Thursday, September 25, 2014

A MUST READ for all Writers: How JM Stewart Takes Rejection

How I deal with rejection…by JM Stewart

Thanks for having me, Aubrie!

This topic has probably been covered a thousand times and in a thousand different ways, but this is my view on it. Rejection. If you’re a writer, you deal with rejection on an almost daily basis. Every time you send out a query. Even after the book has published. Not every reader is going to love your baby. And you know, I’ll be honest. By the time December comes, I’ll have five books under my belt, but it never gets any easier. Every rejection, whether from an editor or a reader, still sucks to get.

Now, you always hear authors say you need to develop a thick skin. I’ve never really understood that. To me, it implies that you have to stop caring and I just can’t get behind that. I mean, how can you not care? We put our hearts into every word. I worry that if I stop caring, then maybe my writing will lose that certain spark. Caring is what helps me put the emotion onto the page. We have to dig into our hearts for that emotion, right?

So, how do I deal with rejection? Honestly? At first it was hard. Those negative reviews, the readers who didn’t like or even outright hated my book, used to sink me into a deep well of depression. I’d wallow for weeks in a state of “I suck.” and “maybe I should just give up now.” Every rejection used to only reinforce this notion.

You do grow a bit, though, the more books you put out there. I’ve grown over the years so that it doesn’t bother me so much anymore. Yeah, every single rejection, whether it’s by an editor or a reader, still stings. But I’ve learned to remind myself that not everybody is going to love what I write or even love my voice. Want to know a secret? Avon hates me. Okay, maybe hate is a strong word, but you get my meaning. They always turn me down. I believe an editor even told me that she didn’t like my voice. Now, I love Avon Romance. Their Regencies…I adore them. I’d kill to be published with them. But rejections don’t bother me as much anymore, because I’ve learned that it doesn’t necessarily mean I’m a bad writer. It just means that editor doesn’t like that book or perhaps my voice.

What keeps me sane when the tenth rejection rolls in is this: There are authors you don’t like, right? Can you think of one? I can. Nora. Yeah, THE Nora. Now, don’t get me wrong. I admire the hell out of her. She wows me with how many books she puts out every year, and I’d kill for a quarter of her following. If she ever gave me writing advice, you bet your sweet patootie I’d seriously consider it. Because she’s the queen. But I still can’t get into her books. I’ve tried. On the opposite end, a lot of people hated Fifty Shades of Gray. There are entire groups dedicated to hating that book and everybody who likes it. You know what? I loved it. Did I see the same problems as the people who hated it? Yup. But I loved Christian, because I connected to his character.

In other words, everybody likes different things, and that’s how I’ve come to look at rejections. And you know what? I tend to rack up a LOT of rejections. I’ve learned through all these rejections that I appear to write between the lines. I write a cross between category and single title. I write my own twist on things, and that means I don’t always fit. Which, honestly, is the story of my life. lol

I’m learning to own it, though. Just means that one person (or heck, even two)…didn’t like me. And I’m learning to be okay with that. When something gets me down, I remind myself of all the writers I don’t like. Want to feel better about yourself? Go read the 1 star reviews of your favorite authors. The bestsellers. They get them too.

What about you? How do you deal with rejection?

Blurb from my latest release, Risking It All:

She’s everything he wants…

For years, Kyle Morgan has hidden his true feelings from the gorgeous girl next door that he grew up loving and protecting. But when she shows up at his apartment in the middle of the night, desperately needing comfort and support, his iron will begins to waver…

…and the only thing he can’t bear to lose.

Kyle was always the big brother Cecelia Anton never had, but suddenly her goofy best friend has become a sexy man she can’t keep her thoughts—or hands—off of. As their deep connection melts into uncontrollable desire, Ceci is willing to put it all on the line for a shot at true love. Only Kyle is keeping a terrible secret about Ceci’s past that could destroy not only their lifelong friendship but their happily-ever-after…

Buy link (contains links to all major retailers): Penguin

JM Stewart is the author of passionate, heartfelt contemporary romance. She’s a wife, a mother, a spiritualist, and lover of puppies, and happily addicted to coffee and chocolate. She lives in the rainy Pacific Northwest with her husband, two sons, and two very spoiled dogs. She’s a hopeless romantic who believes everybody should have their happily-ever-after and has been devouring romance novels for as long as she can remember. Writing them has become her obsession.

You can find out more about JM or her books here: Website /Blog /Twitter /Facebook


Joanne Stewart said...

Thanks for having me, Aubrie!

Becky Lower said...

Even with my background in sales, when I was rejected 99% of the time, a rejection, or a bad review, still stings. You get better at dealing with them with time. You tell yourself all the right things--not everyone will like your voice, the story line didn't mesh with that particular reader, etc, but it still bothers you, just a tiny bit.

Joanne Stewart said...

Hi Becky...yup. I'm learning to let it go and not let it bother the way it did. Thanks for commenting!

Christine Rains said...

Fantastic post. I love your way of dealing with rejections. I still get lots of rejections too, and some hurt more than others. I think the difference between me now and me way back when is that I keep on pushing forward. I don't let them stop me. (*whispers* I don't like Nora either!)

Joanne Stewart said...

Hi Christine! That's it for me, too. I don't let it stop me anymore. I move on. Thanks for commenting!