Since we talked about cupcakes on the blog yesterday, I figure I might as well keep the topic going to infect you with the same cupcake lust that hit me last week.
Author Karen Amanda Hooper had a hilarious blog post in which she revealed a clever strategy for making rejections sting less. She and her writing pals decided to substitute the word “cupcake” for “rejection.”
I see the appeal. I just got three cupcakes from agents today has a pleasant ring, doesn’t it?
It reminded me of a habit several writing buddies and I adopted back in our earliest years of the submission game. This was before I sold my first book to Harlqeuin/Silhouette’s Bombshell line (which was canceled one month before my debut was scheduled to hit shelves…er, not that I’m bitter).
I had been waiting nearly a year for a response on a requested full manuscript, and the stress had taken a toll. One night, I had a dream I went to a big party attended by several editors. Since things always happen like this in dreams, I spotted the editor who had my submission.
I mustered the courage to approach her. “Have you made a decision yet?”
“Yes, of course,” she replied. “We’ve decided we aren’t interested in your manuscript, but we do have some lovely gifts for you.”
“Yes, here. We'd like you to have this apple and this sweater. Enjoy!”
I accepted the two items without question, since in the dream, it seemed perfectly logical to receive fruit and clothing from an editor.
When I told my writing pals about the dream, they were delighted. For the next year, each time on of us received a particularly heartbreaking rejection, the others rallied around her and bought an inexpensive sweater and an apple. We’d have coffee together and wear our rejection sweaters as badges of honor.
Even now – with countless rejections under my belt and a three-book deal to show for my struggles – I’m warmed by the idea of the rejection sweater. I know people say writing is a solitary pursuit, but I’ve never found that to be true. Everywhere I look, I see writers offering each other pats on the back and clever cupcake humor to cushion the blows.
Do you have any strategies for coping with rejection? Any interesting ways you’ve supported fellow authors in the face of a setback? Please share.
I have to go find my sweater.