual package, a cover letter attached to the first three chapters of my first book, my first book being renowned among my beta readers for not having an exciting opening, this instantly puts me at a disadvantage but never the less, this is my story. They responded, I still have the e-mails, they were very forth coming, very open and honest about what they read. To know that someone has or is reading your work is a feeling that makes the stress well worth the going through. Not only did they like what they read, paying me several compliments along the way, they also wanted to publish me. I know what you’re thinking? Why did I not publish with them right then and there, I’ll tell you. It’s because they did not know the full extent of the story, when they learned the size of my book and books to follow, when they learned that I wanted to push the genre into a whole new direction, to go above and beyond anything that has ever been done before, LITERALLY I want to create something that stands on its own, they gave me a choice, the choice was to make drastic changes to the layout of the story, this meant cutting down or completely removing one of my two main characters, it meant removing some heavy action sequences and some seriously important plot points that become extremely relevant later in the series. I could not do it, admittedly I thought about it, when someone in a suit offers you a contract that could potentially pay your bills one would be silly not to at least think about it. In the end I respectfully refused, I turned down their offer. Following on from the refusal, I was left with some fantastic feedback and advice from the one I was in contact with. She helped me edit my cover letter, she was the one who helped organise the layout of my book and told me that it would be best to split up your first book, into three volumes, this is the reason as to why I opted for a volume path. Apparently it would be easier for readers to absorb the material in bite sized chunks rather than given the beast in its entirety. Of course this was before I had my work edited, this was years ago where I was still learning the craft and had not that much experience. Now, all my books are on The Amazon Store, available for download onto Kindle devices with a Paperback in development, a Paperback that could potentially hold all three Volumes, should it be manageable for readers. I still need to condense the content, but hopefully I can publish The Utopian Dream as intended, under the one cover, but we can only see.

As for my rejections, each one feeling like a punch to the lower gut, the answer to dealing with it is simple. Had it not been for the rejections I received, had it not been for the set backs, the bullshit and other hang ups that we all suffer on the Human journey, then you would not have the story you behold right now. Basically, had I been accepted right off the bat after my very first submission, then I would have an incomplete, incoherent, inconsistent rather lame book in comparison to what I have right now. Instead of seeing rejections as a negative, see them as a way toward your growth, to your evolution. You get rejected, you get knocked down a peg or two but in between the time of your next submission, revise your work, edit your work, proof read your work, ask others to read it to give honest feedback, so you can allow your story or craft to be all it can be, and if you get rejected again, repeat the process until you do get that one yes. This is the nature of the business, at least this is the nature of the writing business and it is a fucking hard nut to crack. I imagine it be the same or similar with the other creative platforms out there, I’ve only worked in one other form of artistry and that be Graphic Design. You have to dedicate yourself, you have to do the work but above all you have to want to do it, it has to be your passion, you need a vision before anything else, if you have that then you’ll make it. If you’re doing it for no other reasons than a get rich quick scheme, you chose the wrong profession my friend because in this business you have to apply yourself to your vision and what you want to accomplish and that takes more work than the majority of 9 – 5 jobs out there to date. You have to give a shit about your dream.

Well, that’s my rant over on the topic of rejection, I hope it helped or will help in the future. If you would like a topic covered in a future post, please feel free to e-mail me using the link below, follow me on Twitter for regular updates, please check out my first book and it’s trailers again using the links provided and like this post if you liked it.


Twitter – @MegasTeque

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