Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Rejection, Rejection, Rejection

A couple of nights ago I went to my writing group. We all met on the Creative Writing MA nearly ten years ago, and have been meeting every few weeks or so ever since. Bar one who is still on the first novel, they're all on their second or third books. I'm the only one who's had her novel published.

I am so impressed that they continue with writing. There have been near misses along the way, meetings with agents and publishers that have looked promising but haven't ended up in a contract, lots of positive rejections and so on. It's always a bit tricky offering advice because I don't want to appear patronising and besides, my choices are not necessarily paths they would choose to take. The only thing is...

It occurred to me that when I was looking for an agent I sent my work out to more agents than all of them together have done over the past ten years. And yes, it's tiring and yes, it can be hard to motivate yourself after yet another rejection, but I can't help thinking that if you're serious about getting published you have to get out there: it won't come to you.


Lizzie said...

Hi Sarah,

Good post, but sometimes it's hard to keep sending ms out. I emailed first three chapters and synopsis to an agent who claims on her website that she aimed to respond within seven days ... it's been over six weeks and not a dickey bird! Should I contact her to see if she received it?

Will you be at the RNA party next week?

Kissing Mr Wrong arrived today!


Sarah Duncan said...

I do understand Lizzie - I've been there myself! It can be really hard to keep going, to keep on believing. But it has to be done, if you want to succeed long term.

I think the general feeling is it's OK to make (polite!) contact after 6 weeks just to check it's not been lost - I'd have thought it's easier to lose track of email submissions than paper ones. Will post some more on this I think.

Sarah Duncan said...

Durr, pressed the send button without thinking. Yes, I'm going to the RNA party next week, come up and say hello, and hope you enjoy Kissing Mr Wrong.