How to Avoid the Rejection Blues
Rejection sucks, hands down. It sucks when you’re 11 and picked last in gym class, and it sucks now. To be realistic, the blues after facing rejection are kind of unavoidable. No matter what, you’ll get that sinking feeling in your stomach, you’ll question yourself and think, “Do I really want to do this anymore?” every time it happens—and it will happen more than once, because, well, rejection is a part of living.
You may be thinking, “What the hell, Ketley? Thanks for your doomsday rant, really appreciate it,” but hang on! There is a point. What all this means is, rejection makes you stronger. It makes you better, and it makes your work better. It doesn’t mean that you suck.
In the world of publishing, rejection is part of the business. Whether you’re going the traditional route or flying by the seat of your pants as an indie author, you’ll still face some hurdles. For the longest time when the rejections were flowing in (back when I went the traditional route), I thought it was because there was something wrong with my writing. Until a literary agent responded to my query with something along the lines of “Holy crap, this sounds awesome. Send me the full manuscript!” I was so elated I couldn’t even tell you. Until…
She rejected me because a current client of hers just submitted a similar manuscript. Life sucked at that point. My heart literally hurt, because I’d worked so hard and come so close only to be slapped back again. But I didn’t give up. I kept going, I researched, I ended up changing my book from Young Adult to New Adult, and more surprisingly, I ended up deciding to go indie. I couldn’t be happier with my decision, because I love the direction my book has taken, and I love the journey that being an indie author has started for me. It’s fun, it’s unpredictable, it’s nerve-wracking, but it’s me. And you know what? None of that would have happened if I hadn’t been rejected. I wouldn’t have looked at my work and decided how to move forward. Sure, I could potentially have had a book deal with a publisher, and been represented by a literary agent…there’s always what ifs. But that’s not what is.
What is equals what you see now. Dark Souls is now my reality, rejection is now part of my past (kind of). There’s a whole new type of rejection that I must face, but again, that’s part of it. It isn’t the be-all, though, please remember that. Consider rejection to be part of the journey, consider it to be a stepping-stone to your ultimate success. And most of all, don’t give up. Because rejection is subjective, and the blues that follow always, always have the potential to turn into your green light.
Dark Souls Series
Genre: New Adult Urban Fantasy
Date of Publication: July 19, 2013
Number of pages: 280
Word Count: 103,000
19-year-old Emily desperately wants a name for what she is. For what is consuming and torturing her. For what is changing her.
But she’s not crazy like her mother. She’s not.
Emily may not be as crazy as she thinks, because her body is no longer her own. Something is stirring inside her. It is soft, seductive, and tells her what to do to survive. As Emily learns that her world has been infected by demons that consume human souls and fit seamlessly into the bodies they empty, she must also accept that she is one of them. Yet, she is different from the rest, because her darkness didn’t inhabit her, it was awakened. And it doesn’t just want the humans.
I was never supposed to live.
At least, that was what my mother would scream at me during her rages, her face twisted into savage fury as she lunged at me—either to kill me or mutilate me, I could never really tell.
“You are wrong! You are an abomination!” she cried before charging at me, her right arm raised high as if to slay me in one swift, ferocious plunge.
Yet, for reasons that still escape me, she would never make that one final move. She would always stop mid-leap, her face frozen and twisted for a few terrifying seconds before I would see her body slacken, her tendons snapping and releasing like broken cords as she fell heavily to the floor, just before reaching me. What I remember most clearly was that moment of calm, chilling stillness, just before her legs would collapse beneath her, where her eyes, wide and unblinking, would focus solely on mine. Even when the rage turned into haggard despair and she crumbled before me, she would never look away.
That memory, that horrifying image of my mother that I could never entirely erase, was the first thing that entered my mind when my world started falling apart.
The beginning of my destruction started out suspiciously enough. White blurred into black in front of me, the steam rising like smoke and clogging my breath as I stirred, clink, clink, clink. My face was heated, too hot, and I swiped a quick hand over my damp brow before I mustered up a smile.
“Here you are.”
“Oh, uh, no. I ordered a white mocha. Not a mocha mocha.”
I lifted tired eyes to his face, lowering my chin in apology. “Shoot, sorry. Just hang on a sec.”
“Yeah well, hurry up would you? I have class in like, two minutes.”
Then maybe you shouldn’t be stopping three blocks away for some chocolate coffee. My smile didn’t transmit my thoughts as I grabbed the still steaming cup. I adjusted my apron as I walked back to the coffee station, wincing as the hot cardboard began to scald my fingertips. I swore as I thunked it down onto the counter and the coffee hit my hand.
Holding my hand against my stomach, I used the other to grab a fresh cup and tried to ignore the sounds of impatient patrons behind me.
What was wrong with me today?
I felt normal, but not quite. My mind felt thick, my focus slightly wavering on the edges, enough to make me slightly dizzy. I blinked, trying to bring clarity back to both my vision and my thoughts as I fiddled with the espresso machine. Once started, I leaned my forehead against the cool cabinet doors above, waiting for my heated, slick skin to finally cool down.
“You okay? You look like you’ve found a hidden portal in that espresso.”
Macy Forrester’s warm brown eyes were trained on mine as I glanced behind me and at her.
“Is it a portal back in time? ‘Cuz I could really use a do-over this morning.”
I squinted, trying hard to focus on her. She went hazy for only a moment before my eyes readjusted.
“No, I’m fine, it’s just been a busy morning,” I finally replied as I turned the dial on the milk steamer. I couldn’t even muster up the energy to banter with my best friend like I usually did.
Macy raised her perfectly plucked brunette eyebrows. “You’re not seriously stressed, are you? You should have seen my morning. I usually bomb Natural Science, but this morning was a particularly epic explosion.” Her eyes followed me as I walked past her and dropped the guy’s white mocha in front of him. “Mixed up my molecules. Probably destroyed the atmosphere. It wasn’t pretty.”
“You know me, always in my own head.” I smiled at her, hoping I looked more normal than I felt. “Sorry I missed your near-explosion, though.”
“More like my near-death. ” She leaned her elbows on the pick-up counter, making herself at home.
My shift-mate, a sullen girl named Andrea, made sure to give Macy the stink-eye as she plopped a drink on the counter beside mine. Macy smiled serenely in return.
The guy held out dollar bills to pay, but I waved him away. “On the house. Sorry about the mistake.”
Pleased, he turned away without so much as a thank you, making room for the next person.
“Large coffee. Extra light.”
I nodded, twisting around to pour coffee out of the decanter and narrowly avoiding crashing into Andrea. The rush before the university’s four o’clock classes was starting, and with only Andrea and I on the floor, it was becoming exhausting and cramped behind the counter. I powered through, refusing to succumb to my dizziness, even if it was making my surroundings tilt sideways. Rent was due soon. I couldn’t afford to miss it.
“So I have gossip,” Macy said, oblivious to the people navigating around her. The sound of their voices and footsteps ricocheted against my body, clogging my ears, their movements like clusters of nits clouding my eyes. It took severe effort for me to keep my attention on Macy as I ran around, grabbing milk, pouring espresso, blending frappes.
I clutched the espresso lever a little tighter. “What about? You know I’m always the last to hear it.”
Macy sighed extravagantly before saying, “Which I will never understand, since I’m always the first, and you’re my best friend.” It didn’t seem to occur to Macy that I didn’t go to NYU with her. Or any college for that matter. “I saw someone today. Well, a guy and a girl, but you know who I care about.”
About the Author:
Ketley Allison is a twenty-something (maybe almost thirty-something) author who believes that supernatural love shouldn't stop at eighteen. She began her career by writing books as birthday presents for her friends (with her friend as the main character and opposite a super sexy lead, of course) before ending it in order to walk down a path she thought she was supposed to follow.
As a result, her books tend to focus a lot on friendships as well as love, because let's be honest, friends are what really get you through--especially when your epic love turns into epic heartbreak.