Several bloggers and other people have been buzzing about the fact that Pam van Hylckama Vlieg, a literary agent in California, was attacked by a writer whose query she'd rejected. He reached through her car window and tried to push her into her steering wheel. But one of her dogs bit him, and the police later caught the guy. (Reason #786 why dogs rule: Dogs have your back.)
I felt sorry for that agent, and I couldn't help thinking how foolish and senseless it was of that "writer" to attack her like that. It was a violent crime. Also, what agent in his or her right mind is going to want to work with someone like that in the future?
Every writer gets rejected. I think it's part of being a writer. You learn from all those rejection letters and unanswered submissions. You learn what works in your writing and what doesn't. It shows you what sells and what doesn't. Rejection is not an excuse to hurt anyone.
Here are other possible ways to deal with rejection:
1. Try writing a book about a werewolf and a vampire who fall in love, except they can't be together because one of them is also in love with a teenage wizard whose name rhymes with "Barry" and the other one makes his lovers sign S&M contracts.
2. Try hypnotizing people through Twitter by sending out Tweets like, "You are getting very sleepy. When you open your eyes, you will go out and buy my book. And you will LOVE my book."
3. Bide your time until you do become a successful, published author by practicing your Pulitzer Prize acceptance speech to the cashier in the supermarket checkout line, the teller at the bank, and your dry cleaner. All the people standing in line behind you will probably applaud...just so you'll stop talking. (Or maybe they'll start throwing things.)
4. Work out your aggression on a punching bag, and tape a picture of the cover of a book that you really hate to the front of it.
5. Send out a manuscript to another agent, and then pick the petals off of a flower while saying, "He (or she) loves my manuscript, he loves it not."
6. Listen to inspirational music while you're writing, like the theme song to Rocky, Queen's "We Are the Champions", or Britney Spears' "...Baby One More Time". (What? Am I the only one who finds her music inspirational?)
7. Imitate Scarlett O'Hara by eating turnips in the middle of a field and declaring, "As God is my witness, they're not going to lick me. I'm going to live through this and when it's all over, I'll never be unpublished again."
8. Name all of your characters after the literary agents that you're sending your work to.
9. Resist the urge to look at books by celebrity "authors" and wail, "Why? WHY?" before running out and buying a bunch of ice cream.
10. Pick up a pen or turn on your computer and keep writing.
What about you? As a writer, how do you handle rejection?
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