Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Coping with Rejection

How do you do it?

As an agent I face rejection every day on behalf of my clients, and I have to say, it hurts. When I take on a project or agree to submit something new on behalf of a client, I am doing it because I truly believe it’s a book that needs an audience, that people will love, and that people will buy. So when editor after editor tells me “no,” I start to doubt my own judgment and, even worse, I start to feel that somehow I’ve failed my client.

I know that there isn’t an agent out there with a 100% success rate. Heck, there’s not an editor out there with a 100% success rate, so it’s guaranteed that I will submit things and get rejected. It doesn’t help my self-esteem any better to know those facts and I’m sure it doesn’t help you, as authors, to know those facts either. I truly admire everyone who puts pen to paper and then takes that next huge step and puts it out there for others to see, read, critique, and, yes, judge.

My coping mechanism for when the rejections start to get me down depends on how down I am. Often I have to leave the office. When I’m feeling discouraged it’s better to leave and start fresh another day. Usually I’ll go home, put on cozy clothes, pour myself a glass of wine and browse the Internet. I will actually go to the BookEnds blog and Web site and just admire all of the great things we’ve done with this business and all the fabulous authors (published and unpublished) that we have the privilege to work with. And then I make a list. I make a list of all the things I will do and all the successes I will have. And the next day, when I walk into the office, I’m energized, strong, and very determined. I’m not going to let those rejections get me down because I will find that one person who loves these books as much as I do.

So what do you do? How do you cope with rejection?