Beware Excusitis, or Failure Disease.
“I would have been published, but…”
“I would have finished my novel but…”
Avoid people who are negative, because you may get caught up in it. You know that negative guy in your writer’s group who thinks the whole industry is out to get them? The one who self-published a book of haikus about his cat’s hair balls? Can we get rid of that guy?
Remember: the gut wrenching stab of a rejection letter is nature’s way of telling you that you are still in the running. By in the running, I mean that you still care. You still want to succeed. The people who don’t give up are the ones who are the most successful.
Also, if you get rejections, don’t always think “it’s not me, it must be them”. Remember to change your query or manuscript to get the best results. If you are using the same query you wrote a year ago, maybe it is your query? Maybe your synopsis is really poor? Think that over. Maybe you can make a small change that will fix everything.
For instance, Jon Gibbs was sending Fur Face to YA publishers. After a long time, one of them was nice enough to tell him “This is really good, but it’s not YA. It’s middle grade.” Jon had no idea. He submitted to a MG publisher, and Abracadabra! Publication. Sometimes you just need to change your thinking a bit.
Note: The above are Jon Gibb’s main speaking points, with my rambling opinions attached.
Jon Gibbs is the author of one of my son’s favorite books: FUR-FACE, which was nominated for a Crystal Kite Award.
Jon is an Englishman transplanted to New Jersey, USA, where he is an ‘author in residence’ at Lakehurst Elementary School. Jon is the founding member of The New Jersey Author’s Network and FindAWritingGroup.com.
Jon blogs at jongibbs.livejournal.com