My story isn’t technically a rejection story, but it’s right up there. It’s as devastating. I was on one small, private on-line critique group. The set-up was pretty casual: upload things to a shared folder, and then critiques are either A. sent via group email or B. also uploaded to the shared folder. No specific timeline, just put it up and people will get to it or not. Because of this system, I had some things up there that I wasn’t actually seeking critique on anymore. I hadn’t taken them down, mostly because I wanted the other members of the group to be able to look at the whole body of work/larger plan if they were so inclined.
And then I got this on one manuscript.
Wow. That’s brutal, no?
That’s the sort of critique that could send someone running for the hills. Heck, that’s not even a critique, that’s a dressing down.
Fortunately, I just laughed at it, and then promptly deleted myself from that group.
Because the manuscript in question was The Thorn of Dentonhill, which at that point had already netted me an agent and was out on submission. And it was bought by my publisher just a few weeks after I got this. I mean, what exactly was this person trying to accomplish with this critique? I’m not sure. But I feel like they were trying to just grind me down.
This business is tough, and you do not get handed anything and certainly don’t deserve anything you don’t earn– you don’t just get handed accolades and awards and film options– but you need to keep pushing on as they try to grind you down. Success could be right around the corner, and if you let them beat you– you let a drubbing like that one up there break you– you won’t get there.
Don’t let it grind you down. Because every rejection and drubbing can be followed by that call. Be ready for it.