That glorious day when you finally get accepted does not mean that from then on it’s all yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. I wish! I don’t know a single published author who hasn’t had rejections after their initial sale. Mate, I know New York Times Bestselling Authors who’ve had work commissioned for an anthology and still been rejected:
- “You are a writer of great genius, we love your work, write us a story set in a world with butterfly-based technology!” The writer does. The response: “Your story does not quite fit our anthology. Sorry.”
The writer is then stuck having to find someone who wants a story about butterfly-based technology. Blerk.
Happens all the time. Being a writer—published or not—is all about being rejected.
Editors say no, book clubs say no, prominent magazines or newspapers or journals say no to reviewing you, Hollywood says no, whole countries say no (why, Lichtenstien, why?), school boards say no when they ban you: It’s a whole world of no. I bet if most pub’d writers sat down and figured out the percentage of yeses in their life compared to the nos it would be rather teeny.
One of the best things about having an agent is that they can shield you from a fair number of nos. The ones I’m not aware of are fine by me. (Though I have seen a punter in a bookshop pick up Magic or Madness, read the back, read the first few pages, then put it back down again. No!!!)
So, sadly it takes a lot more than just one yes to make a career as a writer. You need many yeses and the ability to cope with an ocean of nos.