Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Don’t let rejection cause you to doubt!

As writers, we’re expected to handle all kinds of rejection. Before I indie published Vallar, I had subbed it to several agents and publishers. And by this, I mean the big publishers. I had some trouble with a small publisher once and was since then leery of them, so I had never tried to go with a small publisher for Vallar. (That could be another blog post) 

Anyway, one editor requested a full, but then nothing happened. What did I do? Since I hadn’t gotten any feedback, I kept trying to guess why they rejected the story. The chaos of self-doubt had begun. 

The published version of Vallar is actually Vallar version 3.0. Yes, I wrote three complete novels of Vallar. It wasn’t even called Vallar the first time around. It was called “The Vision Maker” It started out with a device, like a headphone set, that when worn over the ears let my main character (Ian Connors) have visions of the future. It also started out with Ian being a little older. He had been cryogenically preserved hundreds of years. His body eventually was purchased by Marscorp for experimental reasons. The experiments are related to turning someone into a psychic. One day he escapes and finds out where he really is (on Mars). He freaks out, so they sedate him with these headphones, using sound waves that are used on patients to put them under. But while he is out, he has these visions. Then he realizes what he can do with the headphones and his next goal is to escape and somehow steal them. 

If you have read Vallar, you will know that the story changed from that. There are no magic headphones, and Ian is not ever cryogenically preserved. I had read somewhere that starting with a cryo-preserved character was an overused cliché, so I assumed that was the reason for the rejections. But I never knew for sure.

However, Vallar continued to be rejected. All the self-doubt and re-writes made no difference. I was not going to write it again. So there is no point in doubting your creativity when in fact you may be on the right path with something. Once something is published, that puts an end to the re-writes. The only plus is I feel Vallar 3.0 is the best version. I might use some of the original for a short story…someday.

If you ever feel doubt creeping in because of rejection, just look at all the big names that were once rejected too. Reading the negative reviews of books you love also helps.

Lastly, I read Rusty’s novelette “War Angel” last Monday and I highly recommend it. You can see my review of it over at Amazon. This post was in part inspired by Rusty. He always seems so modest and perhaps under confident. We have that in common, but he is such an awesome writer. Rusty, don’t ever doubt your writing.

That goes for all of you!



Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Rejection has a lot to do with timing as well, rather than one's actual writing. Really adds to the frustration, doesn't it?
I am on the last chapter of Roland Yeomans' book and then I'm reading Rusty's before diving into Matthew's manuscript. Hopefully all before my critique partners send back CassaStorm and I'm editing again.

Rusty Webb said...

Thanks Cindy, I received 3 rejections this week already. I mean, it's only Wednesday. I did get a very nice personal one from someone though, which really did make me feel better.

That sort of constant soul-crushing can really get a body down. But after a while it seems like it gets easier. That skin starts to toughen up.

PT Dilloway, Superhero Author said...

If you get like 100 rejections, maybe there is a good reason for it.

Cindy said...

Alex: I think it has a lot to do with if you're already a well known author.

Rusty: Aww, sounds like you have a lot of short stories out there. So that's a plus. I've been waiting 10 weeks at one place and still no word.

PT: Yes, I suppose there could be. But I don't think there are 100 places to submit.

Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

When are you going to get the sequel to Vallar done? Or tell us something about the book?

Jai Joshi said...

There are so many possible factors in rejections that it's really not worth taking personally. It's hard but it's also the only way to deal with it and move on.


Lauren said...

I think I'm going to self-publish my novelette. Still fighting the inner demons that say it will never be good enough.


Botanist said...

I try to look on rejection like an old and slightly smelly friend.

For me, the most frustrating aspect isn't the rejection itself, it's the utter absence of feedback. Is it the query? The writing? The timing? Or the effects of one too many tequila's the night before?