Tuesday, March 17, 2009

"You like me...you really like me!"

Every time I get a rejection from a publisher, or hear about another writer getting rejected, I'm always reminded of that famous line from Sally Field when she won the Oscar (see above title if you've never heard it).

That one memorable line sums up what all human beings have wanted since the beginning of time: acceptance. And writers and other artists are especially neurotic about it. Given that we're all in businesses in which success is largely based upon subjectivity; it's only natural that we would be.

I know of three authors who have gotten rejections from publishers in the last 24 hours--less than actually. How they deal with that rejection depends on who the author is (and, no I won't mention any names). But no matter how they deal with it--with humor, nonchalance, fetal position in a dark corner... rejection still hurts.

The bottom line is as writers we want people to like our work enough to buy it so we can feel like Sally Field felt on that day back in 1985 when she uttered those words. Well, she actually said something else, but I like the misquote better. And even though I never say the words aloud, I won't deny thinking them, or some facsimile thereof, when the occasional book or two of mine sells.
I mean, gosh, I just feel so proud and a little awed that people actually want to spend money to read something I've written. On the other hand, I also usually believe that what I've written is awesome and infinitely entertaining. Doesn't everyone? Otherwise, why send it out into the world in the first place? So, yes, rejection hurts, even if just for a little while.

But there's also another famous quote: "If at first you don't succeed..."
I'm sure all of you who have felt the sting of rejection can finish the line for me.

Lisa G.


Miriam Pace said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Miriam Pace said...

I so hit the wrong button.

Lisa, what I said was, I know exactly what you're saying. Some writers take rejection as a personal rejection and I think that makes it harder to take. Rejection from an editor is so impersonal and our stories are our babies and no likes to think their baby is unwanted.

Dyanne said...

Hey Lisa,

I totally agree with you considering I have a pile of rejection letters, old and new and yes, some in the last couple of days.