Rejection…it stings.

When I was attempting to find my way into publishing I
decided to try my hand at Urban Fiction. I completed a novella about a pregnant
woman on the run for her life after a violent incident with a drug dealing
ex-boyfriend. The year was 2005, and I was feeling very optimistic about the possibilities
of being a published author. I felt that if I made it in the urban fiction
genre, that I could make my way over to another publisher and book deals. I
didn’t want to be pigeonholed into one specific genre, so I decided to use
another nom de plume. I tripled checked my manuscript and sent it off to a very
popular Urban Fiction publisher on the east coast.  Approximately 3 months later I received a
letter in the mail. I was so nervous and so excited about the news that I held on
to the letter overnight and calmed my nerves. The following day I opened the
letter and I was STUNNED! The publisher  told
me in a very simple way that they already had something similar to the story
that I had written and they were not interested in mine because  it was written in the “typical’ urban style.  I do realize that with Urban fiction there is
a lot of “colorful” language used in the stories, and my story wasn’t filled
with that style of writing. I used a couple of terms but nothing that was
racially offensive or too degrading to women.
I didn’t really think it was going to give much to the story but I guess
that was a lesson learned.  My immediate
thoughts about the letter were painful. I had let other people read my story, a
creative writing teacher, a film teacher, and a few family members. I took
their notes very seriously and edited my story for all errors, and fleshed out
parts of the story that needed to be explained. I didn’t understand why they
would reject my story. I felt that I wrote at the same level if not better than
any of the writers that were in their catalogue.  Then I realized…just because they said no, it
doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t get a yes from another publisher.  After reading Stephen King’s “On Writing”, I
realize that one rejection letter means nothing to your writing career. It’s
best to use the letter as motivation and find your own way to tell your story.
If every person allowed rejection to stop them from pursuing their dream, then
nobody would get anything done! In the long run, I realize that I was never
meant to be with that publisher, and maybe one day I’ll post a snippet from
that story.

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