"There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at the typewriter and bleed." Ernest Hemingway

Although I believe that quote by the famous Florida author is accurate, I don’t know that it’s one hundred percent complete.

If you really want to bleed, submit your work to an agent or publisher. Although we need constructive criticism, and I appreciate every agent who took the time to comment on my work, it still hurt. Actually, it was downright painful.

As an author—and I know I have many authors who read this blog—I know you’ve been there. As much as you hate the standard rejection letter that rambles on the same, tired script, “Sorry for this impersonal letter, but your project just isn’t the right fit for us. But, opinions are subjective, so we wish you the best…”, it still hurts when you get that honest letter. The agent who is not afraid of your backlash of how you will someday be a superstar—because your mom says so—and is willing to offer you beneficial feedback.

I welcomed these letters. With every one of them, my writing improved. And when my editor actually got a hold of my pages, I was open to her suggestions, welcomed them even. Because I believed in the end, it would only make me a better author.

So, remember, when an agent offers her opinion, take it in stride, learn from it, heck, even thank her for her opinion. Who knows, she may be the one who listens to why you wrote what you wrote and realizes you are an author willing to accept her suggestions, and she may even offer you representation. 

Of course, self-publishing is always on the table...then you don’t have to listen to anyone—wrong! You will always have your readers. Someone will always have an opinion about your writing. Get used to it, and carry on.

Hard work, endurance, and heart will make your dreams come true. 

Until next time, happy reading and writing!


Thank you for stopping by my place and reading my musings. Remember, these are just my opinions and shouldn’t be taken too seriously. If you have questions, please feel free to leave them in the comment section, and I promise you I will answer.  If you’re curious about what I write, please visit one of my author pages, where you can read all about my novels and short stories. And hey, I’ll even give you a free book just for stopping by.

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  1. Wow, you absolutely expressed my feelings perfectly.

  2. Cool! Always wonder if people agree. Even if I were to choose to self-publish, I would still like feedback, and who better than agents… They've learned the necessary skills to speak kindly, but carry a big stick. They're tough...but in the long run, we need them.

  3. It's all part of developing a thick skin...and I'm still working on it. Mine is still a little on the thin side. ;)

  4. I had an agent give me suggestions on what she thought needed to be done to make my ms better. At first I was upset, but after calming down, I went back and re-read it. She did make a few valid points. I took those to heart, and made the changes. While we still didn't see eye to eye on one major point, and I did not sign with her, those suggestions did make it into the final draft of my ms and has made the book that much better! If it wasn't for her taking the time to comment, and more importantly, my applying those suggestions, my book would not be what it is today.

    1. Oh, and just to recap... MJ's book published one week after this comment and has sat on the bestseller list every day since. Congratulations, MJ! Always fun to look back on comments like these. :)

  5. Too often I have found myself huddled under my desk, licking wounds and clutching the terrible rejection letter. In the end, it's something we, as authors, share as a common bond that says we have fought together.

    1. Very true. Not all authors agree, but I believe even if you plan to self-publish, you should query. Hey, it's free feedback if they're honest. It doesn't mean you have to accept their suggestion, but it's worth looking into something if they take the time to point it out.

      Here's a quote for you, Jack. One of my favorites, as somethings never change.

      "The great American novel has not only already been written, it has already been rejected." -- W. Somerset Maugham