Friday, 1 September 2006

Xeus on Rejection.

Quoth Xeus:
I personally believe that if you want to reject someone, it's best to outline to the person:
  1. It's the work you are rejecting, not the person
  2. If this particular piece of work is not good enough, it doesn't mean your future work will not be good enough
  3. These are the reasons: a)....b)....c)
  4. BUT you can improve if you do a)....b)....c) e.g: write better grammar, make your sentences simpler, write a more compelling story etc
  5. It's not the end of the world. JK Rowling herself was rejected many times.
  6. Now, go home and take my advice and polish up your tome. THEN come and see me again when you are ready.
All this can be said fairly nicely. We need to nurture our young Malaysians, not deflate their hopes. (Yeah! The Merdeka spirit!)


  1. Not just the young people, Ted. For the old folk like me, too! ;-)

    By the way, I enjoyed Palace Walk by Naguib Mahfouz. I liked the way he described everything Egyptian and made me empathize with the characters no matter how unlikable. Long live his legacy!

  2. Hi Argus, glad you made it to my blog! Haha, no matter the age then :)

    Ooh, Palace Walk... that's part 1 of the Cairo Trilogy right? I'm planning on getting that, as well as Children of the Alley... which I think I'll have to smuggle in... somehow.

    I've only read a few pages of his writing (from Respected Sir) and I found it quite intriguing. Am looking forward to reading that.

  3. kind, constructive criticism helps develop writers and blessed is the editor who takes time and trouble to give it!

    but isn't always feasible

    as an editor (of a silverfish anthology) who has had to reject people, i didn't have time/wasn't paid to give a critique. the numbers overwhelm. could i have written back to a couple of hundred hopefuls?

    and if the story only just misses the mark, you can be pretty positive about it. but what if the story is so badly written you make the decision to chuck it after the first paragraph? (and you do, y'know) - what kind things could you possibly say about it?

    and for some poor souls, any critical comment sends them into a depression.

    if you want to know where you stand with your writing, it is better to enter the kind of competition overseas that charges a fee and offers a critique in turn.

    or hire an editor to give you a professional critique.

    or join an online writing group where members give feedback.

    or set up a group with writing friends.

    but above all, the writer must remember what you said here: the work is rejected not the writer. and even if a piece misses the mark now, it can be reworked later.

    a writer has to have a thick skin and tenacity. you have both, i think, ted. and you'll make it.

  4. Thanks for the editor side of things, Sharon. I suppose rejection's hard for both editor and writer. It's just that it's irksome when someone brushes off a writer untactfully - it could be very damaging for the hopeful writer. I suppose my advice here would be to try to take things in stride, and try try again. Elsewhere.

    Fortunately, I've never had a bad rejection (yet), and I'll be sure to be ready if that ever comes. (Hopefully not.)

  5. Ah, Ted. Thanks for the welcome. And do visit my silly little new blog if you have time.

    (Eh, must plug it like a snake oil salesman, mah!)

  6. i've never received a bad rejection

    and i don't believe editors would be unkind deliberately

    but let's face it - all rejection hurts

    all rejection socks us in the ego.

    i have reached a stage now where rejection doesn't hurt (much) - i think playing editor helped in that process and also having had a lot of non-fiction stuff published

  7. I have visited your blog before, Argus... via Xeus ;) I found the story about the family in the lake gardens quite hilarious!

    Wanna plug? No problem... shall link up to you from my blog.

  8. Sharon, yes, being published soothes the hurt of other rejections a bit. Personally I try not to get too upset or depressed over a rejection. Have to just try again, that's all.

  9. and that's how you suceed

    some writers never make it past the first rejection

    you gotta be colourfast and ready for the spin cycle

  10. Haha! That's a good analogy. Must remember that...

  11. Ha, two days in Penang and so much interesting stuff! Thanks Sharon for the insight in an editor's work. I know, it is hard isn't it when you are faced with an overwhelming slush pile?

  12. Thanks, Ted, for 'advertising' my blog site. Glad you enjoyed the 'reunion in the lake gardens' story. Argusworld has more tales and tails now, and a pic or two.

    Would much appreciate a link.

  13. Thanks for the 'friends' link, Ted. ;-)


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