So someone has said no to your idea or story. A story, which you thought was very unique, a story which has been written painstakingly and lovingly, but the other person thinks it’s not worth anything. It shakes your confidence. It makes you second-guess everything you decide to take on.
Being rejected does rankle!
But before delving deeper into the Blues let’s understand what is ‘Rejection’.
Rejection, the word is pretty negative. It actually is. It means that someone doesn’t attach any importance to something which is very dear to your heart. It can be your choice, your emotions, your idea, or your story…
According to the Oxford dictionary, Rejection has two simple definitions;
1) The dismissing or refusing of a proposal, idea, etc.
2) The action of spurning a person's affections.
The two definitions are addressing two different spheres of life, but in the case of a writer, the pain is almost the same for both :)
There are various ways or levels of rejections. There would be a no response rejection. Agents, editors will not respond to your ideas. There will be no answering correspondence whatsoever on your query. The second one is simple; ‘your story does not fit into our production schedule’ or ‘we have a similar idea at our desk’. This one is the best. It tells you something about how the wind is blowing and you can fine-tune your own story or approach someone else. The third would be a negative or critical rejection which either says ‘rejected’ or is a feedback on the submission. No matter how polite it is worded this type of rejection will always cause pain. Let it. Accept that it will pull you down for a few hours, a few days… but no more. Go on the writing desk again and improve.
Being rejected does hurt! Yes, it does.
And it’ll hurt every time. But, yes there is a but, its up to you to what degree you allow it to impact yourself. And there are ways to deal with it. We’ll be able to deal with it better if we understand the factors or reason behind it. Let’s dissect them one by one;
- Understand that the idea is rejected not you as a person. The idea can be refined and rewritten, or another idea will click. Take rejection feedback as an opportunity to improve your manuscript.
- Sometimes when an agent or publisher says ‘no’. It may not be a rejection of the idea, it might mean ‘no… not right now’. The market plays a very important role in getting the idea accepted.
- Remember you might have pitched to a wrong person or the organization. Or maybe the agent or the editor is upset about something and has read your story at the wrong time. Believe me, moods or office politics do factor in while taking a decision.
- Put yourself in the shoes of the agent or the editor. Till the time they say ‘no’, they are safe, there is no risk involved. The moment they say ‘yes’ they are an equal owner of your unique idea and now the commercial aspect comes into the picture. So essentially if they are saying ‘no, it is not necessarily to your idea but it’s as per their risk-taking ability.
- Every person gets rejected at least once in their lifetime. So it’s nothing new. I know it may sound harsh, but that’s a fact. JK Rowling got rejected by 12 publishing houses. Ashwin Sanghi, I heard him say, got rejected more than 40 times. I got rejected every time I had pitched my story to anyone. And from the reviews that my books get I have realized I am a good storyteller but a lousy idea seller. Yes your ability to sell the idea all plays an important role.
Being rejected does suck! Yes, it does, but don’t take it to your heart. We shouldn’t give up on our ideas just because someone else doesn’t see our vision. Stay on course and you might surprise everyone and yourself.
All the very best!
About the Book
Security expert Nikhil Mahajan is in mortal danger. Gravely injured and unable to see, he is in the midst of hostile strangers in an unknown place. Any hope of survival is fast fading away.
Should an innocent man be allowed to die just because he had been in the wrong place at the wrong time? Someone has to intervene.
About the Author
Winner of TOI WriteIndia Season 1, Ruchi Singh is a novelist, and writes in two genres; romance and romantic thriller. A voracious reader, she loves everything—from classics to memoirs to editorials to chick-lit, but her favourite genre is ‘romantic thriller’. Besides writing and reading, her other interests include dabbling with Indian classical dance forms.