Rejection and Failure: A Blog for Success!

Posted: February 17, 2014 in Writing
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,


Well looky here… I’m a blogging machine.

The publishing industry says I should put my name out there via websites and blogs, so that’s what I’ve been doing.  I’ve written more over the last year and a half than I’d written in the previous twenty years.  Funny thing is:  Most of what I’m writing has nothing to do with my manuscript, my search for literary agents, or my quest to get myself and my work published.

Yeah, I know.  I KNOW.  It doesn’t matter what I’m writing.  The publishing industry says I need to put my name out there so as to have a following ahead of time.  I also need to build a nest so that I have a warm, dry place to nourish my work once I get it published.  I understand that most of my current work — this type of sidebar — is necessary to the end result.

I’d love to go back in time and read the blogs of Edgar Allen Poe and Walt Whitman… you know, the ones they were writing to build their followings and to impress their literary agents when their real work was ready.

My second novel, “Working Title,” has just 1,452 words out of a probable 55,000.  I’m neglecting it at this very moment so that I can add this current blog to my body of work to impress those that will one day shatter my dreams.

Please note:  I haven’t been rejected.  My first novel isn’t quite ready for submission.  This blog is in response to all of those future rejection letters, as well as those that I’ve had the pleasure of reading through other bloggers here on WordPress.  Those are so very joyful.

I’ve said it before.  I’m really not into attention seeking behavior.  Part of this stems from a fear of failure.  Wait, that’s not exactly true. Yes, I fear failure, but it’s more accurate to say that I fear people noticing my failures.  I don’t like people to see me at my worst.  I don’t like it when I appear flawed.  I don’t like it when people criticize my work.

Oh God.  Why the hell did I write a book?

People love to tell me that J.K. Rowling was turned down __ times.  Stephen King was rejected __ times.  Hemingway had the door slammed on him __ times.

Is this really going to make me feel better when the rejection is pouring in?

I’m supposed to show the world that I can write.  I’ve done that.  I’m supposed to show the world an occasional excerpt from those things that I want published.  I’ve done that.

What if all I’m doing is leaving a trail, like a snail, of my failures.

My followers encourage me not to give up.  If I never give up and yet never get my work published, then the only thing published shall be rejection and failure.  I’ve done so many other good, positive things with my life.  Maybe I should stick to blogging about my successes, instead.

I’ve got a beautiful wife and three lovely children.

  1. Juliana Lee says:

    If nothing else, remember a lot of us are in the same boat…. hey this boat’s getting pretty crowded and I hear there are sharks in the water, I hope we find land soon!

  2. shmooz says:

    Hey Eric, Thanks for visiting my blog. I liked this post, mainly because I’ve written a book and experienced rejection. One publisher, after reading the first 3 chapters, asked for the whole thing before rejecting it. I choose not to think of them rejecting ME, but my book. At any rate I say keep on trucking… Take the time to complete your work and try again. If you have faith in your work, keep working on getting published. And there are some alternate routes. One woman had her book self-published and listed with an ISBN no. She sold a couple thousand out of the back of her car and finally got noticed by a bricks-and-mortar publisher, and voila, taken as a client. Stranger things have happened- so why not for you- or me?!

  3. Stephen King wrote short stories and submitted them locally for a few years. I don’t know how many times, but it was a good number until he hit his groove. JK Rowling– she exhausted the publishers in UK and came to the US where ONE took a chance. Now all the others, I am sure do not even want to talk about rejecting her manuscript. Numbers do not mean anything in rejection, it is just like using a firehose. Your first bit of water will not get to the seat of the fire, it will be rejected by the heat. But you keep at it!

    Wre-right the story until it is done and re-wright. then re-write it again, clean it up and you will clink glasses with me on a beach somewhere with a writers-who-traversed-the-desert-of-rejection group. (Just made that up, “the desert of rejection” I might use that in a comment and develop on it..)

  4. shelleyburbank says:

    Nice to know there are others out here who feel the pressure to social-mediacize ourselves in a bid to become published writers. I’m kinda feeling like rebelling!

  5. obzervashunal says:

    … I say you’ve added the word ‘author’ behind your name is a clear indication it belongs there. Own the gift and the gift will move heaven and earth to bring you reason for its existence…

  6. I had to laugh at the last line. It really puts things in perspective. I’m always in danger of forgetting about all the good stuff in life chasing after the next writer’s high. 🙂

  7. sonlightpicturesblog says:

    I would seriously look at self publishing. Here are a few links that can give you more info about it.

  8. Laurie W. says:

    Yep, it bites sometimes, okay all the time, to have your work be rejected. Too often it feels as though they are attacking us personally because so much of ourselves are in our work. But like you said, you have to play by the rules so we follow them and send our work out to the world. Our work is out there to stand all on its own to be judged, allowing a part of us to be judged by people we don’t know. I was told once that one of the most attractive qualities in a person was confidence, not cockiness, just healthy confidence and I’m starting to believe that quality does come through in our work. I’m not confident modeling a swimsuit or hosting a cooking show but I can tell you I am very confident in my art – as you are with your writing. If you weren’t confident and going onto writing your second book, well I’d just call you a masochist! You will be published, I’m confident about that. Wow, I haven’t written this much in a blog forever!

    • Thank you, Laurie, for your kindness and confidence. It’s no secret that I think highly of you and your opinion… and the extra effort you’ve put forth in commenting here has made me unexpectedly emotional. I’m grateful.

  9. sonlightpicturesblog says:

    Here are a few more links that may help:

  10. Happy Pills says:


  11. silentdugood says:

    Love it, you put my thoughts on paper, are you a mind reader. Great post

  12. mommytransformations says:

    I’m not sure if I should thank you or curse you for this piece. As a newbie blogger (and writer, for that matter) with dreams of one day writing something that someone would want to publish, you have slapped me back to reality!

    • If it must be one or the other, then please curse me for this piece. While constructing it, my motivation was not to discourage those writers that are starting out or on the brink of submission, but rather, to reveal a certain continuity of difficulty throughout the process of publication. I am hoping that by “slapping you back to reality,” I’ve increased your motivation to put forth the difficult work involved in getting published, instead of quashing the hopes that inspire such dreams. Imagine! Write! Work! Aspire!

  13. Whatever you do, don’t give up! Believe and you are half way there! x

  14. I see success & failure are opposite ends of the same vibration Eric – if you love writing, and you sure are good at it, the failures will be but pinpricks on the tapestry of a well lived and loved life. I love your sense of humour and vulnerability. Check out William Whitecloud & his Million @ Book Club (or my latest post on my blog) for a new approach to writing

  15. scturnbull says:

    good post – i want to write, not advertise. Aren’t advertising executives paid to advertise?
    anyway – all the best with 1st novel revision, and second novel writing

  16. A.D. Everard says:

    The publishing business is not what it used to be and is not good for writers. It took me 30 years to realize that and to make my own way. It was either that or jump off a bridge.

    Interestingly enough, this blogging stuff – it grows on you. Cheers, mate, and good luck. 🙂

  17. katysperspective says:

    I love the rejection image!!! Sounds like the worst thing that can happen has already happened… inside your imagination All uphill from here?

  18. Timiarah Camburn says:

    Hi. Thank you for stopping by. I’m a writer too so I understand exactly what you mean here. Good luck with everything.

  19. truth42 says:

    Thanks for the like. I was lucky enough to have an agent and several publishers. However, I’m getting an idea of what rejection is all about. It’s crappy. Ian x

  20. Love this post and feel your pain. Rejection cuts like a knife but you’ve got real talent. Don’t let the opinions of others dampen your passion. Keep on keeping on!!

  21. Haha…ha…ha. That’s why I started my blog as well. For the exact same reasons. And all I can think is, “What if people read my blog and realize I have nothing to say? OH MY GOODNESS WHAT IF I HAVE NOTHING TO SAY!?”

    But that’s the point of supporters and family and friends who are another, possibly better, variety of supporters are -for-. Getting you through the rejection and doubt. And we’ll support each other.

  22. Paul J. Stam says:

    Boy do i know what you mean. I can’t quite get used to all the blogging and social networking publishers want you to do, but before i get off on a rant, let me just say thank you for letting me know you liked my post “Telephone Killer – Excerpt 23″ on – Best wishes and Aloha – pjs.

  23. Ldrwriter says:

    Our writing demons are pernicious little bastards. I say you give em the flying middle finger. “Eff you, you shrunken, slobbering trolls! You no longer have permission to set up gypsy camps in my brain! I need that room to make word babies! Get the hell out!”
    I find this exorcism to be effective, especially if done out loud after a couple Russian Standard and dill pickle shots. Just…give the neighbors some warning. Trust me on this.
    BTW thanks for swinging by my place: The drinks are always cold, the towels are always hot, and you’re always welcome to the clubhouse, amigo.

  24. olganm says:

    I’ve gone the self-publishing route but trying to sell the books is hard work. On the other hand, I love writing and I’ll carry on doing it. And if somebody actually reads one of my books and likes it… All the better…

  25. wordistryinc says:

    Love it!

  26. I loved this one of yours. Oh I can relate. I finally self-published through CreateSpace. If I can do it – you can too! After self pub…you have get reviewed. I have two good ones from ForeWord Reviews and Kirkus Indie so well see where it goes. To all my fellow keyboard pounders, I say, “Forget ‘em and publish yourself!!!!

  27. hello eric its dennis the vizsla dog hay this is so troo!!! my dada eeven has a semiregyoolar feetcher on his blog ware he puls owt old rejekshun letters skans them and posts them wot has in a fyoo kayses eeven elissited a komment frum the awthor of the rejekshun!!! wunse in a wile he puls owt an akseptanse letter too wunders never seese!!! now like others wot hav left komments he has put owt buks on his own so i gess his pile of letters is mor or less statik at this poynt but ennyway he sez he agrees with jane catherine and the others and sez disintermediate!!! wotever that meens!!! ok bye

  28. Gwen Stephens says:

    I think every writer can relate to this struggle. It sucks, but I hear it gets easier to swallow. One glass-half-full writing friend of mine says rejection is just an opportunity to make your writing better.

  29. rsfdeep says:

    Hi Eric, I’m flattered you liked my blogs. You have quite a large fan base established…that is awesome. I hope someday I can reach out to a lot of people. Thanks for leading me to your blog. I find this post especially helpful.

  30. […] Rejection and Failure: A Blog for Success! […]

  31. MLTomlin says:

    I feel for you. I understand your fear of rejection, I have read other authors blogs and listened to their ‘rejection’ stories. But the one thing that really impresses is the simple fact that the ones who “made it” are the ones who did not stop. Don’t stop. Rejection may happen for many reasons. The market, the wrong publisher, the wrong editor, a need for revisions but don’t stop. Your voice should be shared.

  32. Thanks for stopping by earlier. I really enjoyed your blog it struck a note with me, echoing lots of feelings I have concerning my own journey. What your post has done is encourage me to dig out the many books of poetry and stories I wrote over a ten year period. They were put away and never shared with anyone. Maybe, I’ll post a few on my blog, if they are relevant. Unlike many people I have no desire to have anything published, they were written as part of another journey I took, but I wish you well in your pursuit of a finished and published work.

    • Thank YOU for stopping by as well. I enjoy your blog because its contents remind me that I need to slow down once in awhile and do something creative and artistic with my children. Your blog is filled with the loveliest projects.

      As to your poetry, I say the heck with relevance. Put ’em up and let us have a look into your past.

  33. Hi Eric,
    Thanks for visiting my blog. Although we are in completely different literary worlds, I hope you find value in some post about markets or publications. Keep fighting the good fight!

  34. timitude says:

    You cannot give up Eric… It will be illegal with such beautiful and inspiring writing! Who cares if some of the publishers have a negative opinion in future…. either way you win. Do let me know when you publish!

  35. AnchorRock says:

    If you can’t be criticized for it, it’s probably mediocre. Take heart you may be on to something big here, Eric.

  36. luckyfsyah says:

    Eric, you must go on, never give up, and would like to know when you publish!

  37. As I scroll down the page, I think, “Wow. No wonder I get so many rejections.” Too many cooks in the kitchen, but I love all those cooks and the variety they offer.

  38. Ellen Antill says:

    Stay on that “writing” horse, Eric, and keep riding it. You’re seeking to put something entirely new out into the world . . . and that’s pretty much always challenging, as far as I can tell. You’ve considered self-publishing, right?

  39. Keep going, there are those of us who appreciate your voice.

  40. sarahlearichards says:

    I have decided if I die before some of my works get published, I want them all to be self-published–I at least want people to have access to them. That reminds me, I need to write my will. Basically, don’t give up till you’re dead.

  41. Team ZEAL says:

    I read this the other day “Don’t quit. You’re already in pain. You’re already hurt. Get a reward from it.” Admittedly this was pertaining to the pain of a workout, however, I feel it translates pretty well to most areas of life. Tiny tweaks can result in big changes, just like adjusting the head of a golf club ever so slightly on the swing, we might have a set back, but we readjust and begin again.

  42. rebrandyou says:

    Hey there! Thanks for visiting my blog! I don’t know much about publishing and writing novels, but I do like your writing style so DON’T GIVE UP! It will come!

  43. supremecoach says:

    Thanks for stopping by at my blog. Nice stuffs here, I must say. Great job!

  44. Genuine Poetry says:

    great post! I’d love to read Poe’s and Whitman’s blogs too, if that were possible! LOL – most notably both Poe and Whitman self-published. Poe’s 1st book “Tamerlane” made history recently by selling for over $656,000! Boy would I love to have a copy of that one! Keep on writing! Cheers!

  45. lanodb says:

    Eric, great summation. I too find myself writing all sorts of things I never intended to write, including poetry, for heaven’s sake! I wanted to either publish my book or attract enough people to read it via Amazon, but I find with all these “other” things that one must do, it leaves very little time for the writing that the person wants to do

  46. Publication is a hard road, for sure, and no matter what you do you will always second guess yourself. But look at it this way, your website hass generated a tremendous amout of response in a pretty short period of time, which is more than some of us have experienced. The magical formula is elsuive. But thanks for stopping by my site, and good luck with your endeavors.

  47. Thanks for posting what so many of us have gone through and stating it so creatively. We hope you will keep on keeping on. And thanks for liking our blog as well.

  48. You sure are a funny bastard!. I eagerly await the day you finish your novel.

  49. Excellent post, and that you for being so honest. I’ve no doubt your feelings reflect those of many others, myself included.

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