Mosquito Bites (or the Itchy Welts of Rejection)


Photo by James Jordan (CC BY-ND 2.0)

If you’re an author seeking publication, rejection is something we encounter often. It’s sort of like that time of day when walking outside is an invitation for mosquitos to sit down to supper. They will bite. The welts will swell, itch, and annoy you for a few days. And then, the evidence of their presence will go away.

The inclination of reasonably intelligent people will be to stay inside during the hours when mosquitos are out for blood. That, or apply lethal quantities of bug repellent. For authors, the DEET in the aerosol-propelled smelly stuff that allows us to party out of doors at dusk is optimism, perspective, and/or sense of humor.

I received a rejection today from a publisher I admire. Friends are published with them. At least one of their authors has books on the shelf at the local Barnes and Noble, and she’s not local. Of all the recent submissions, I had high hopes for that one.

Still, when I got the email today, I couldn’t be upset at having been turned down. I chose not to be. I’ve been rejected before, after all. Recently for Glitch, by publishers both more and less notable, and in the past for January Black. And I have observed a difference between now and then. All three rejections received thus far for Glitch came with feedback, while January Black was turned down mostly by non-response.

Sure, I could focus on the rejection from an awesome publisher, but why when I choose to see the progress? I, as an author, now warrant feedback from people who read for a living! That’s HUGE! And with feedback comes opportunity.

So arm yourselves with bug spray, lovely readers, because whatever party you’re joining, things will probably start getting interesting right around the time the mosquitos start biting.

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