Even we creative, out-of-the-box, mold-breaking writers have to play by the rules if we want to get published (let me know if you find any good loopholes!), and rejection is part of the game. Of course, it helps to remember that rejection is not the end of the game. A rejection letter does not read, “You Lose” or “Start Over” or even “GO DIRECTLY TO JAIL. DO NOT PASS GO. DO NOT COLLECT $200.”
Rejection is simply a stop along the game board, and a square that nearly all the big winners have landed on. Repeatedly.
I actually get excited when I receive rejection letters. To me, they mean that very important people in the publishing business are actually reading what I write. They mean that I’m in the game – and not just starting out, but in that heated, adrenaline-pulsing part when you are nearing the end. Sometimes, it’s hard to get off of the rejection square, but you’ve made it so far! You just have to keep rolling the dice.
To remind you of that, here is an actual game of literary rejection. Match the rejection letter excerpt from the wildly successful classic novel. Try to beat my lowly score of 9/12. Enjoy!