The One Rejection Delusion

 A Note from Brendan: I’m trying to get posts synched up through Mail Chimp, a newsletter service. I totally botched the first round and for that I’m sorry. Hopefully this one works better.

Standing up, because it's the right thing to do.
Standing up, because it’s the right thing to do. Great pants.

Written by Brendan O’Meara

In this game, you have to be delusional. Total and unequivocal delusion. I have been rejected so many times it’s  embarrassing, or noble, depends on your stance. I think the current book I’ve been trying to shop has been rejected 20 times or so. I invoke the follow message from my good friends in pessimism, I own this poster, among others:

At some point, hanging in there just makes you look like an even bigger loser.

I feel this way just about every day. Most days, I feel like I’m walking into a wall and I’m too stupid to change directions. To my left could be my budding donut business, Donutarium: Crazy Good Donuts. Sadly, or maybe not so, I get so much engagement from any donut chatter I start on Facebook and Twitter. Writing related topics: Zero. That tells me something. People love donuts, especially well-made ones.

(As an aside, so many of writer’s blogs/twitter feeds, etc., are only followed by other writers. There’s a failure to reach out to readers, the people you hope will buy your work. This blog post, for instance, would bore the snot out of a reader looking for story. When I talk about donuts, it engages people, because they eat them and love them. Reading a book takes most people a week. Eating a donut takes 60 seconds, 10 if you’re a barbarian like me.)

I don’t know if that’s just life as a writer or MY life as a writer.

What’s kept me going, besides The Dark Knight Trilogy and Maker’s Mark bourbon and my delectable peanut butter and jelly donut, is when I get a rejection, I stop adding them up. They are isolated events. Sure, The Last Championship has been turned down by 20 agents or so. But I’m gearing up for another round of submissions—one very promising to a publisher, sans agent—and when the rejections stream in I’ll tell myself it’s only one.

Then head to the fryer and work on my crazy good donuts.