Definitely a bummer.
However, sometimes "no" is a good thing. A powerful thing... in a good way.
Running into a wall might make a writer fall down and give up. But, facing an obstacle might just increase a writer's resolve. It might just make a writer dig in their heels, resulting in them becoming more perseverant.
That's what a string of no's did for me recently. A bunch of generic rejections, along with a couple of agents/publishers who told me I didn't really have the right to tell my story, literally brought me to tears. (To find out why I was told it wasn't my story to tell, check out this short movie I made about the experience.)
And then I got mad. Not angry at anyone in particular. Just mad that the universe was trying to smash the love for my character into smithereens.
Which made me dig in. My determination ramped up so high, only dogs could hear the frenzied shriek.
On a interview, I saw Kris Jenner say something profound. (I know, I know. Lots of people might instantly dismiss the mother who spawned six Kardashian/Jenner kids, considering how starving the family is for media attention. I get it. But the woman knows her stuff. She's business savvy. And she knows how to succeed.)
This is what she said that struck me as brilliant:
"If somebody says no, you're talking to the wrong person."
Each no I get means I submitted to the wrong agent. The wrong publisher. They aren't the ones who are open to my novel idea for a novel. They're not drawn to my protagonist like I am. They're not eager to have my story told.
In my research about facing rejection (I'm a glutton for punishment. Not only am I immersed in rejection, I'm also researching it.) I found this article. As you lick your wounds and prepare to dig in, to persist, you might find it helpful.
The tough part--of course--is to find the right person. Finding the right publisher or agent for your manuscript/essay/story/poem takes a thick skin. It takes determination. And it takes a belief in your piece.
Bonnie Raitt sings, "I can't make you love me." As writers, we can't make a publisher love our work. All we can do is keep trying to find the publisher who does...
Sioux Roslawski is a novelist wannabee. One day, when she finds the right person for her manuscript, she'll no longer be mired in rejection. (In the photo to the right, the bubbling mud pots of Iceland are in the background. Currently, Sioux's stubborn perseverance is bubbling and popping.) She has a newly-launched website. It's still in the work-in-progress stage, still new, so check it out (and be patient).