Please excuse any mess around here while blog is undergoing damage repair.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

These Shoes Have Already Been Discarded

Why would I want them? I certainly don't want an agent thinking this way about my manuscripts, so I probably wouldn't want to advertise this, now would I? When an agent looks at a prospective client, they don't want to hear about the twenty rejections they've received. When I first started blogging back in May, I did so as a means of logging my journey. It started out as a diary of sorts. I have several posts that reveal how many queries I sent and how many rejections I received. Knowing now that agents don't want to see this, I've decided to delete all of those posts. (Don't bother searching for them. They are already gone. And, now that I think about it, I guess I'll have to delete this one eventually.) Unfortunately, this means tomorrow will no longer be my 100th post. No worries, though; we will still celebrate, and then in a couple of weeks when I hit 100 for the second time, we can celebrate all over again. Double the fun, don't you think? What about you? Does your blog reveal how many times your manuscript has been rejected? If so, what are your feeling about this?

39 comments:

Suzanne said...

I like scars. I have tattoos. I like that my body looks like I've had three babies. It gives me character. (I'm not sure about the wrinkles I see coming, and I dooooooo dye my hair....)

Anyway... I don't mind the scars on my blog either. ;)

Natalie said...

This is some of the reason I didn't blog until after I got an agent. I think it would be hard to keep all the rejections to myself. I talked to my writing group about the whole process. I think it's good to have someone to talk to-- just not the whole world :)

Janna Qualman said...

I have before, and I get your point, about how an agent may view such announcements. But I also think it can be an encouragement to others, about what we struggle through, and how we persevere either way. Do it how you feel best, for your own blog!

Hope your progress is coming along. :)

Wendy @ All in a Day's Thought said...

I purposefully left out details such as those, for similar reasons. Each query I send is a fresh ask.
~ Wendy

Shorty said...

I'm not so sure about deleting everything regarding a rejection. Just think about when you make it really big... people will want to read about the trials and tribulations. It's inspiring to help others persevere! : )

strugglingwriter said...

I can't see myself going back and deleting things from my blog because what I wrote back then is what I was feeling at the time. Of course I'm semi-anonymous there so maybe this doesn't apply to me.

Looking forward to celebrating twice, though. :)

L. T. Host said...

I've made the hard decision to not post anything until a.) a contract is signed or b.) WIND FURY is dead in the water. It's just not worth it in this business, that's already so difficult to break into, to have anything ticking against you.

Which is a real shame because as Shorty said, that info can be really helpful to others. But I will share more of it after either outcome.

Novice Writer Anonymous said...

Good luck with it all. Sorry you felt you had to delete posts.

Abby said...

I haven't had any rejections on (or requests for) my manuscript yet, just rejections on my query. But I think any agent will understand that there were rejections before them and probably even expect it. Like we hear over and over again--this is a subjective business. What doesn't click with one, might be perfect for another.

And I think it's great to know others are going through the same things we're all going through. I agree with Shorty. It's nice to know that others struggled before they made it big. There's nothing more frustrating than finding out that some huge author barely had to try, but those cases are so rare.

I don't think you're hurting anything by posting about your rejections. I think it's the attitude you put forth regarding those rejections that will influence an agent for better or worse. But I can see your point. We all just have to do what we're comfortable with. :) Great post!

EriCan said...

It's funny you posted this. Yesterday, I did some clean up on my blog as well. I had some posts that were a little random and said a bit too much about my personal life, and not writing. I deemed them inappropriate for my blog.

I didn't really get this whole blog thing when I started, and of course I've learned a lot, so I get why you would want those posts out.

Recording your journey includes the difficult times too ;) You live and learn right?

Cindy said...

I recently read an agent blog that spoke of this same thing. I don't think it hurts to talk about your journey with querying but I would definitely not want to keep a running commentary or tally on the side of my blog on how many times I've submitted and been rejected. The same thing if I was trying to get a job. I wouldn't want my potential new employer to know how many places turned me down before I ended up in that interview.

Lady Glamis said...

I don't keep much information about that kind of information on my blog, but mainly because I haven't queried much yet. I have a long way to go. :)

Jessie Oliveros said...

I've been reading that lately on a lot of agent interviews. If you are Google-able, they will find you out. I'm not at the query stage, but I think I will stick to lamenting with my friends and critique partners.

However, had I not known, I would have pasted it all over my blog. What a better way to garnish support and sympathy from your online friends.

Kim Kasch said...

It will still be your 100th post!!!

Congrats on that accomplishment.

Patti said...

I haven't said anything about rejection. What happened before the blog started stays in the past.

Girl in My Own World said...

I have not gotten that far yet, but I will not write about it on my blog. I guess that it is not important to put all of your shoes out there. :o) Congrats on the 100th post mark! It really is an accomplishment!

Rae said...

I understand that 100 post loss. I had some problems with my blog the day after I posted my 100th and my WHOLE blog was deleted. I had to start all over again. I am around 80 now I think.

I hated it that I lost all my content, but at least I was able to post some of the previous things. It turned out okay because I edited the old stuff and when it reposted it was actually better. Having edited it, your blog will be even better now too.

Tamika: said...

Susan, thanks for the tidbit about our blog content.

I began this journey as a means to connect with other writers and share the journey as well. Although I have not reached the query stage, I most likely would have done the exact same thing.All in keeping with sharing the writing experience.

My question is- do agents really look at unpublished writer blogs?

Blessings to you...

Beth said...

I haven't begun the query process as of yet, but I would imagine I'd keep the rejections to myself, at least until AFTER I got an agent and/or got published! That was a good idea!

Amy Tate said...

Yea, a couple. But I didn't whine about it, I tried to make it a learning experience. Not sure if I should delete that one or not.

FictionGroupie said...

Hmm, something to ponder for sure. I have talked about rejections. I've considered taking down the main post I did on it, but at the same time, I got a lot of comments on that post, so people obviously connected with it. It's kind of a catch-22. I like being honest in my blog about my journey. But at the same time I don't want to hurt my agent chances.

K. M. Walton said...

I did post my stats, but early on, so I'm leaving them up there. I think the reality of the whole thing is, it is a numbers game. You have to query the heck out your book/s - to like a TON of agents. You have to rack up the rejections - it's all part of the mountainous process. It is an absolute rarity to only query a few agents and then land one. It does happen, but not to many. I think agents know this and if an agent is freaked out by my query stats, then I don't know if we'd make a good match.

Shelli said...

i try to only discuss positive or funny things on my blog :)

Strange Fiction said...

I'm not at the query stage yet, so haven't had to address the issue. Hmm..must be a middle ground to be had here.

Lily said...

I think what would matter is why you got rejected and how you took it. If you blogged about how stupid the agent was by suggesting that your ms needed more work... You get the picture. I don't think it's necessarily negative to say you're out there and got some rejections. Now, if it's 10,000 rejections...

I've found your blog to be very informative, not negative.

Kathy said...

Nope, I don't think I talk about manuscript rejection on my blog.

Actually when I started my blog I was unsure what to focus on. People told me to choose a topic (i.e. cooking, writing, social commentary, something) but I didn't want to be pigeonholed into a category. I like to think of it as a broad canvas, writing about whatever pops into my head.

I think it is a good idea to try and stay positive. I prefer reading blogs that make me think and ones that make me feel better after reading them.

Laura Martone said...

Hmmm... this is an interesting post, for sure, Susan, but I don't really agree with it. Getting rejected is all part of the process and, as Janna said, it can serve as an encouragement to others. I also like what Abby said: "I don't think you're hurting anything by posting about your rejections. I think it's the attitude you put forth regarding those rejections that will influence an agent for better or worse."

And, on some level, it really bothers me that an agent would turn you down for posting about your rejections. If you're obnoxious about it, okay, I can understand that. But if you're using the rejections as a learning tool - as I have with the couple rejections I received (during my ill-advised, short-lived querying phase) - then I think it's a healthy part of the process, and I wouldn't want an agent who couldn't see that. Unless said agent is an author, too, (like Nathan Bransford is now), he/she can't fully appreciate what rejection does to us - and how it can allow us to grow, if we let it. A short-sighted agent is not one I'd want.

I'm sorry you felt the need to delete some of your posts. Personally, I have no intention of doing so with the few posts that have dealt (in a positive way) with rejection - after all, those posts led to the ones about beta-reading, which has been an incredibly rewarding process.

But we all have to do what we feel is necessary to increase our chances with a potential agent - I can understand that, too. Perhaps I'm simply too stubborn for my own good. :-)

Leah Rubin said...

Didn't Kurt Vonnegut's first novel get rejected 20-some times before it was published? And J.K. Rowling has a similar story... I think publishers know that even good writers experience rejection. Let's not obsess about our disappointments-- you always seem to be doing a great job of working on the writing, and I'm so impressed by that! (And you look so tall!)

Terri Tiffany said...

I don't mind sharing if I got a rejection or two--it's to be expected and I want to encourage others to not give up as I won't just because of a few rejections. It's part of the process, agents sure know it, and writers need to know to expect it. I wouldn't do a running tally but will say I've had a few already!

Diane said...

I don't blog about my book yet..... best kept secret I guess.... or that I'm not sure exactly where I stand in it all yet... :O)

Kelly H-Y said...

Thankfully, no! I'm sorry to hear you had to delete all those posts! 100 will come soon ... can't wait to celebrate that one with you!!!

Tabitha Bird said...

I don't blog too much about where my book is at simply because I know agents can google me and find that blog and no, I don't want them knowing everything about the process it took for me to get where I am. When I finally get where I want to go I will probably be okay with sharing how I got there. I just don't want any agent rejecting me on the basis of my trial and error attempts :)

MG Higgins said...

I started my blog after I'd gone through a long querying phase, otherwise I probably would have posted about my rejections. As it is now, I won't, although I think it's too bad we can't share this aspect of our process with other writers.

I also think the tone of the post is important--whether we're being whiny or saying "this is what I learned and what I'll do differently next time."

Stephanie Faris said...

I don't really give details about my personal writing journey. I'll write about the writing process in general but I don't write specifics about rejections and that sort of thing.

Angie Muresan said...

I do not blog about my writing. Because I work long hours, and then come home and write far into the night, I blog mainly about my little daily histories, my feelings, and my loves. Congratulations, even if it really isn't the 100th post due to the deletions. You deserve the praise and the good wishes, for blogging so consistently and getting us all to think about our writing more seriously.

staceyjwarner said...

Oh honey, it's your 100th post, PLEASE! don't let those phantom agents rain on your parade...look I deleted a year and a half of writing 400 pdf pages...CELEBRATE! we know what you've been up to!

much love

storyqueen said...

I read Jane Yolen's blog a lot. She is always so breezy about rejection.

"Got two rejections today...hm...bit of a disappointment...."

I love that she is honest about them, but doesn't dwell. That's the hard part. I can never be that happy about rejection, so I choose not to mention them.

I think we are all learning in this blogging world. Do what you feel is best.

Shelley

Robyn Campbell said...

Wow what a great post Susan. And I agree, I do NOT want an agent seeing things that I don't want he/she to see. Hmmm, oops gotta jet(as my son says). There's some posts over at my blog... :)

JennyMac said...

I haven't really used my blog to outline the path my writing has taken. Other than to mention my manuscript is dusty. And in the garage. LOL.