Monday, February 28, 2011

Thinking About the Future of This Blog

Here's a serious comment from a reader: "Showing us more (and more) rejection slips has been done to death, w/r...This site has lost all energy. It's so polite and placid." Is this dude right? Have I lost my edge? It's confusing because I started the blog to make myself feel better and then I continued it because people said it made them feel better. But maybe my time is run out. Certainly, I am no longer the only one posting rejections on the world wide web. And I think it's true that when I'm revising my novel, I lose a little bit of steam to fuel the blog. It's a good question for discussion. Is it time to pack it in? What you guys honestly think, and not just all the positive answers that are meant to be nice to me because you are nice mice? I'm looking for objective opinions.

13 comments:

Embo said...

All I know is I just discovered your blog recently, and I love it, and I'd be mega-bummed if you stopped updating. Obviously my feelings should be your most important consideration, here.

Kay said...

I really look forward to your posts. I may not always comment..since I am not a writer who seeks publishing..but as an artist maybe misery loves company..!

Nick said...

First, I love your blog. I love it for how you speak honestly about the progress of your own novel and, more generally, about rejections in general.

That said, my feeling is the blog loses its focus when it strays afield from literary rejections. We are nice mice, yes, but nice mice of the literary variety.

Anonymous said...

I always stop and look. You've posted some of the most interesting things on the Web.

For me it's mostly good.

Drawbacks? Your blog lacks a certain personal touch I guess that's true because of your need for anonymity. But every so often I feel like I'm getting close to a person. A writer kinship, you know? And it just misses because it's hiding behind anonymity.

Hand in glove with that is -- when you are no longer yourself 'writer rejected' that is, when you are in the process of revising your novel under promising if slow processes, you're no longer in quite the same boat as the rejected writer.

I mean, I get it, because I have a large file full of rejections, and a much smaller file of letters that have led to acceptance, agents and big time publishers.

Bottom line, I don't know how I would feel about "writer rejected" if I ONLY knew rejection and your blogsite posted interesting rejections while you were succeeding. Does that make sense?

So maybe all it is, for me, is that these two paths should not cross. A blog that chronicles the slow arduous publication process is one blog. Chronicling rejection seems to me to be another. Hope that makes sense. But again, I always stop and read, so... that's got to be a good thing.

Laura Maylene said...

Honestly, the rejection bit itself does seem tired and overplayed. And the non-literary rejections usually are even less interesting to me.

I do enjoy hearing about your own journey with your novel, revisions, agent hunt, etc. Maybe you could consider making the blog more about you. Yes, it would be anonymous, but that just means you wouldn't have to hold back on anything.

Of course, posting the occasional insane/hilarious/head scratching rejection would be fine, too, since the true gems are rare.

snoekbrown said...

I didn't subscribe to this to be entertained. I subscribed for the reminders that I'm not alone. Every time I get a new rejection in my inbox, I have only to scroll down a bit and find a new post from LROD to let me know that it's just one rejection among many. Better still are those occasional updates on your own book progress -- the 98 agents you went through and the final, glorious success, sure, but also the reality of long waits, multiple revisions, and one-step-forward/two-steps-back dance that comes after the initial celebration of landing an agent. All these things remind me that I am in a broader writing community and we all share these triumphs and (more often) defeats.

I love the humor, the sarcasm, and the insight you bring to some of these posts, but mostly, I just love the honesty and the raw existence of these posts. That's what I look forward to in my RSS feed, and I hope you decide to keep them coming, whenever and however you can.

Tim Jones-Yelvington said...

I still subscribe to your RSS feed because I am waiting for the narrative arc to conclude with the publication of your novel and the revelation of your identity. I don't really care about the rejections.

Anonymous said...

(Sorry this comment is not on topic.)

Did anyone else get this rejection recently from American Short Fiction? I'm curious.

"Dear [Name of Writer]:

Thank you so much for submitting to our contest. We consider it an honor to read your
work. Your entry was read and considered carefully.

Since the contest closed on January 3, the editorial staff have dedicated themselves to
reading these contest entries closely. We've been discussing them in detail at lunch and
at our weekend meetings. We were floored by the high number of powerful entries this
year.

Although [Name of Story] did not make it to final judging, we were quite impressed by
your writing. We hope that you will send us something else--our regular submissions are
open year-round.

Thank you for trying us.

Sincerely,

The Editors of American Short Fiction"

It seems so positive, yet basically generic. Was there another version, or did everyone receive the same encouragement to submit?

Anonymous said...

I have loved this blog. It makes me feel better when I get a rejection and where else could I find out that maybe there are tiers at agni and that while it doesn't mean much, it might mean a tiny little something?

I have gone from writing short stories to getting serious about a novel (completed, about to query) and I also think, even though somehow I managed to get a law degree from a top ten school and work at a firm in nyc for a number of years, that I have serious A.D.D., or maybe it just comes out when I write, but I probably refresh your blog a hundred times when I am working, just for a momentary distraction (it was a lot better when the controversies hit but I still have hope for some funny comment or post). So I feel like you and your blog are PART OF my writing process, even though you, and I, shall remain ever anonymous.

So I hope you stay. But I also like hearing about YOU, and I also like the snark that used to be here. Is that helpful to you? I doubt it, but there it is.

Anonymous said...

We both have better ways to spend our time. Especially you. Write your novel.

Anonymous said...

I wrote the post that you quote from. You chose not to include the last sentence: "Instead, examine how the publishing world works, not the forms they send out to losers (like me)."
Don't misunderstand me -- I'm not complaining about the omission -- but I think it indicates that what I suggest is not a direction you want to take. But it's a meaningful one.
I read the responses above and I didn't sense much substance or spirit. It's like people are saying, Yes, I like to visit here.
For the last six months or so I stop by your blog infrequently, see a rejection, see that there are a few (or no) comments, don't read anything, and move on.
If you aren't willing (or don't have the will) to move in a new direction, I'd say call it a day, w/r.
Though I hope you don't.

Anonymous said...

to Anonymous (above) re: American Short Fiction contest letter--yes, it's a form. I got the same exact letter. This type of letter is usually coded by me as "positive form rejection" (which is right next to the "form rejection" in my book).

Federico Federici said...

I find this discussion interesting indeed. I wonder whether any of you has ever tried to submit some "fake", such as a well established poet's text to check whether it is immediately rejected or not...