Saturday, November 21, 2009

Did I just send you a form rejection? Read this

Don't let the judgment of any editor (or agent) poison the intense, intimate, and necessary relationship that you have with your own work. Keep the two things scrupulously separate. The self that writes may need to be a delicate and protected creature, but the self that submits to magazines (and agents) ought to be as tough as a rhino's butt.


Christian Wiman, editor, Poetry
"Poets & Writers" May/June 2009




24 comments:

Jess said...

I completely agree.

I remember my brother saying something about my sister-in-law being a nurse that can be applied to this post. He said that it takes "brass balls the size of Texas."

Okay, so it can be to an extent :] [Sort of.]

I know first hand not to let rejections affect the thickness of your skin - or the size of your brass balls!

Travener said...

That's what I tell myself -- until a rejection comes my way. Then I feel just like that rhino in the picture. The one with an arrow in his ass.

Indigo said...

Absolutely love this analogy. I tend to protect my writer self like a new born babe. On the outside, I strive to be as tough and timeless as aged wisdom.

Bernie said...

Janet
I learned that lesson after my first round of queries and I didn't even get a form rejection from the feared JR. Must have caught you in a mellow moment.

Dee Carney said...

I've never sent you a query, but that quote is worthy of posting right above my computer. Thanks.

Melanie Avila said...

I've enjoyed your tweets today.

Jay said...

Absolutely, completely, utterly true... And easier said than done. But there you go.

M.B. Sandefur said...

That's true. I have a few rejections under my belt but I won't let it stop me because I believe in my work. I will query every agent that reps my genre until I get a yes. You gotta go hard or go home sometimes.

Good thing I'm no punk :)

LR said...

That's a wonderful quote and the fact that an agent cited it refreshes my faith that agents do indeed understand the writer's soul.

Unfortunately, though, there's no solution to the dilemma. We are able to write because we are sensitive. Take that away and there is no writing of worth.

So we suffer, but the victories are all the sweeter. At least we are not alone.

Wilkie said...

Love it. And so true!

MaureenHume said...

That quote made me smile. I'm not sure it's good enough to make me smile the day I get my next rejection but I'll try it.

laughingwolf said...

gotta have more'n just a 2-way split personality, though two is a start...

MamaK said...

So... agent = shark. writer = rhino butt. Got it.


Also, I'm tempted to write in your genre JUST so I can have you as an agent.

Tricia said...

With 40+ rejections I'm getting tougher, and writing better. Thanks for the quote.

Nancy Coffelt said...

I got my first chops owning my own studio/gallery. I heard lots of uncensored comments about my artwork there - big time.

Thank the universe, in my writing I have an agent.

So my tough rhino butt is all Olay and rainbows now - not.

Asbestos - yeah. That's my butt of choice.

Julie said...

I hope to remember this when it comes time to query! Thanks. :)

lora96 said...

I'll try to keep this in mind. It should at least muffle my whining!

Rick Daley said...

That which doesn't kill us only makes us stronger.
- Anon

We are not measured by the challenges we face in life, but rather by the steps we take to overcome them.
- Me

Amy Sue Nathan said...

Easier said than done.

Chocolate helps.

ian gordon said...

Never a truer word spoken.

A.L. Sonnichsen said...

Ha ha! Beautifully put, Mr. Wiman!

Rebecca Knight said...

I'm officially printing this out. Thank you! ;)

Blogging Mama Andrea said...

I'm going to have to remember this when rejections number 7 and 8 arrive. :)

John said...

This is true in love, life, and writing.