Welcome to my pity party…
Getting rejected sucks.
A few months ago, I decided to take on the challenge of writing in the fantasy genre (C.V. Leigh – you can find me HERE, HERE, and HERE). This was a huge step for me. I’ve always loved fantasy and paranormal books and films, but always struggled to write it. Encouraged by my friends and family, I gave it a go. I produced two short novels (a series), edited them, fine-tuned them, sent them off to Beta-readers, and then some agents and publishers.
I did my research. I dug out my Writers and Artists Yearbook and trawled through it, looking for companies that specialise in fantasy. I wrote specific cover letters for each one, making sure that I’d addressed the correct person. I wrote a synopsis and blurb, and double-checked the submission guidelines.
So far, I’ve received two rejections.
They aren’t terrible rejections – one was a form “thanks but no thanks” email, the other was more personal and explained that while they thought the story had promise, it wasn’t quite what they were looking for at the moment.
It’s been almost six years since I was debut author, trying to find the right publisher / agent. Yes, I’ve had rejections since – my last romance novel was rejected by four different publishers, two of whom I’ve currently got contracts with, so it’s not like rejection is something I’m not used to. The difference is that those rejections came with specific feedback and a “re-write it, edit it, send it to us again” email. They were personal, friendly, and encouraging. The novel wasn’t up to the standard of my previous works. Fair enough, into the pile of unpublished works it goes. Crack on with the next idea until I’ve got the energy to go back to it.
Being rejected as a published author isn’t as terrible as when you’re a debut author. You already have work out there, you already have a name and a fan-base of sorts. As a debut author, the blow is real, and it sucks. C.V. Leigh, as far as anyone is concerned, is an unpublished wannabe, struggling to get a foot on the ladder, and I feel like someone’s just yanked it out from under me completely. I’ve fallen flat on my ass, with two novels on my laptop that I don’t know what to do with. More than that, I’ve just started writing a high fantasy, child-friendly novel, which is a HUGE step for me, since I’ve never written anything remotely child-friendly before.
The novel that’s been rejected (and is currently under submission with a few other agents and publishers, so there is still hope) was an adult urban paranormal fantasy. It was close to what I’ve written under Charlotte Howard, but with werewolves, vampires, witches, and a distinct lack of sex. I was semi-comfortable with what I wrote. The high fantasy, child-friendly novel is so far removed from that it may as well be on another planet. Well, I guess it is since it’s high fantasy… But anyway… It’s left me feeling almost bereft, I suppose.
Will it go any further?
I’ve re-written chapter one and two after some useful and constructive criticism from Girl-child and Hubby, but now I’m not sure if I should continue. What if it’s not good enough? What if I’m just wasting my time? What if I’m not a fantasy writer?
But it’s not just writing fantasy that I suck at right now. I’ve recently gone back to writing articles for content mill websites like DotWriter If you trawl through my blog or Facebook page, you’ll see that’s what I used to do. That’s how I started out as a writer – writing freelance articles for websites such as the now defunct Helium.com. And even there, I’m getting work sent back, rejected and in need of editing.
I’ve lost it.
I’m not sure what ‘it’ is exactly, but I’ve lost it.
I won’t let this stop me. I’m far too stubborn for that. I want to be a career-writer. I AM a career-writer. But today, I am throwing myself a pity party, because being rejected sucks.