As you know by now, my article on Maintaining Enthusiasm has given me a lot to talk about. While this particular comment wasn’t directed as a question, it got me so riled I had to say something:
The concept of “luck” and timing appeals to me and gives me hope. I read a blog yesterday that said that if you were rejected, then you had to conclude that your work was unpublishable.
People who say things like this are the same people who tell you that a “market is dead” or that “a New York publisher would never buy that.” Strangely they are usually people with no publishing background and living in Bumbletwit (or someplace far from the publishing world). Or they are just incredibly bitter.
One or two rejections mean only that—that one or two people have rejected you. Every single author has been rejected, whether it’s by an editor, an agent, or even a reviewer. I think the key to figuring out whether or not your work is publishable is to keep at it. Keep writing new things, hone your craft, and work to make yourself and your work stronger. It is always possible that the work you are submitting now isn’t the one that will be published, but there are so many factors that determine what makes a work publishable that to say that it will never be published is wrong. It could be the market today, which might be different tomorrow, it could be your writing or characters, or it could just be that it’s not the book you should be writing.
I encourage you all to keep submitting your work to agents and editors, to continue to learn about the business, and to get to work on your next project. What might be deemed unpublishable today could be called brilliant tomorrow.