Saturday, April 17, 2010

Pagi-Nation: Rejection Time

The trusty Pagi-Nation pick of the week is from... The Pocket Muse (Monica Wood, Writer's Digest Books 2002)

From the random page I opened: At some point in any writing life, the writer has to decide what to do about rejection. Some people save rejection slips and laugh about using them to wallpaper the bathroom. Others get two or three rejections and quit...

Wood goes on to tell how she attended a reading by the late Andre Dubus where he read a story "that quieted the room." Later, Dubus admitted that the same story had just been rejected by the Sewanee Review. For Wood, this was a turning point in her writing life: the realization that famous, published writers get rejected too.

A writer has to have the hide of a rhino. Things you love, work you think is almost perfect, can be rejected time and again. All I can say is, if you want to give yourself the chance of success, you just have to pick yourself up and start all over again. Because, if you quit, it will never happen.

I take solace from Woods' 'horoscope' on the following page: Something big is brewing behind your back. (I hope it's not the Icelandic volcanic eruption she means.)

News of the Week: I was one of the winners of the contest on the Epitaph Road Facebook fan page. I just received my copy of the novel in the mail today and am excited to read it. (David Patneaude kindly inscribed it, too.) Part of the "prize" is the chance to have my query letter critiqued by his agent. I'll be sending that off on Monday.

Blog of the Week: I love Susan at Stony River's blog. She is an indefatigable resource and builder of writing communities. I particularly enjoy her Microfiction Mondays and am busily thinking what my story will be for this week.

Question of the Week: How do you deal with rejection? Are you plastering your bathroom with the little slips? Having a bonfire?

Let me know what your Pagi-Nation pick for the week is.


  1. Well, I'm still reading Just Kids, so I'll spare you another quote from that book and frankly I don't handle rejection well at all. Right now, I am trying to say "indefatigable" three times fast after consuming a big glass of red wine. I love your blog :) But really, I do want to congratulate you on the Epitaph Road win - Good job, Mike!

  2. Thanks for the kind words and congratulations, Katy. I hear you: 'indefatigable' is a hard word to say twice, let alone three times, except with that big glass of wine to hand. Cheers!


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