Nine ways to cope with rejection

Rejection from agents and publishers that is, not from that guy you’ve had a crush on for years. Although, while we’re on that topic, if you’re looking for advice on how to cope with unrequited love, public humiliations and silent stalemates, I’m your girl!

But let’s put all that aside, because today, it’s all about the query.

That query.

The one you sent three months ago.

You’ve just received an email, heard the delectable ‘ping’ of its arrival. Your heart is racing, your breathing is hitched and your hands are sweating. Even though it’s been forever since you submitted a query, your spidey sense is tingling and you know exactly who the email is from.

Dear You,

Thank you for sending your query and first pages. Unfortunately, I’m afraid I wasn’t captivated enough to ask to see more material. But it’s a subjective business and I hope another agent will be interested. 

Thank you again for sending your query and I wish you the best of luck in your publishing endeavors.

Best wishes,

The agent’s name

The agent’s agency

You sit in silence, processing the rejection and trying to come to terms with the fact that your hopes and dreams have been dashed, once again.

WTF!! Why is this happening again? Am I THAT bad a writer? How many rejections is this now? 22 or 42??

How the hell do you get over this?

1) Crying. It’s OK to cry. Find a nice couch to sit on, preferably in private, and allow yourself to wallow in your misery



2) But don’t wallow too much, or you may just find yourself slipping into a hole you can’t get out of



3)  Give yourself permission to let lose, to go wild.



4) Go bungee jumping or swimming with the sharks, just do anything that will get the blood pumping and the adrenaline flowing through your veins again

flying cat


5) When you get back down to Earth, hang out with your friends. The ones that love you even though they know you spend your Saturdays in your pyjamas… watching Star Trek reruns



6) Use that marvellous brain of yours and imagine a future where you are a widely successful, prize-winning author who is loved and adored the world over. It can happen

cat glasses


7) Play some music, the inspirational kind. The kind that sets your heart on fire and gets you ready for battle

waiting cat


8) Start writing again, no matter how shitty you feel. Write like you’ve never written before. Write something new, write 5,000 words in one hit, write the story that bleeds from your soul. Hold on to the muse and never let go

hanging cat


9) Lastly, and most importantly, do what writers do best. Eat a shit load of chocolate.

cat icecream.gif

52 thoughts

  1. Oh man, now here’s a set of tips and disgruntled-cat feelings I can relate to! Those rejection slips are the worst, especially after months of waiting (during which you manage to convince yourself that of course they see how brilliant you are!… They’re just taking so long to answer because they’re planning out how to afford both your million-dollar advance as well as the library built in your honour, all in the same fiscal year).

    Thanks for sharing this healthy dose of how to go from well-earned wallowing, through to bucking up and pushing on 🙂 not just good for a laugh, but good for the fresh rejections I’m sure will be rolling in once I get around to finishing and submitting things again 😛 cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I go through the same thing, the hope that this might be ‘the one’. When I started submitting my third novel (The Other Pretty One) I thought I might have a chance. I was thinking, surely my writing is better now? Surely my story telling has improved? Surely I’ll get lucky and hit the sweet spot?

      But no cigar.

      Every single damn time. Hahahah

      Good luck!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ugh, yep, every friggin’ time. I feel your pain — all this self improvement work on our craft really feels like it should be paying off by now!

        But in the meantime, this is why we have friends. And wine. And pizza.

        Cheers to that sweet spot hurrying the heck up 😀 and good luck to you too!


    1. You too Marie!! I keep looking out for that post on your blog 🙂

      I have no clue why we let ourselves go through this! Why not just be happy writing without this crazy pursuit to get published? I think writers who want to get pubished must be a combination of two parts hopeful, two parts stoic and four parts cryptically insane. Can’t explain it otherwise hahaha

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve never thought about going out and getting a hit of adrenaline (no bungee jumping for me, but a rollercoaster might be fun!) – that would definitely help!
    And I LOVE this line ‘Write the story that bleeds from your soul’. Fantastic.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I love the “it’s a subjective business” line that always appears in form rejections. As if they really believe that. I’m sure they are really thinking “Maybe another agent has lower standards than me, because I know good writing when I see it, which is what I am an awesome agent.” Regarding number 7, I find “Eye of the Tiger” always helps. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah I really despise that line, I suppose they use it to keep the ‘crazies’ at bay. I’d love it if the industry had a multiple template system (so I could know how close I am, the ‘subjective’ excuse can mean so many things!):

      1). I think it’s amazing, but I just signed a similar novel, keep trying!
      2). It’s great but the industry isn’t crying out for a book like this
      3). It has potential but too many issues with it and I don’t have the time to tell you how to fix it OR it has potential but too many issues with it and this is how you can fix it and resubmit…
      4). Your writing/book/idea sucks. Write a new one and get back to me in 10 years

      I understand why they would never do this, but I can dream!

      When I read the ‘captivate’ line, I just immediately assumed my book was a 4.


  4. I honestly love your gifs! I really like your post and your blog. Your writing is really light-hearted and refreshing to read! Keep it up 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. This is embarrassing but I don’t actually have a list. I just keep track based on the emails I’ve sent (four separate folders: sent, replies, rejections, acceptances). Clearly, one of those folders is empty. I usually jump on a site, do some research, and send some emails. I gave up keeping track a while ago, lol.

      For aussie agents I use this site:

      I also stop by Writer’s Digest every now and then for agents who are building their lists:

      I also use this list:

      Sorry I couldn’t be more helpful!


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