From Writer to Writer: Meryl Evans

Meryl EvansMeet Meryl Evans

I write and edit content for businesses and publications. I also help businesses build and maintain relationships with clients and prospects through content including email newsletters, emails, websites, landing pages, blogs, articles and more. I started blogging on June 1, 2000 — around the same time I started my freelance business.

Rejection Isn’t Personal

Some of the world’s most famous authors have been rejected many times. Here are a few that I found around the web and the number of times rejected in ().

  • Diary of Anne Frank (15)
  • Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling (9)
  • Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach (18)
  • Chicken Soup for the Soul by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen (140!!!!) And how many books do they have now?
  • A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle (26)

Search for “rejected books” or something similar, and you’ll find many more.

It’s not you. It’s not your writing. It’s them.

No, this isn’t an analysis of a bad date. Publishers and editors have a perspective that we don’t know about. We don’t know what they have in hand. We don’t know what they want. We don’t know their plans.

Yes, even if you submit a fantasy novel to a publisher known for fantasy books. You’re on the right track submitting to the publisher, but the publisher may have specific things in mind that have nothing to do with the author or the book.

You don’t have teachers grading your papers — telling you what you need to fix. If you get an feedback of any kind, listen to it. Be thankful the publisher or editor took the time to provide it. Use it to help you grow.

You’re human, so you can’t help but take it personally despite knowing that it’s not personal. Take a moment. Take a deep breath. Talk to someone. Exercise. And then come back to it ready to do what writers all do — try again.

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About Guest Author

This post was written by a guest author specifically for Emily Suess and Suess's Pieces. If you would like to pitch a guest post, contact Emily.
  • Lisa Nicholson

    Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach  – This is a classic – my Dad had us listen to this on Audio when we were growing up and when I say Audio I mean the old eight track.

    Brings back such good memories.  Sometimes you have to be rejected to succeed in life.

    • http://www.meryl.net/section/blog/ Meryl K Evans

      And I didn’t discover the book until the past year or so! I didn’t realize it was a short, powerful read. Yes, rejection makes us stronger when we have the right attitude. Thanks for reading.

  • http://www.austinbriggs.com Austin Briggs

    This is a great motivational piece. You could also take the case of Sybil Nelson. Although rejected by a few publishers, quite a few of her books are consistently in the Amazon “top 100″ lists for her genre. 

    I believe it’s safe to assume that the work being queried is the best a writer can produce. Folks like Sybil prove that you don’t have to keep it in your desk. You could be getting direct reader feedback, and be getting some nice sales, while collecting those rejection slips (if that’s your thing).