I began this blog one year ago with the sole purpose of sharing my experiences in the world of writing with anyone who was interested in hearing it. I knew going into it that one of the side effects of this would be having to broadcast my failures to whoever happened upon the site. I also knew that after fifteen or twenty years, people might lose interest in hearing about my latest rejection letter. But surprisingly, I have had a lot of fun with it, and have even garnered a strong following of readers to whom I am very grateful. This proves to me that I have done the right thing; that by sharing my experiences, I am relating to people who are going through similar struggles in their own writing careers. Most of all, this is proof to me that all writer’s must go through this very dark, very uncertain place. It may last years… and if so, then so be it. This is the reality of this business, and in maintaining the integrity of my blogs fundamental purpose, I have sworn to tell the truth about my journey, even when it sucks.

That being said, here is where I am right now:

Since finishing my first novel, The White Room in October of 2010, I have received exactly 156 rejection forms to date. As an unpublished author, this is not uncommon. I understand it. I did not expect an agent or publisher to read my query letter and rush to publish me. As an unpublished author, I am an unproven investment, a high risk which, especially at this time in the market, very few people in the business are willing to take a chance on. Not to mention, the subject of The White Room has some heavy competition right now.

I haven’t yet taken one of my 156 rejection letters personally and here is why: none of the rejection issuers have even read any of my work, save a handful who have asked for a small writing sample. And of those few, I’ve received no usable feedback besides the usual, “sorry, but, well… the market…” So how could I take even 156 rejections as anything that relates in any way to my skills as a writer? I can’t. This is just how it works, and I came into this game with my eyes open, my spine in tact, and my expectations brutally realistic.

Still, I have been asked numerous times why I don’t self-publish. I have seen their brows furrow when I admit the amount of rejections I have received. I know there are people who think I must be a very poor writer given the lack of interest I have had on my novel. I also know there are people who believe this is a pipe dream and that I should start spending my time doing something more lucrative. But I won’t do any of those things because the truth is, I love this game. I am addicted to it, and despite all these “failures”, there are also some little successes along the way that make it worthwhile.

The White Room is currently being looked at by a publisher who liked the concept, liked the writing and wanted to see more. Shortly after that publisher asked to see it, another one popped up, asking me for the same. In this business, it’s considered poor etiquette to continue submitting your work to other agencies when one of them has taken a significant interest in your work, so unfortunately, I had to explain to the second publisher that the novel is currently being looked at by another house. I know these things are in no way a promise of anything; still, this attention is a true honor; this small shot of optimism is why I play the game.

If I am rejected (again), I will not be bitter. I will be disappointed, of course, but I will keep trying. Even if The White Room never sees the inside of a bookstore (or a Kindle!) I will keep trying to get it published, and more importantly, I will keep writing new novels (Beautiful Monster is complete and being submitted!) and MOST important of all… I will get better and better at my craft. I will be a professional and I will keep writing because that’s my job. I’m in this for one thing and one thing only: to write. Getting published is just a potential bonus.

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Comments
  1. Linda Bennett says:

    You have a lot of positive energycoming to you via your family, friends and loyal readers od your blog. I know in my heart thar you’ll reach your goal. Have a great day, Jared.

  2. Kim Justesen says:

    So many new writers make the mistake of thinking that things will come quickly and easily for them. When it doesn’t happen that way, they become frustrated, and many of them take their manuscripts and toss them in the trash. Still others will turn to self-publishing. But the rare few will stick around and keep trying. So what if your first novel isn’t the first book you sell? So what if it takes a little longer to find the right editor or agent at the right time? As the amazing and much awarded writer Jane Yolen said, “Love the writing.” We have to – because ultimately, it’s all we can rely on.

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  4. magnesium says:

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