Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Rejected, Again.

I awoke this morning to the typical shriek of my alarm clock, groped for my phone (naturally), and…yep, there it was, at long last. My rejection letter from Angry Robot Books. Something to the effect of “the writing was good, characters were good, but it just didn’t quite have that AR feel, and yes, it really is just that vague, but please feel free to query any future works with us,” blah, blah, blah. It took all my strength just to get out of bed.

I knew it was coming. When the editor posted on the main AR thread over at AW that anyone from Open Door Month who hadn’t heard back should email him, I knew it didn’t bode well for me. When he sent out mass emails saying we'd hear back in a few days, I figured that was pretty much it. I doubted I was going to get an email that read, “We loved it so much we completely forgot about it.” Yeah…no. But that didn’t keep my heart from plummeting when I read the actual rejection email.

I carefully avoided the subject with my husband when I got up, because I’m a grouch and a half anyway in the mornings and bursting into tears or somehow blaming it all on him was surely not going to help things. He still doesn’t know, and I’m sorry about that, David. I love you! So I got into my car, put “Someone Like You” on repeat, and damned to Hell every car I saw all the way to work.

I suck, you suck, everybody sucks but me, %$#&$ ^#$@*$ EVERYBODY!!!!

So I’m blogging about my pain and my (for the moment) utter conviction that I’m a hack and I’ll never write again, and trying to refrain from deleting everything I’ve ever written, including that biology paper I’ve been working on.

You see, real-life Becky is an even-keeled, dispassionate automaton, but virtual Becky has extreme emotional knee-jerk reactions all over the internet that she regrets ten minutes later. Real-life Becky sits very still and keeps her trap shut when she’s upset. Virtual Becky goes on rampages and killing sprees and makes bad decisions. So real-life Becky is trying very hard to keep her foul-mouthed and impulsive alter-ego under control until she calms down.

I don’t suck. I know that. Except, you know, I TOTALLY DO SUCK and I should stop submitting anything to anyone ever again. I can’t even get a short story published. I mean…I have, but not for months, and not for pay. But the version AR rejected was almost a year old, and it’s been through several betas and revisions since then, including some by the other Anxious Appliances, who are all literary geniuses. Heck, when I change a minor spelling error I look back in disgust on the previous version and hate myself for ever sending it out. I gave EoS to my coworker to read yesterday, as she is a fantasy reader. She put it on her Nook, opened it up, and didn’t move for twenty minutes. So it can’t be THAT bad, right? RIGHT?

WRONG! It SUCKS and you KNOW IT! It’s clichĂ© and stupid and tropic and everybody hates it except non-writer people who don’t know any better. AAH! Give me that hard drive, I’m going to KILL IT IN THE FACE!!

Now I have to decide whether I want to rework EoS into a YA or submit it again as is. I don’t know yet, and as I mentioned before, virtual Becky makes very hasty and often very bad decisions when she's upset. So I’m going to give myself a couple of days to be sad and hate myself, and then I’ll do…I don’t know, something.

I wish I drank.


  1. I'm sure it doesn't suck, Becky. It got passed up to the editors, which means it had something going for it - probably the same thing your Nook-owning friend saw.

    I bet there are books that your friends love, that they've pressed into your hands saying "read this, it's awesome" - and you do, and you're "Meh, it's well-written, but it's just not my cup of tea." I know it's happened to me. Guess what? Editors are Exactly. The. Same. They're readers and fans of the genre first, and a book that one editor goes crazy for will leave another scratching their head in bemusement.

    Stop beating yourself up and get querying that puppy. Somewhere out there is an editor who'll totally get your book, just like your friend.

  2. Oh Becky! I LOVED EYES OF STONE so much and you know what, the fact that you worked even harder at it through revising it even more and taking into consideration the feedback from your betas and stuff, it shows that you do not suck. And that IT does not suck.

    I love Anne's comment to you. As it is all true. I recently made the SCBWI Undiscovered Voices longlist but did not get chosen for the anthology and I was DEVASTATED. Heartbroken. And then swiftly after that had two rejections of the manuscript. I felt like SHIT. I practically buried myself in sack-cloth and ashes. Until I got this email from a friend of mine who basically told me to get over myself. Quitters quit. Published authors are not quitters. Do you want to be a published author? DO NO QUIT.

    Pull up your Big Girl Panties and get on that wagon. Again. I have. Together dudette, we can do this gorram thing.

    Much hugs and all my love - even through I don't know you from Adam!

    L xx

  3. I went through the same "I suck and everything I have ever written sucks/but wait, it can't be that bad, right?/no, I suck" process yesterday too after my R. Bah, the whole process of finding an agent or publisher is what sucks. You're an excellent writer!

  4. Thank you, everyone! I feel better already. :)

  5. Oh, I am so sorry. I have been rejected so many times I can't count 'em. My face always gets that hot-with-shame feeling like I've been slapped, but it fades more quickly with each email that includes the word "but." Don't give up!
    Here is something I wrote a while back for writers who have suffered a rejection; I hope it gives you a hearty laugh and brightens your spirits!
    I just added you to my blogroll and am a new fan!

  6. Ya dun suck. You rule. (((((hugs)))))

    The book will find its home. Believe it, and believe in you. Today was just a bad day. Tomorrow starts fresh.

  7. You are awesome! No suck-age anywhere. Just remember in this new 2.0 version of the publishing and writing world that anything is possible. I'm with JJ, tomorrow starts fresh. Go get that golden ring, it's waiting for you to grab it.
    *whispers* you're almost there.

  8. I like virtual Becky. She feels like I do at times. :)

    Keep writing!

  9. Hang in there, Beckah! And I know you are -- I just read a tweet that you've sent off a partial!

    I had a full rejected at the end of last year. I empathize, but am keeping at it too.

  10. Don't you worry about how you feel! That's exactly how you are supposed to feel! Get mad, yell, scream, and eat tons of junk food. That's how you deal. And until you deal, you can't move on. The fact that you get so upset only means you have passion for your work, and passion is the most important thing!

    Good luck, and don't worry,(much as I know you are sick of hearing it)you will get there!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.