Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Guest Post by Karen White and Giveaway!

Please join me in welcoming Karen White, author of the newly released On Folly Beach to The Book Chick! If you missed my review, you can read it here. Today Karen guest blogs about the rejection that all writers must inevitably deal with:

"As the mother of two teenagers, I deal with the dreaded “R” word just about every day. Pretty much every gesture on my part (a smile, a warm greeting, an attempt at a hug) is greeted with a rejection (a scowl, a grunt, a brush-off). And, to top it off, my daughter is a senior in high school and it’s April—the month that colleges send their acceptances, and rejections, to hopeful future enrollees. Our collective stress in this house is worse than that of a long-tailed cat in a rocking chair factory.


But I’m a writer. I know rejection. I’d like to think I could tell my children a little bit about dealing with it. Like they would listen. So I figured I’d write down what I know in the hopes that maybe one day, when they’re older and somewhat wiser, my words might reach them. And that I might have the chance to say, “I told you so.”

Rejection hurts. It’s like a fist to the solar plexus regardless of how many times we tell ourselves that it isn’t personal. But it is. Whether it’s being told by a big university that you’re not wanted or by an editor that they won’t publish your “baby”, it’s personal.

I sold my first four books easily. I found my agent by submitting my first novel into a contest and my agent was the finalist judge. She sold my book to the second publisher she sent it to. But after my fourth book, I was dropped by my publisher. I will always liken my early publishing career as going to the prom with the dorky, pimply boy. It wasn’t a great match, but at least I was going to the prom! I really never wanted to write for that last publisher, and had taken the offer because I was afraid that there wouldn’t be any others. And then, suddenly, even the dorky, pimply boy didn’t want me.

I was devastated. I cried every day. I considered quitting. A friend sent me a little figurine that still hangs on my desk lamp. It has a little inscription on it: “When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.” I knew what she was trying to say to me, and I knew she was right. But I still felt like such a failure.

My daughter is an equestrian and I’ve watched her take some pretty bad spills. But she always gets back in the saddle, no matter how badly she’s been hurt. I figured she had to have learned that somewhere, right? Maybe if I refused to climb back in the writing saddle, I’d be teaching her the worst lesson of her life. Maybe my failure wasn’t so much in the rejection, but in my believing in it more than I believed in my abilities.

So I brushed off another manuscript idea and started writing. And writing. I submitted it to my agent and she submitted it to publishing houses and sold it to my dream publisher, Penguin Publishing Group. And the whole irony of it all is that if I hadn’t been dumped by my previous publisher, I’d never have had the opportunities in my career that I have had since. Amazing how that works, isn’t it?

My daughter is bright and I know she’ll be successful wherever she ends up. I know she doesn’t believe that right now because she’s been waitlisted at her top two school choices. She’s devastated. I’ve tried to tell her that I understand how she feels, but it doesn’t help. Only time will show her that where she ends up is where she was meant to be all along. Even John Grisham was rejected eight times before he finally got a publisher’s attention.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say that rejection is good for you. But it is a wonderful teaching tool; teaching perseverance, will, and faith in yourself. And that whatever doesn’t kill us will certainly make us stronger. I can only hope that I will be around to see my children succeed despite themselves and tell them, “I told you so.”"

Thank-you so much for stopping by, Karen! And now for the giveaway: I have two copies of On Folly Beach to give away, courtesy of Joy at Joan Schulhafer Publishing & Media Consulting. To enter:

1. Post a comment here and tell me how you feel about rejection: does it get you down, or do you try to learn from it? Please include an e-mail address so that I can contact you if you win. No e-mail= no entry!

2. *Bonus Entry* For one bonus entry, become a follower of this blog through Google Friend Connect and leave me a seperate comment to let me know that you are now a follower. Current followers are eligible as well, just be sure to leave me a sepearate comment letting me know that you already follow.

3. *Bonus Entry* For one bonus entry, spread the word about this contest in some way. Tweet about it, blog about it, or add it to your sidebar, just leave me a comment letting me know what you did!

This contest is open to residents of both the US and Canada, and runs until May 30, 2010 at midnight. Winners will be contacted by e-mail after this date and will have 48 hours to respond. Good luck!

60 comments:

  1. I think rejection gets anyone (me included) down but after a while, it's possible to try to learn why.

    meah56 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm already a follower :)

    meah56 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  3. I posted in my sidebar giveaways:
    http://bookfan-mary.blogspot.com

    meah56 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  4. Rejection is hard to accept and hurtful and it has happened many times to me. The best thing is to remain strong and be understanding. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  5. Rejection does get me down, but I still try to learn from it.

    teresareadingcorner at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  6. I am already a follower.

    teresasreadingcorner at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  7. I think people would be lying if they said rejection didn't get them down. It is how you move away from it, either feeling low or your head held high. I'm not one to dwell, so I would most definitely learn from it.

    freda.mans[at]sympatico.ca

    ReplyDelete
  8. Already a GFC follower.

    freda.mans[at]sympatico.ca

    ReplyDelete
  9. tweet; http://twitter.com/fredalicious/status/13429408231

    freda.mans[at]sympatico.ca

    ReplyDelete
  10. If I get a rejection, at least I know that I tried. I'm alread a winner in my mind and in my family and thats where it counts the most.

    heatherdpear at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  11. already a follower

    heatherdpear at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'm definitely not a fan of rejection and after I drop my blankey and crawl out of the corner I realize that it was just another little bump in the road in my journey of life.

    Smiles,
    Cindy W.

    countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  13. I am a follower.

    Smiles,
    Cindy W.

    countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  14. I'd love to read this one as I really like this author. Thanls Jonitya


    bibliophilebythesea AT gmail DOT com

    (follower)

    ReplyDelete
  15. In the face of rejection, one must always persevere!

    skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

    ReplyDelete
  16. It gets me down really badly and I find it very hard to get up again.

    mystica123athotmaildotcom

    ReplyDelete
  17. Rejection usually gets me down, but eventually I figure maybe it was meant to be.
    mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  18. blog follower via GFC
    mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  19. Now as an adult, I still dislike rejection but try to learn from it. As a teen, I actually changed my university selections to schools I was pretty sure I'd be accepted to so as to avoid rejection.


    melacan at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  20. As I get older I'm learning to treat rejection as a positive -- looking at the thing I wanted as "Oh well, I guess it wasn't meant to be.." or looking for a better substitute.

    Please enter me.
    tbranco AT hughes DOT net

    ReplyDelete
  21. I'm a long-time follower.

    tbranco AT hughes DOT net

    ReplyDelete
  22. You're posted in the giveaway sidebar on my blog Tutu's Two Cents

    tbranco AT hughes DOT net

    ReplyDelete
  23. Rejection is tough, whether for a job interview or from someone you like (in a romantic way)... I let myself dwell in it's darkest, pitiful and miserable depths - for 15 minutes alone! Then I take myself and look a all the other blessings in my life, examine why I was rejected in a positive, yet critical manner so I understand what went wrong and how I can learn from it... Feeling rejected is okay and to be able to emote is healthy, but my philosophy is to pick up and move on. Thanks!

    Aliya D.
    aliyadaya(at)shaw(dot)ca

    ReplyDelete
  24. Sometimes rejection gets me down but i try not to let it. Each situation is different.

    billiondollarprincesss@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  25. I try to keep the perspective that rejection is a numbers game. After each rejection, I remind myself this is one down and one step closer to acceptance. That works about fifty percent of the time. The other fifty percent, I nurse my hurt through a glass of wine, give myself one day to let it get to me, then move on. That works about fifty percent of the fifty percent. As for what happens to the rest, well, see, I've developed this tick in my eye . . .

    ReplyDelete
  26. rejection hurts...but you do become a stronger person.

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  27. Rejection is always hard but if you look at the situation and try to learn something I think that rejection can serve a purpose.

    thanks for the giveaway!

    dcf_betha at verizon dot net

    ReplyDelete
  28. I'm a new follower! Thanks

    dcf_beth at verizon dot net

    ReplyDelete
  29. Oh, jeez. Rejection can really sting. Whether I cry or brush it off depends on the moment, but I always reflect on rejections and try to figure out the whys. Great post! Thanks for the chance to win a copy of Ms. White's book.

    geebee.reads AT gmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  30. I Follow The Book Chick!

    geebee.reads AT gmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  31. Rejection always gets me down. I wish I could learn from it but I'm not having any luck at that! Hopefully, some day!
    pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

    ReplyDelete
  32. I follow.
    pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

    ReplyDelete
  33. Blogged about this giveaway here: http://aseaofbooks.blogspot.com/2010/05/not-my-giveaways.html

    geebee.reads AT gmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  34. would love to win this book. gcarroll@rochester.rr.com

    ReplyDelete
  35. Rejections suck.. They make you feel like an imbecile. I usually get a little down then yank up my boot straps and strive to do better no matter what I have to do. If you say I can't, I will kill myself to do it. lol

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  36. I am a GFC follower


    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  37. follow via twitter(@misskallie2000

    tweet

    misskallie2000 http://book-chic.blogspot.com/2010/05/guest-post-by-karen-white-and-giveaway.html
    less than 5 seconds ago via web

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  38. I feel a little inadequate from rejection but also makes me become a stronger person from the way i choose to deal with it because what people fear is rejection itself so afterward it's not as much as intimidating anymore
    photoquest(at)bellsouth(dot)net

    ReplyDelete
  39. I am a follower on google friend connect
    photoquest(at)bellsouth(dot)net

    ReplyDelete
  40. I tweated this giveaway
    photoquest2 book-chic.blogspot.com guest-post-by-karen-white-and-giveaway
    less than 5 seconds ago via web
    photoquest(at)bellsouth(dot)net

    ReplyDelete
  41. Rejection is hard....counting blessings helps though! Please enter me. Thanks!!
    jackie.smithATdishmailDOTnet

    ReplyDelete
  42. I follow via e mail!!!
    jackie.smithATdishmailDOTnet

    ReplyDelete
  43. This book is on my wish list.

    JHS
    Colloquium

    admin at jhsiess dot com

    ReplyDelete
  44. Following on Google.

    JHS
    Colloquium

    admin at jhsiess dot com

    ReplyDelete
  45. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  46. I try to learn from rejection as well as find alternative paths to achieve my goal.

    Please enter me in this giveaway!

    familyhistree at yahoo dot com

    Sarah E

    ReplyDelete
  47. I follow via GFC.

    familyhistree at yahoo dot com

    Sarah E

    ReplyDelete
  48. Tweeted:

    http://twitter.com/saemmerson/status/14680502967

    familyhistree at yahoo dot com

    Sarah E

    ReplyDelete
  49. Rejection really gets me down and hurts me to to the core. Sounds like a great book, and I'd love to read it. Please enter me. Thanks!

    ayancey(at)dishmail(dot)net

    ReplyDelete
  50. I fear rejection so I try not to put myself in situations that will lead to rejection. I know that's not a good way to live but it's something I have to work on.

    dftrew(At)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  51. I'm a follower

    dftrew(At)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  52. I hate rejection - I know the feeling about getting hit in the solar plexus! I interviewed for an entry level position at our library last week - I haven't worked since my son was born 5 1/2 years ago - but at the time I was the manager of a data entry group responsible for about 300,000 lines items in a medical manufacturing company - and I am so afraid of not getting this job! I was hoping that I would hear something by now! Oh well - it might be rejection. . .

    Please enter me for this book though - I loved her book The Lost Hours!

    kherbrand at comcast dot net

    ReplyDelete
  53. I already follow.

    kherbrand at comcast dot net

    ReplyDelete
  54. Rejection is hard for me. I have to convince myself that it is my work that is being rejected, not me. I try to make it be a learning exoerience by asking for suggestions for improvement, then it can be a learning experience.

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

    ReplyDelete
  55. I am a follower.

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

    ReplyDelete
  56. Tweet! Tweet!
    @NancyeDavis

    http://twitter.com/NancyeDavis/status/14807486093

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

    ReplyDelete
  57. Rejection is obviously a downer, but I always try to learn from those live moments. Thanks for the chance to win.
    JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  58. I am a google friend connect follower.
    JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  59. Rejection hurts the heart, but helps the head; it makes you work harder!

    a1962sunflower@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete