There’s something satisfying about a rejection letter that gets personal. Where a form letter leaves you feeling like Prisoner #26A5B3XXX1, stripped of your identity and reduced to a pile of polite dismissal, a missive that reads as if it were actually touched by a human being can be satisfying, in a way.
It’s like the writer’s version of Captcha. Someone has read your work, and for a frustrating/confusing/incomprehensible set of reasons beyond your control, has decided to pass. But someone took the time to read your work and respond to it, personally. It matters.
When I was writing my first novel, I received a number of rejections, but the ones that took the time to explain in detail why they felt the book wasn’t right for them really kept me going. Recently, I received a rejection that lifted my spirits–and helped me fix the weak spots of my manuscript:
Of course, it sucks to ultimately be passed over. Almost doesn’t count, as they say. But it’s given me hope and encouragement as have the rejection letters WritersBloqinc recently posted on Tumblr. You may not want a personal response for query-stalking, but if it worked for Gertrude Stein…
For more encouragement, check out author Tayari Jones’ pep talk to a young author.