SCBWI Victoria held their latest meeting in Geelong in a back room at the gorgeous Griffiths Bookshop. In among books coming and going, we talked about writing and illustrating and books and awards and more. I introduced a segment (hopefully ongoing) designed to learn a bit more about how we work. Also hopefully to help us all understand how much in common we have with each other, no matter the style of our work.

The first ‘Just A Minute…’ asked attendees to share what they do when they receive a rejection, citing the example of one writer friend who ‘kicks a chook off a fence’!!

Below are some of their answers:

Walk dogs. Eat chocolate. Keep writing.

1. Sulk – fire off an email for sympathy 2. Eat 3. Rework and resubmit.

Play Spider on the computer over and over until numb.

Sit down and read one of my older accepted books, or some of my older acceptance emails to remind myself that I’m not such a bad writer.

I reread my submission and remind myself that it’s really VERY good – I tell my kids I got a rejection and they remind me that I’m really VERY good. Then I sulk for a while and tell hubby we need to get take-away for dinner because I can’t bring myself to cook.

Because there have been so many (but luckily quite a few acceptances too) I just toss it aside and move on.

1. Say Bugger! – not just once. 2. Put the envelope and ms where I can’t see it. 3. Days later look for it and see if I can improve the ms.

I actually expect to be rejected so am not surprised when I am – can move on quite quickly. Tend to send stuff out again immediately as I like to live in hope.

The last time I was rejected, I agreed with the editor’s assessment of my work and asked her if she wanted me to have another go. She didn’t.

When focused and positive, I send out another story, or send the same one to someone else. If I get too many rejections at once, I just get disheartened. I debrief with others. Complain bitterly. Then put it aside.

Resilience. Chocolate. Essential tools.