Which is why, when the first few rejection letters start showing up, they think there must be some kind of mistake. The other publishers wouldn't pass the manuscript up, right?
It's a tough pill to swallow when the one thing you've spent countless hours pouring your heart and soul into receives a generic letter of rejection from publisher after publisher after.. well you catch my drift.
Diane Mayer Christiansen, author of the Snub Club, shares a few words of wisdom on just this very topic:
When I began writing, I’ll admit, I was pretty innocent. I thought, six months in to get the manuscript out, another month for rewrites and then I’d be ready to submit. I was sure that when the first batch of thick, brown envelopes went into the mail box that it wouldn’t be long until I was getting all of those SASEs back with requests to read more. The weeks passed, the months passed and I waited.
I got the SASEs back but each with their own version of a mass produced rejection card, telling me that reviewing a manuscript is subjective and not to take it personally. That was ten years ago and there have been many, many, manuscripts since. Yep, every writer’s been there.
So, here’s the trick. You have to keep writing. I know this may sound strange, but the game of getting published is all about the survival of the fittest. Who will endure over time, who will continue to hone in on their craft? For me, the game was easy to play. I write about things that matter so much to me that I cannot stop. I have a journey to share that involves my struggle with dyslexia, my son’s celebration of Autism Spectrum Disorder, and with this journey, a fire to help the world understand. Every time I see my son’s face, I am inspired to continue.
So, now when an aspiring author asks me for advice I tell them this. Survive the barrage of rejection that is sure to happen. Get a thick skin and believe in your work. Write about what drives you on a daily basis and never give up. Write because you love it, because you can’t stop.
Diane Mayer Christiansen graduated with a Biology degree despite her struggles with dyslexia. She worked at both the University of Chicago and Northwestern University doing genetic research. Christiansen is now a published author writing young adult fantasy and middle school chapter books including SNUB Club. Her characters are based around children with special needs such as dyslexia and Autism Spectrum Disorder. She speaks to parents and teachers about learning to celebrate those things that make our children different and her journey with her son and his ASD.