Saturday, April 16, 2011

N is for No

Two small letters. So much pain.

"No, you can't have another cookie." "No, you can't stick the fork into the plug just because it fits. I'm so proud that you're brilliant enough to deduce the connection, but don't actually MAKE the connection please."

And the dreaded...."No, I'm sorry we're not interested in your book."

I've only gotten one of those so far, and I'm pretty sure I deserved it.  I queried before I was ready, and yet my husband wanted me to overcome my fear and just try.  Because you see, not all "No's" come because something is forbidden.  Sometimes they are there simply to protect us. From embarassment. From harm. Or because the person you're asking simply is not the right one to help you.

JK Rowling collected a huge stack of rejections as did Shannon Hale. As did every author who went down the same road. The road to publishing.  It's a tricky one to be sure, and a painful journey mixed in with all the bliss.  We love writing. We want to be published. But, "what do you mean you don't like my book?" The nerve.

It's like the, "Will you dance with me?" followed by that awful two letter word.  Forget about the four letter ones.  This one's more painful. Probably because we want it so bad. We want that dance. We want the reward for putting ourselves on the line and asking that difficult question. Maybe someday I'll get a yes, just like my husband did when he asked me to dance. Then asked me to marry him. Those were magical nights, but only after a ton of risk. Putting yourself on the line and asking the question.

Just like with an agent. I hope to make that magical connection some day. Where I'll ask, "Do you want to dance? Because I've worked really hard to make this book everything it can be and I'm ready to share it with someone." And soon. So...anyone want to dance? Because me? I'm not even close to being done asking.  I've only just begun. And I won't take no for an answer.

What do you do when you get a "No?"  Do you give up? Press on and stick that stupid fork in the socket anyway? Or ask another parent and see if you get a different answer?  :)


  1. I wrote about no as well, but from a different perspective. I love yours. Someone else on this challenge talked about rejection as a way for us to know it's not the right choice. That's hard when it comes to our writing. Al I can tell you is you just have to keep plugging away at it and develop a thick skin. So nice to "meet" you.

  2. Sometimes a "no" is for the best, though it isn't always to see it that way. I've sent out stories before they were ready and looking at them now, I would be mortified if they had been published!

    Sometimes I ask again--later or a different person. I got a "no" on an article query once, only to re-query the same editor a year later and she bought the article. Sometimes it's just timing!

  3. I think the no's make you stronger, as a child I would work myself up for weeks to ask my dad's permission to do something and in a flash he would say no! I learnt the hard way that just because I got a no doesn't invalidate me it might mean that the problem is with the person, or I need to revise what I have presented, or like kids today they always ask 'why' and then they keep asking until you give in....the lesson, don't give up until you get a yes!, great to stop by from the A-Z challenge. Have a blessed week!


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