Do you know how incredible you are?

I know I’ve said this before, but it’s something I firmly believe in. If you are querying, or are out on submission, or doing anything where you’re receiving rejections, celebrate them. Want to know why? You are actively DOING something. You decided to go for your dreams, you didn’t just talk about it – you sat down and wrote and revised and then you bravely put yourself out there. You are incredible!

Seriously, you are. How many people do you know that are brave enough to wear their heart so openly on their sleeves?

I wrote five books and queried them for over two years, before I signed with my agent on my SIXTH novel. As you can imagine, I racked up A LOT of rejections. Some were form letters, others were personalized, and a decent amount were encouraging enough for me to keep going.

Sure there are days where you feel like giving up, or question your sanity, but that stuff will pass. Really. It will.

If you’re feeling particularly down, allow yourself a day or two to regroup. Do something – ANYTHING – other than writing or querying. Go for a walk. Make a fancy dessert. Rent a bunch of movies and laugh until you cry. Watch a baseball game. But whatever you do, stay away from your computer.

Do not check your email. 

Do not touch your project for 24 solid hours. 

Read that book you keep putting off.

Meditate. 

By the end of the day you’ll start to feel something. You know what that is? It’s hope blossoming in the pit of your stomach. That’s also passion for your work. An entire day away from it is hard. You miss it. How can you even think of giving it up now, after you’ve come so far?

Now take that query letter back out and see what you can do to improve it. Do the same with your manuscript. Then get back out there and try all over again.

You know why I used to celebrate my rejections? Because I always believed that better things were in store for me. I just couldn’t always see it at the time, but I had faith it would all work out. I am a firm believer in the saying, when one door closes a better one opens.

Keep knocking and your door will open.

What’s even more impressive is this: you are learning so much about yourself. Look at how strong you are. You fell down, but you got back up again. I bet you didn’t know you had that kind of inner strength before.

Thank you for being incredible. 

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Thanks, but no thanks. (Fake) Rejection letter hell.

For some road-to-publishing fun, I decided to take some of the most [in]famous rejection letters (sent to UBER famous authors), and combine them into one hellish rejection. 

Fake Rejection by Kerri Maniscalco

May the dreaded form rejection never look quite-so-bad again, my fellow author-ly types. Have a fabulous day. <3333

*Rejection excerpts taken from the following authors/works:

LOLITA by Vladimir Nabokov

THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK

THE WAR OF THE WORLDS by HG Wells

CARRIE by Stephen King

THE DEER PARK by Norman Mailer

THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS by Kenneth Grahame

LORD OF THE FLIES by William Golding

LADY CHATTERLEY’S LOVER by DH Lawrence

Jorge Luis Borges

Publishing trends may come and go, but honesty always prevails.

Publishing trends may come and go, but honesty always prevails. Here’s why. (In my opinion.)

Every writer published, or unpublished fears the dreaded T word. TREND. Just mentioning t-who-should-not-be-named makes my stomach twist in a knot. Advice is dispensed by everyone and their mother on the subject, but what happens when the story that’s itching to be told happens to be in a hot genre du-jour?

Write it anyway. (Waits for tomatoes to be thrown at screen.)

Write it, and make it the best freaking [insert genre here] novel it can be. Will it be harder to get an agent, or a publishing contract? Probably. But isn’t that already super difficult? Put your original spin on it and don’t hold back. Maybe it won’t sell now, but fear not–publishing is a cyclical industry. Your time will eventually come. In the meantime, keep writing! (And revising;))

Personally, I write YA light science fiction, speculative fiction, and dark fantasy. I’m not writing to a trend. Actually — if I’m being honest — I’ve been trying to write a contemporary young adult novel, but it never works out. Something always goes all fantastical in my brain. I. Can’t. Help. It.

Believe me, if I could write about lofty romances set in Europe, I so would. I think those stories are amaze balls, and I adore reading them. Deep down I’m a closet romantic. I’m also totally jealous of writers who can capture true-to-life contemporary novels. Holy crap, I WISH I could do that.

But I’ve never been that girl, fictional or not.

Don’t get me wrong, I seriously respect people who can write epic love stories historical, contemporary, or what-have-you. My early attempts at writing things like that were often met with furrowed brows. And comments like, “This is your happy story? But you’re talking about things that are…writhing around on top of burning embers…”

Sigh.

The hardest part about being an author, is finding your authentic voice and honoring it. No matter what.

That being said, I have to believe that what I’m writing passionately about will find its way into others hearts, as well (eventually). Trend, or not.

If I am a science fiction/fantasy writer by nature, wouldn’t I be doing everyone a disservice by trying to genre jump — just because the next [not-yet-hot-genre] might be an easier sale?

I’m not sure what the right answer is. But I am sure of one thing: the best things I’ve ever written have come from that unabashedly honest writing place within me. Blood, guts, and all. It’s where my voice truly comes alive.

With my latest project, agents are noticing that honesty. I credit not holding back (for fear of how it may, or may not be received) for my current request rate. (Just thinking about it is sending my heart into crazy palpitations. Inhale. Exhale.)

I think the best writing and publishing advice is this: be one-hundred percent honest with your writing. Write from your heart, people will notice. I think no matter the trend, if you stay true to yourself, eventually your time will come.

Never be afraid to keep improving your craft, though. Know that you’re an amazing writer, but there’s ALWAYS room to grow. (Myself, very much included!! :)) When all else fails, start your next project. Every new book is a stepping stone. Trust me all those stones will lead to good things. Each new project will teach you precious writing techniques. Also, don’t forget to READ!! Devour everything you can, you’ll be amazed by how much you’ll gain from reading in your genre (and beyond).

No matter what subject you choose to write about, be brave. Be bold. And revise the hell out of your manuscripts. Have a fantastic day loves. XO

What are your thoughts on writing trends? Are you finding that (even writing in your authentic genre) it’s harder to break into the publishing industry, now more than ever? 

Or… has the only thing that’s really changed is our ability to openly commiserate communicate (via social networking) about the whole publishing process?