I am Autistic.
I AM DIFFERENT.
You would think that experiencing rejection all my life would have got me used to it.
Every rejection, no matter how small feeds that little voice in my head that says “No one wants you. You’re too weird, too different. Go away and never come back.”
I could quite happily live as a hermit, never leaving my house or mingling with people again, except that society is an Extrovert and keeps trying to haul me back out.
I trained as a Teacher. It took me 6 months longer than everyone else, but I passed. I was rejected for every job I applied for.
The last school were desperate to fill their job, so desperate that they said yes.
But because of my mental state, because of the level of expectation and pressure if teaching a subject that gave me panic attacks, I had a breakdown/burnout. So I left them.
The next job was heaven. I loved it, but the school rejected me by not making me permanent. Yes, there were other factors at play, but in the end I was rejected.
I looked for supply work, for other jobs, but more rejection followed… until I couldn’t even bear to browse the adverts, I was so depressed.
In the last ten years I have done course after course, trying to undo the work that rejection has done to my spirit, to regain the confidence that I once had.
I am doing another soon.
I also applied for an adult ed teaching job.
At first it looked like I would get the job, with the person who interviewed me being really enthusiastic about my chances.
But recently, the most recent email rejected me. It felt like I had been strung along. Like I was just included so they could say “We give everyone a fair chance, no matter who they are.”
It hurt more than I thought it would, having already decided in my own mind that I had been rejected anyway.
This isn’t a pity party. It might look like one, but it isn’t…
One of the reasons I became an indie author was that I wanted to reject the rejectors.
The gatekeepers, aka the publishers and the agents. The bigwigs who just wanted money from a product and to not have to think about the people they were taking the product from.
Because that’s what a traditional publisher does, they take the product and make money from it, while passing as little as they can get away with back to you in the form of a royalty. They’re the ones who make the money out of it, not the writer.
When I started my writing career, I had been rejected a few times already for publishing. Mostly magazines and other periodicals. When I had completed a full book, I started sending out to agents and publishers as well.
Being an Author is when you learn how personal rejection can be.
You pour your heart and a tiny bit of soul into each piece of work, then you post it to an agent, or a publisher only to have it returned unopened with “No non agented submissions” stamped on it. Or you get a letter with it that turns out to be a form rejection letter.
I could never work out if the worst rejections were the form ones, or the ones who had obviously read the MS, and gave you a comprehensive listing of the faults and how you could improve it, but rejected it anyway, or the kind ones that said “I’m sorry, but I don’t represent genre fiction writers. Good luck anyway.”
It didn’t put me off writing; it just put me off submitting to the Traditional Publishing route.
It wasn’t until Amazon started the e book revolution that I found that I might actually have a chance to be more than a lonely writer, tapping away on a keyboard and posting out my MS in the hope that someone might possibly discover me, the way that the people I looked up to, my writing heroes had been, the way that everyone kept telling me was the best way to become an author.
I wanted to work to my own timetable, be my own boss. Prove to myself that I could be an author.
And eBooks were the chance for me to be that.
The rejection still happens by the way, even when you’re an Indie Author.
You write the book, edit it, get a cover for it (or in my case, make a cover for it), format it then upload it and hit publish. A few minutes later (if you’re lucky) you get the thrill of seeing your name on the screen with a published book.
The rejection happens in the hours, days, weeks and months after that.
I don’t check sales figures frequently. It’s too depressing.
This is where the rejection comes for an Indie author.
No matter how hard you engage with people on social media, talk about your work, talk about other books you have read, talk about the craft of writing or even just discuss the day’s happenings…
… it doesn’t sell books.
Only advertising gets books to readers and if you don’t have the money to pay for the advertising, you’re limited to publishing, plastering the cover and blurb everywhere that you can, and then forgetting about it and writing another book.
I’ve got quite a back catalogue now – twenty books, spread across two pen names.
I also have a number of stories being published serially on Wattpad. I have a few readers there – and it’s nice to know that my work is being read.
Because that’s really all that I’m after – sales are a way of funding my writing addiction, and a way of keeping score. On Wattpad, I can write and keep score, but not fund my writing addiction… even authors have to eat!
However, the rejection of no sales stings even worse than the rejection of a job application.
So maybe this is a pity party after all…
Pass the Gin, chocolate and tonic would you? If I’m going to party, then I might as well party in style.
The Dragon’s Pendant has been live for sixteen days now. Sadly there were no pre-orders and there haven’t been any other sales.
Just in case you might want to pick up a copy, just click through the link below.
If you prefer other retailers, the link below will take you to a page where you can access more retailers.
Curse of the Jade Cat is currently in Pre-order and will go live on 30th June.
I am really hoping that this one goes better than the last one, because I am slowly losing the will to publish….
I’m considering starting an email newsletter and thought I would post about it here first. I need to know a few things though, before I commit myself to one.
- What are you interested in hearing about – I know I haven’t been a consistant poster here, but if I do a Newsletter, would you want the content to differ from what I post on the blog?
- Would you be interested in having a short story or an extract from what I am working on in the Newsletter?
I mean, obviously it’s a Newsletter, so there would be things like dates of the next publication etc. but I really wonder what else you would want?
Please comment on this post if you think it’s a good idea.