Writing Wednesday: Can a Rejection Have a Silver Lining?

Last Week’s Goals

All my blog posts went out as usual. Two of my stories returned from market and were sent back out within a day or HackedOffCoverso, so all of my available stories are out there. On a positive note, one of those stories (“Two Buttons to Eternity”) just earned me my FOURTH HONORABLE MENTION in the WRITERS OF THE FUTURE contest! Even though they’re ultimately still rejections, they at least tell me I must be doing SOMETHING right…

 “Hacked Off” (Detective Jimmy Delaney #7) completed its release weekend. My next (as yet undetermined) eRelease is scheduled for September 3rd.

Last week I wrote only 2314 words of fiction – even fewer than the previous week. I wrote on six days, but only made my daily quota on three of them. Detective Jimmy Delaney #8 (working title “Possession”), is now over 12,500 words.

On the Marketing and Promotion Front

I’m participating in SMASHWORDS JULY SUMMER/WINTER SALE! All of my collections will be available on Smashwords at 50% off throughout the month of July. You can find ALL my eBooks on Smashwords HERE.

Swordsmaster4Also, remember – if you have Kindle Unlimited, Swordsmaster is still FREE for you to read. You can check it out here:


Remember – if you click on one of my Amazon links and then purchase ANYTHING on the site, I might get a small commission AT NO COST TO YOU, so consider using one of my links the next time you plan a purchase (so think of me when you buy that television. Do they sell cars on Amazon? I wonder…)

Otherwise, I continue posting on Indies Unlimited’s Thrifty Thursdays & Kindle Unlimited Fridays, although I can’t tell if it’s having any impact.

How to Handle ALL This Rejection

I just achieved rejection number 600! My rejections are spread out among the 85 or so short stories that I’ve completed and sent out to market (all my short fiction went out to market, except for the later stories in my Detective Jimmy Delaney and Herc Tom, Champion of the Empire series (the first story in each went to market, but there doesn’t seem much point to me in sending follow-ups to an indie-published series out to traditional publishers.)

SIX HUNDRED REJECTIONS; I probably could have set up a milestone for rejections, but it just doesn’t feel like something I want to celebrate, much less strive for.

As a writer, you have to learn to deal with rejection – most books about writing will stress this, especially for the beginner. Some will come up with rituals to try to help ease the pain – like tacking your rejection letters to the wall in your writing space. This isn’t always helpful – often rejection letters are form letters that never say anything different, if the publisher sends them out at all.

The point of tacking those pelts on the wall (even if it’s a virtual one) and noting them as accomplishments is to realize that:

  1. You started to write something (most people who say they want to write never get beyond being a wannabe)
  2. You finished it (again, most never do)
  3. You were brave enough to send it out to a stranger (many who finish their story put it in the sock drawer instead of the mail)
  4. Someone read enough of it to have an opinion (not the one you hoped for, but it still puts you head and shoulders above the sock drawer hoarders)

Writing can be a very solitary vocation, and it would be too easy to let all this rejection get to you. At times I wonder why I submit my stories to traditional publishers and subject myself to the disappointment. (The reason I do it is obviously NOT in the hopes of adding to my rejection tally – I could go straight to indie with all my stories, but it takes a long time for short fiction to earn its keep out there. The traditional sale of the shortest story I ever put out there has earned me more royalty than any three of my short fictions put together. And selling to traditional markets does BreathingCoverincrease your visibility to readers. And then there’s theDateNightCover ego trip of actually making a sale.)

It’s good to look for silver linings in this process. As I mentioned above, one of my recent rejections was with the Writers of the Future contest – and not just a rejection, but an HONORABLE MENTION. It joins “Purr Mission”, “Breathing is Overrated”, and “Date Night”, and each feels almost as good as making a sale – it tells me that I got closer to the prize, and that my writing is worth SOMETHING.

Sometimes, the rejections are a little more than just an extra pelt to decorate the wall. I remember a rejection of “A Dish Best Served” that read:

“This isn’t our type of thing, but I can’t believe how close we came to buying it.”

(I should have framed that email – unfortunately, it was lost, but even though it was ten years ago, it stays with me to this day.)

There are a few times that I’ve gotten emails to let me know that my story made it out of their slush pile and into a second or third phase of their reading process, and when the rejection came later it almost felt like a victory. And there are the occasional non-form letters that say something like:

“Several of our readers enjoyed your story, but in the end we decided against it. Good luck finding a home for it elsewhere.”

Silver linings – imagining victory from the jaws of defeat.

I do it all the time. Just saying…

What do you do to help keep rejection from stopping you? enquiring minds would like to see you post about it in the comments – thanx!

Current Book Promotions

In a Flash Detective Jimmy Delaney eBook CoverPurrMission-MainTall_025For  information and links for my current promotions (including the FREE starter eBooks for my Herc Tom, Champion of the Empire series and my Detective Jimmy Delaney series), look HERE on my CURRENT BOOK PROMOTIONS page.

Reaching Out

William Mangieri’s writing has been published on Daily Science Fiction and The Arcanist. His ninety or so short stories and related collections can be found at several online retailers, including, but not limited to:

Want to help me make a go of this writing gig WITHOUT IT COSTING YOU A PENNY? I’m in the Amazon Affiliates program, so any time you click one of the links I provide here to my books on Amazon, and then make a purchase of something like, say, a TV, I get a small percentage of Amazon’s profit. So PLEASE consider using one of my links to get to Amazon before you make that next purchase. Thanx!


or on twitter: @WilliaMangieri

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