Wednesday, June 27, 2012

20 Things to Do About Manuscript Rejections

Adapted from Valerie Lee’s Facebook post “20 Things to Start Doing in Your Relationships”
(The plain print is the quote or the adaptation. The italics are my responses.)

Get out of the negative reaction as soon as possible. Use the F-word lots of times then move on.
Let go of this chance as already gone. Those tasteless creeps didn’t deserve your work anyway.
Give another editor/agent/whatever a chance. There’s a slim chance this one may have a brain.
Show all publishing professionals kindness and respect. Just grit your teeth and do it.
Accept them just the way they are. At least you don’t have to be them.
Encourage them and cheer them on. Excuse me for a moment. I feel a gag reflex coming on.
Be your imperfectly perfect self. Which is not as bad as they try to make you think it is.
Forgive and move forward. Or maybe just get to what Anne Lamott calls forgivish.
Do little things every day for others. Like tell them not to submit their work to this jerk.
Always be loyal. I actually am gagging now.
Say what you mean and mean what you say. This absolutely does not work in publishing.
Keep your promises and tell the truth. I’m not sure that one works either.
Stay in touch with people who matter to you. But blow off this dope.
Give what you want to receive. I guess that means acceptance. Let me know how that goes.
Allow others to make their own decisions. I didn’t know we had a choice about that one.
Talk a little less and listen more. Where’s the fun in that?
Leave petty arguments alone. But petty arguing is my personal favorite.
Pay attention to who your real friends are. I can get behind that one.
Pay attention to your relationship with yourself… and with your work. That’s what really matters.
Ignore unconstructive, hurtful commentary. Which is what rejections feel like. So screw them.

I apologize to Valerie and to Brett Barker who originated the Facebook pass-around of the heartfelt list I have so cynically vandalized. Nora Ephron’s passing has simply put me in that frame of mind.

God bless you Nora.. as flights of angels sing you to your rest.

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