6.20.2006

Rejection Obsession


Is it terrible that I find 'rejection obsession' to be hilarious?

Several of the blogs I read regularly have posts on the topic up today. Miss Snark and Evil Editor discuss the hidden meanings of rejection letters, and on Pub Rants, the issue is writers responding in an unprofessional manner to rejections.

I wish these rejected authors would get a clue. Yes, it hurts. Yes, by god, you've been rejected. Someone said NO to you, and it's so horribly unfair, and you'll show them someday.

Have you considered that perhaps your work isn't that good? That you may have seen worse things on the shelf, but your work doesn't have to beat out the worst book on the shelf, it has to beat out the best available to the agent in question right now? That perhaps your "edgy, gritty, character-driven 300,000 word YA novel" is not suitable for the market no matter how stubbornly you insist you're just a misunderstood genius?

Agents make their living by selling manuscripts that succeed financially to editors. Do you honestly think they earn anything by crushing your dreams with a paltry form letter or by spending hours devising a way to encode vicious, hurtful things into an apparently innocuous missive?

A well-written form letter has the necessary grease to keep most feelings uninjured without inviting unnecessary intimacy from the rejected party. No more, no less.

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