4 Ways to Manage the Frustration of Being “Almost” Published

“I once had an agent ask for an exclusive. Then he requested three rounds of revisions, and still didn’t sign me. I’ve also had a publisher tell me that they ‘love my work’ but passed on my manuscript because they had something ‘too similar’ coming out the following year.

If there is one thing I’ve learned about publishing, it’s this: it will break your heart in unexpected ways. What got me through the frustration of periods of being ‘almost’ published was accepting several truths about the industry:

Rejection is not an indictment of your work. Every rejection feels personal. But it isn’t. Personal, that is. More likely, it has to do with fit, timing, personal preference, and countless other factors you can’t control. To reorient myself, I’ve learned to do two things—recommit to improving on a craft level, and identify and focus on the deeper reasons why I write. The latter may sound easy and obvious, but it’s not, which is why I explore the concept of a writer’s purpose so deeply in The Bulletproof Writer.”

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