Rejection Letters are Great
Written by Jonas Saul
Rejection letters are great is a bold statement.
Why I said it is because you sent your creative endeavor out to a literary agency or publisher. It means you’re ready—hopefully—to take your work to the next level.
Suppose someone told you that the 37th agent you query would sign you and secure a book deal for your work. You would be so excited every time another rejection letter arrived because you would know that you’re one rejection letter closer to that deal.
That’s why they’re fantastic. Keep querying and change the way you think about it. Eventually, you’ll get where you’re going. Since the ship doesn’t always come in, sometimes you have to swim out to it.
I worked as a door-to-door salesperson doing cold calls many years ago. We’d knock on doors all over the neighborhood and eventually get inside a random home. There were times when it took ten minutes, other times an hour. Once in a while, it took all day. I quickly learned that it was just a matter of knocking on doors before I got in.
What I mean is, the more doors I knocked on, the faster I got in a house to do a presentation and possibly make a sale.
So I ran from door to door.
It kept me energized and fired up—and ready to present and sell when I finally got in. I outsold my team month after month. The rest of the salespeople I worked with often got dejected when a door slammed in their face. Not me. I loved it because I was one closer to the door that would eventually welcome me in.
Here’s something to think about: A man bought a beautiful house a few blocks from the airport in Chicago. Before committing to the purchase, he saw the runways weren’t directly over his house, so he decided to go ahead and buy it. Years went by, and the airport got busier. Planes got larger. They needed to build more runways, and now planes took off and landed directly above his house. Housing values plummeted in the area, and the man couldn’t sell.
So, he went to see a psychiatrist as the situation made him crazy. The doctor told him to change the way he looked at it. The man went home and painted “Welcome to Los Angeles” on the roof of his house beside the Chicago airport. Now, when he hears a plane overhead, he smiles.
Change the way you look at it. Stop seeing rejection letters as a bad thing. Each one you receive is one closer to a positive result.
People with book deals have no excuses, and people with excuses have no book deals.
Zig Ziglar once said that failure is an event, not a person. You may have failed with a particular rejection letter, but you are not a failure. You wrote a novel. The more failure you see when growing up, the harder to believe in success.
In addition, you miss out on 100% of all literary agents you don’t query. So rejection letters are your confirmation that you’re out there, querying and moving forward—even when you’re getting a rejection letter is what you need.
“Things come to those who wait, but only things left by those who hustled”
What’s the worst that can happen? You’re at the same spot now when someone sends you a rejection letter. Just make sure you do it.
Here’s something to think about: Two men were hiking through Northern British Columbia. A bear approached from behind. It looked ready to attack as it eased closer. One man dropped to the ground and yanked off his backpack. He reached in and retrieved a new pair of running shoes.
The other man, still standing, asked, “What’re you doing? You think you can outrun a bear?”
“No. I just have to outrun you.”
That’s what I’m talking about. Send more queries than the other writer. Don’t focus on the problem. Think prosperous thoughts. Allow prosperity to find you. Get past being stuck. Don’t quit, no matter what. Promise a lot and deliver even more. Be assertive in your actions. Take action. Submit your work. Enjoy rejections because you’re one closer to a book deal.
Change the way you think about them. Read every one of them like they’re a badge of honor. Save them all so you can go back and tell people how many you collected until you got the right agent for you when you’re a famous, published author. Rejections may pile up, but they’re ammunition for future author speeches.
Enjoy rejection. Stand tall. Brush off your shoulders and keep moving forward. And remember—you’re one rejection letter closer to a deal.
“They cannot take away our self-respect if we do not give it to them.”