Step #6: Celebrate All Acceptances and Rejections (after all, your work is getting stronger and your understanding of the market is improving)
Accepted or Personally Rejected?
If your work is accepted for publication, we wish you a hearty congratulations. If your work earns you a personalized rejection (e.g., a hand-written note from an editor or a personalized typed letter), then know you're on the right track.
Rejected with a Form Letter?
If you end up with a mass-produced, standard rejection letter, then force yourself to smile. You are, after all, one step closer to earning or maintaining membership in My Manuscript Stinks Society (you need five rejections to join and one a year to remain in good standing).
Rejected So Fast You Barely Had Time to Blink?
If you your manuscript boomerangs back to you, it may be time to submit that manuscript to a different publisher. Different readers like different material. Or it may be time to take the piece to an intensive workshop or set the project aside and start something new.
Share the Excitement or the Pain
Log your acceptance/rejection by filling out the survey on the right hand side of this blog. (I started it off by recording my form letter rejection with freshly inked editor signature for a poem I wrote. Incidentally, the rejection arrived the same day I snail mailed a short story out to a different publisher. It works like that, the manuscripts and envelopes align . . . )
Onward and Upward!
No matter whether you're accepted or rejected or rejected hundreds of times, it is always a good time to learn more about the craft of writing well. (Hint: This means returning to step #1 in the process.)