Writing my first novel was an amazing adventure. I persevered through every writing stage even while teaching full time. I would have thought then that writing my first book was the hard part. Not true. That was the fun part of the journey. I found that the acceptance of rejection was the true testing ground of an author’s stamina and staying power.
Fear of Submission
Submission meant others would judge my writing ability. I’d been warned by many that rejection can seldom be avoided when submitting a manuscript. That advice didn’t make it any easier when I received my first rejection letter. It felt like the door had been slammed into my nose as I read it. It didn’t matter that they closed the door kindly. I thought I’d prepared myself but, no, I was completely deflated and questioned my abilities as a writer.
The Plan to Overcome Rejection
I had poured my heart into my first Regency, Regal Reward. I had polished the manuscript and painstakingly wrote the best query and synopsis that I could manage. I’d agonized over each word, turn of phrase, or punctuation mark. I took a class on the best way to send out a manuscript. I made sure I met all editors’ and agents’ specific requirements. At that time, most publishers wanted manuscript chapters mailed rather than accept email submissions. I carefully placed query, synopsis, and chapters in a bold, red folder. The class instructor insisted that it must be red to catch the attention of publishers and agents.
Faith overcomes Fear
The first rejection letter was the hardest. The next one was easier to accept but still pinched at me inside. I appreciated those that gave encouragement and despised those that were cut and dry without any reason for the rejection. Eventually, acceptance of rejection became easier. I needed to see it as a claim that I was an author. I created a folder that included a list of the places where I’d sent out queries and the responses.
Fear of failure or a misguided sense of my abilities could have easily caused me to give up, but I believed in my abilities and in my manuscript. My perseverance paid off. Ellora’s Cave was beginning their new Cotillion imprint and accepted Regal Reward as one of their first releases.
I wrote my next novel, A Convenient Pretense, and my submission was accepted immediately by my publisher. My credibility had been established. In April 2014, my third novel, A Kiss of Promise, is being released. I no longer doubt my ability to write a good story but I also have grown in the knowledge that an author always has more to learn.
Advice to Fearful Newbies
If writing is in your blood and in your soul, NEVER, NEVER GIVE UP. Whether your writing is meant for a public audience, for family and loved ones, or for your own personal fulfillment, you need to write. It’s as simple as that. Be open to advice and constructive criticism. Learn as much as you can about you craft and never allow rejection to deflate your spirit or the belief that you are a writer. And write every day! You may not make a lot of money or hit the New York Times Best Seller List, but the knowledge that you are doing what your heart calls you to do is the true reward.
My books are available on Amazon and most other favorite purchasing sites including my own website at www.elaineviolette. I love to hear from fans on Facebook too.