What to do when you get a harsh submission response

Step One: Read it with a mixture of anger and depression.  What kind of dummy thinks my manuscript is this bad?  Other Professional Book People thought it was good, clearly you are just stupid.  Also, OHMYGOD I was such a numpty to think I could make it as a writer?  I don’t even have any training.  My beta readers were just humoring me.

Step Two: Ask everyone you know what they think of the response:

  • Husband- “I’m sorry hon, that really sucks.”
  • BFFs- “You don’t want to work with them anyway.  You’re too good for someone so obviously dumb.”
  • Writer friends- “It happens to everyone.  Since it’s so subjective, some editors will love what you wrote and others will think that exact piece of work is trash.  Don’t let it get to you.  And for the love of cheesenips, stop reading it over and over.  Here, read this link instead. It’ll make you feel better.” (It actually does!)
  • Agent- “Ditto what your writer friends said.  Hang in there- we’ll find someone who falls in love with it like I did.”

Step Three:  Very slowly convince yourself that the best revenge is a book well published and get back to writing.


Anyone else recently get someone shredding their baby?  What’s your favorite rejection story? Mine, so far, is E. E. Cumming’s “No Thanks To” page.  Let me know in the comments!


P.S.  My new manuscript is at-almost- 19,000 words! Take that!

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