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Insecure Writers Support Group

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

This is my first Insecure Writers Group post. On the first Wednesday of every month, writers talk about their doubts, struggles and triumphs. It's a safe haven for writers of all kinds.



The worst thing about being a writer is being rejected, right? Rejections sting, especially when it's something you've poured your heart and soul into.

Actually, I'm not so sure. A rejection at least allows you to move on, perhaps re-edit, then send your precious work elsewhere. It's another step along the path of finding the right home for your darling. No, worse for feeding into a writer's insecurity, I think, is being ignored. Being stuck in that limbo of waiting when you don't know if your work is ever going to be read and accepted or rejected.

In my experience, this is quite a common situation in the writing game. I've waited years for a response sometimes. Magazines, agents, publishers - some are fantastic at keeping you informed, responding to queries, letting you know what's going on. Others just aren't. Agents who are too busy to send an email if they're not interested in your manuscript (really? really really?) Magazines who take an age to consider a story or - just as bad - who hang on to it for years after an acceptance. You know the sort of thing.

Of course, we insecure writers live and learn. We learn where not to submit to again (believe me, I have a list). We maybe decide to indie publish and take control of our own destinies. And we learn where are the good places to send to (of which, as I say, there are many). Still, the situation is all-too common, and it really shouldn't be. Writing is hard enough without being ignored as well...

Sorry, slightly ranty first post. Do you agree? Or am I just being insecure?


18 comments:

  1. I don't care how much work you have on your plate, it is no excuse for common courtesy. This whole bit about "if you don't hear from us the answer is no" is just plain lazy and rude. Every office has an assistant or a grunt who can copy and paste a form letter and hit the send key. Welcome to IWSG.

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    1. Thanks, Wendy. I can only agree. It's basic politeness and professionalism.

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  2. What about when your work is accepted somewhere but the publication date has come and gone with no update? Or contest results were supposed to be announced on a certain date and again, no news or update? :)

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    1. Absolutely - things like this are all too common.

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  3. You? Rant? Jamais! :-) But seriously - I'd much rather take the rejection than the being ignored - cos you're right - you get closure and you move on when you get that final answer! Take care
    x

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    1. That's it exactly - better to know one way or the other than be stuck in limbo. And, yes, I can rant!

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  4. I totally agree about being ignored is worse than rejection. My work has sat on editors' desk for months, no years, with no response--even when requested. Very frustrating.

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    1. It is and it shouldn't happen. Must admit I tend to give up and go elsewhere after a certain time these days...

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  5. Being ignored - yeah, that is worse. Like we aren't worthy of a response. Not good for the ego.
    Welcome to the IWSG! You picked a great month to join since we launched the new website today.

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    1. Great to be here, Alex. Many thanks for organizing.

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  6. I could not agree more with you. Anyone who can't bother to send a rejection note doesn't deserve a submission. The only thing worse than being ignored by editors is being ignored by readers.

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    1. Agree completely, Jeff. Sending an email is hardly time-consuming.

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  7. Just one more sign of the bottom rung of the ladder that many writers feel they occupy. It's no wonder that hundreds of thousands have taken their careers in hand and self-published.

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    1. Indeed; as I have myself, of course.

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  8. Welcome to the IWSG, I'm Mel and I'm an insecure writer. ;) Good first post. Not too ranty, just right. But yes, rejection is difficult, being ignored is MUCH worse. I have felt that way and wonder why I didn't self publish sooner. Oh well, remedied that, I did!

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  9. Welcome to IWSG! And yes, this sounds very typical for writers. Getting ignored is the worst. Great post.

    --Ilima Todd (IWSG co-host)

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  10. Uncertainty of any kind is apt to be an irritant, especially when something very personal is at stake. In some ways, submitting writing is more 'up front' than walking into a crowded room and wondering if people will like you. The deliberation before the event is intense, and so many submissions are either ignored or greeted with the briefest of nods.

    But this assumes that writers are not crazy and offer themselves up for a mauling at the hands of this bizarre ritual in full knowledge of the contract between writer, publisher and reader.

    The truth is that most of us would probably write anyway even if an asteroid took care of the rest of the world's population, and it's this generous vacuum I think of when stuck in limbo rather than the barren echo resounding from locked knocked doors.

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I'd love to know what you think.