I’m not sure if submissions are my least favourite part of writing, but they have to be close. I don’t actually know anyone who loved the submission process and those that say they do are probably lying. Why? Because of this, obviously:
No-one actually wants to be rejected. Sure, you can put a positive spin on it, say it all leads to growth etc etc, but you can’t actually want to be rejected unless there is something psychologically wrong with you. Of course, if you have the inclination to be a writer, then there probably is something psychologically wrong with you, but that is a matter for another post.
I’ve been putting myself through the submission process for years. I’ve told myself that this year will be different though. Simply because I am not going to succumb to the rejection threshold.
By the time I hit rejection number six, I usually give up. Call me weak-willed, but those form emails (or the brown SAE dropping through the letter box in the old days), never really did much for my self-esteem. It was always much easier to just move onto writing the next story whilst consoling myself with a large tub of Ben & Jerry’s.
Everyone knows that J K Rowling was rejected a dozen times before finally having Harry Potter published. One of my all time favourite authors, Jasper Fforde, was rejected 76 times before getting The Eyre Affair published (although, in fairness, I can see why. You try to describe the book and see if you can come up with anything that sounds vaguely credible). Even William Golding had a taste of rejection, with Lord Of The Flies being rejected by over 20 times.
I would never even consider myself in that league, but safe to say, if they had stopped at the rejection threshold of half a dozen, the world would be a much poorer place. For me, I need to aim for an even higher number before giving up and reaching for the ice cream. I have decided that 2014 will be the year for it.
Although, 76 seems like an awfully long way to still have left to go….
…but I suppose there is always self-publishing…