My Pet Hates – from a struggling writer’s point of view.

1.  Agents/publishers that do not respond even when ms is neatly presented with SAE and correct postage.

2.  MS returned with my cover letter. (Rubbing it in that they didn’t even take the blimming thing out of the envelope.)

3.  MS returned with my cover letter and the words: no thanks, scrawled across. (ouch!)

4.  A standard rejection, but then advertising their own books for successful publication.

5. Getting my name wrong.

6.  Ending the rejection letter with the words: Better luck next time. (I didn’t enter a raffle!)

7.  A rejection letter in shape of a form. The reasons are listed, and my particular one is ticked or ringed.

8.  “I only accept new clients that already have published success.” (Grrr.)

Rejections can be very devastating at times and you should avoid falling into depression, or overuse of alcohol/drugs. Saw this warning here, and thought it funny. I dunno, I’m still POSITVE I’ll get a three-book deal sometime soon, so maybe there is a chance I could be hitting the bottle or worse within the next couple of years.

4 thoughts on “My Pet Hates – from a struggling writer’s point of view.

  1. Hi Louise, I read both POVs and it's like talking politics, both sides think they're right. It's all a matter of *hitting* the right *people* with your MS or having the *right* connections in some cases or just being a *known* writer would get your foot through the door. In all cases, it's all a matter of *keep trying* and never give up. I had written here somewhere about a brief story of rejections from JK Rowling and John Grisham. Had they given up, the world wouldn't have had enjoyed their brilliance. Grampa Pogi


  2. I agree about no point in bleating about it, Marc… if I was serious at all. But sometimes it's good to keep a firm tongue in cheek and have a grumble now and then, don't you think?


  3. I had one ages ago when I was in college. It said something along the lines of:

    If this is an example of what you learned in a college creative writing classes, I'd demand my money back and insist on keeping the credit as payment for enduring a semester of literary torture.

    Looking back on the short story I submitted, it was a load of crap. Still….


  4. I just don't think there's any point bleating about it. It is what it is. A hurdle race. These are professionals who look first and foremost as businessmen, then second as fans of literature. If you can't offer them profit or some other intangible they want to be associated with, why should they give you of their own time free of charge?

    There's little point maligning them that they don't know what they are doing, how could they overlook a masterpiece etc, since clearly they do know what they are doing if they've been in the job 20 years (& even though that fact is coming under attack in the present economic climate, it just means there's even less opportunity for an unknown to get his book picked up). You have to show that you are capable of being professional and can conduct cordial business relationships, otherwise why would they want to work with a writer who is awkward and difficult and rude (I am not saying you are by the way, but you'd be surprised how abusive rejected writers can get).

    My advice, these days you can publish yourself quite cheaply and then all the responsibility lies with you, so there is no one else to blame. If you believe in your work enough, cut out the middlemen and go down this path. It's the way I've chosen for myself.


    Marc Nash


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