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12 X 12 February 2017 Featured Author – Andrea J. Loney

12 x 12 February 2017 Featured Author – Andrea J. Loney

12 x 12 Member and Author Andrea J. LoneyPet Pictures, Serena Williams, Mug Cake, and Other Ways to Manage Rejection

So grateful to Julie Hedlund (with a super assist from Kelli Panique) for inviting me to post about an ever-present feature of the picture book writing process:


Ouch… just reading the word stings. But for writers managing rejection is an inescapable part of the job:

Five editors rejected OWL MOON by acclaimed author and America’s Hans Christian Anderson, Jane Yolen. Pat Zeitlow Miller’s adorable debut picture book SOPHIE’S SQUASH was rejected 126 times before it was plucked from a slush pile; now she has five books published and five more on the way. Even the Newbery Award Winning novel, A WRINKLE IN TIME collected over 29 rejections before publication.

Rejection is an inescapable part of the picture book writing game. I didn’t realize that when I first started out. So I offer this post to you in hopes that rejection will not deter you the way it once discouraged me.

About fifteen years ago, after years of working in film and television, I wanted to be a children’s author. But I worried about what my colleagues in the entertainment business might think, so I kept my work mostly to myself. I wrote what I thought was best, sent my manuscripts off to publishers, and then I got…

12 x 12 Rejection Pug

“No? How could you say no to this face?”

A rejection.

And then another rejection.

And then a whole packet of rejections from a magazine.

And a whole lot of silence from the places that never responded.

Naturally, I was crushed. I’d sent out my very best stories. Stories that made my mom smile and my nephew laugh (full disclosure: at the time, neither my mother nor my three-year-old nephew were informed on current trends in the juvenile publishing industry). I didn’t understand why publishers didn’t love my books as much as I did.

So after each of my six picture books were rejected only once, I decided to give up on my dream. The whole process took a little over a year — three years if you count one rejection that took two years to make it back to my mailbox.

But yeah, I gave up.

Then ten years later, someone told me about 12 x 12. The challenge of writing a new manuscript every single month was thrilling. My new critique group was awesome (still is). The chance to submit a story to several agents a year seemed like a dream come true! And it was!

12 x 12 Rejection Kitty

Six rejections? What was I thinking?

Until the rejections came! Every month brought another:

“Sorry, this manuscript is not for us.”

“Thank you for submitting, but we’ve chosen to pass.”

“Nopepity Nope Nope.” (okay, maybe I’m paraphrasing here)

And after each new rejection, I would wake up the next morning wondering, “What am I DOING? Am I nuts to think that someone would actually publish my stories? Why am I doing this to myself?” And there I would stay, paralyzed with self-doubt.

12 x 12 Grumpy Cat Rejection MugAfter a few months, I decided that just as I have writing, editing, and celebration rituals, I should also have a rejection ritual. I got the perfect mug and decided that whenever I received a rejection, I’d fill the mug with something yummy. Then I’d cheer myself on for continuing to write. I even found a great recipe for a microwavable mug cake. Suddenly I had something wonderful to look forward to every month! Either an agent or publisher would accept my work, or I would get cake! Writing contract or cake! I couldn’t lose!
After the Great Mug Cake Decision, I saw rejections less as a stop sign and more as a detour. Every no brought me closer to a yes. Maybe not from the specific agent I’d hoped for and maybe not for the specific manuscript I’d submitted, but every rejection brought me closer to publication.

And then my picture book biography TAKE A PICTURE OF ME, JAMES VANDERZEE! won the Lee
& Low Books New Voices award and became my official debut title. But I was surprised to find that my award-winning manuscript still got rejection letters Take a Picture of Me, James VanDerZee by Andrea J. Loneyfrom agents and contest panels. That’s when I realized how subjective the publication process really is. I couldn’t take rejections personally anymore. And I could still enjoy my mug cake!
Eventually, I signed with my agent, the ever-awesome Jill Corcoran and thought, surely with an agent my days of rejection are behind me, right?


It turned out that my agent sent my manuscripts out to several carefully chosen editors at once. So instead of receiving one rejection a month, I was getting, like, ten. At first, it was overwhelming – I mean, how much mug cake can one woman consume? Finally, I imagined myself as the famous tennis player Serena Williams, meeting each rejection with determination and serving up the good stuff until something wonderful happened.

After 27 rejections, BUNNYBEAR sold to Albert Whitman & Company. The folks who bought and worked on the book adored my text, my characters, and my imaginary little world (lovingly illustrated by Carmen Saldaña). When I saw all the effort that goes into publishing a picture book, I understood why some of the other editors passed on it. Considering the work, money, and time it takes to produce a quality picture book, even if the publishers like the manuscript, BunnyBear by Andrea J. Loneythey still have to decide if they’re passionate enough about it to commit years of their lives to that project. If the answer is no, they pass. If the answer is yes, the writer gets a whole team of creative professionals championing their vision. In effect, rejection ensures that the people who say yes to our work are ready to go the distance and deliver the best book possible.

So based on what I’ve learned in the last dozen years or so, here are my suggestions for making peace with the rejection process:

Keep writing

I can’t overstate this — writing new stuff while waiting to hear back on old stuff is the best way to get stuff published. Seriously. In my case, starting a new manuscript and revising a few older manuscripts made it much harder for me to obsess over whether an agent or publisher was going to accept my book. Focusing on other stories dulled the sting of rejection, and even more importantly, it set me up with more polished material to show to the agents who finally did say yes.

Share with your critique group

Writing is a solitary pursuit. It’s easy for me to get sucked in a bubble of my own imagination. Coincidently, in that bubble, all my stories are wonderful and instantly publishable. But my critique groups see outside of my bubble and share objective feedback to improve my work. Sometimes we even share insights and advice on detailed rejection letters from agents or publishers. Exchanging work with writers on a similar path improved the quality of my rejections (personalized letters as opposed to form rejections), and has even led to some sales!

Create a ritual to process rejection letters

At first, mine was moping around my house for a few of days. Then it was 45 minutes of furious journaling followed by a mug cake. Once the rejections ramped up and my skirts stopped fitting, I replaced the mug cake with fruit, nuts, or even a cup of tea. Sometimes I just left the mug on the shelf and said, “I see you, Grumpy Cat!” But I still recorded each rejection date and any useful information in the rejection letter, then made plans to send the manuscript back out.

So how do you deal with rejection while submitting your picture books? Let us know in the comments.

Thanks again to Julie Hedlund and 12×12!


Andrea J Loney’s picture book BUNNYBEAR, (Albert Whitman & Company, January 31, 2017) is about a bear who believes in his heart that he is really a bunny. Her upcoming debut picture book, TAKE A PICTURE OF ME, JAMES VANDERZEE! (Lee & Low, May 2017), is a New Voices Award-winning picture book biography of the legendary black photographer of the Harlem Renaissance, and a third book is coming in 2019. A community college instructor with an MFA in Dramatic Writing from New York University, Andrea is also a proud volunteer for Reading to Kids and the We Need Diverse Books campaign. She lives in sunny Los Angeles, California with her devoted family, embarrassingly spoiled pets, and towering stacks of picture books. Visit her online at or on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest @andreajloney.

Here is Andrea’s latest news!

12 x 12 Andrea J Loney Double Bass Blues Announcement


This Post Has 426 Comments
  1. Andrea, thank you for these insights. I am a beginner… have not sent out one manuscript yet. But the education I will receive here in 12×12 on all things PB will allow me to look at the process with a knowing heart. Your words on rejection and how you deal with it are both telling and humorous. Thank you for sharing. Congratulations on your accomplishments.

    1. Hi there! I’m new to submissions too (hoping to get started this spring), although I did send a manuscript to Little Brown Books, following the SCBWI conference and an open submission week for SCBWI members. I think I’m mentally prepared for this long process and many rejections. This community and posts like the one above are helping to fortify me and enjoy this whole process. Nice to meet you on here, and I appreciate reading your thoughts (as they mirror mine). I’m new to 12×12 this week, so I look forward to many interactions with you and our colleagues!

    2. This was so timely! It is always so inspiring and motivating to hear the struggles as well as the successes. I’m so grateful to have read this and to be a part of this group!

  2. The Mug Cake made me laugh out loud! I love the tenacious viewpoint and turning such a negative word into a positive. Thanks for the inspiration. I am not as far as you. I submitted to 4 places one year and heard nothing but crickets. With 12×12 though I am investing more time into my writing. So, bring on the rejection letters so I can eat cake or whatever I decide to stick in that mug. It will only mean I am progressing. Thanks again!

  3. Andrea–I had no idea you went through so many years of rejection! I thought you came on to the children’s picture book scene fully bloomed, and waiting to be picked. ? I think we forget sometimes that producing great art takes time, and we’re in it for the long haul. Your perseverance and determination made all the difference. And this post gives us all a lot of hope.

  4. Okay, I was not expecting cake when you showed the picture of the mug! How wonderful, and thank you for sharing your story. You give me hope.

  5. Great reminders about the process of writing and the time and perseverance required. And I’m totally making a mug cake the next time a rejection comes my way … at least until my skirts no longer fit too!
    Thank you for sharing and congrats on all of your success!

  6. A wonderful story to never give up on our dreams. However, you had me at the kitty and puppy images! Hahahaha. Congrats on revisiting your dreams and blessing us with your story!

  7. I absolutely love the idea of having a “rejection ritual” and I love the mug cake- but I can see how that can also be sabotage for the waistline if you are collecting quite the number of rejections. I’ll figure something out for all the expected rejections, and will look forward to it, knowing that it’ll put me one step closer to a “yes.” (hopefully!)

  8. Great food for thought. It reminds me of Woody Allen’s method of working. He doesn’t think about critics or awards, he just puts his work out there and moves on to the next project. Thank you!

  9. Thank you, Andrea, for sharing how you took rejections and turned them into a time of cake and renewal. I love it! It was also good to hear about how subjective the publication process is and how many rejections a person may have to get before they connect. The link to the mug cake was a kind gesture and now I am looking forward to my next rejection!
    Best wishes for your continued success!

  10. A whole lot of wise words. I haven’t jumped into submitting yet, but I will be prepared with a process to deal now. We tell ourselves to expect rejection, but I’m sure it is different when we actually receive it. Thank you for the wonderful post!!

  11. This is a great post. I love the idea of mug cake while wallowing in rejection. I love how working on other stuff takes the mind of waiting. And I love how Andrea persisted and found success!

  12. Well! Now I’m definitely going to stop moping around the house! That’s it, done! I’m googling mug cake recipes…NOW! Thanks so much Andrea!

  13. Thanks for sharing this emotionally detailed, honest, and open discussion of your process. I believe it’s so important for us to be able to do so, so that the journey doesn’t feel magical, mystical, and overwhelming. And – as you’ve done here – I believe it’s important to tell the truth about the world of publishing – the joys, the hardships, the reality of “keeping on”, and the subjectivity that’s just the nature of the thing…All best to you as you continue your journey!

  14. Andrea, thank you for being so transparent. I am a newer PB writer but have a few rejections under my belt. It definitely takes faith to keep on going. Thank you for the reminder of how subjective the business is. And for encouraging us to keep trying and to eat cake. 🙂
    Wishing you great success with your upcoming books!

  15. Thank you for the inspiration! I appreciate the advice of working on other projects while waiting for a rejection. Being rejected has made me a better critique partner for my group. I also spend a lot more time reading current picture books. Looking forward to getting a copy of BunnyBear.

  16. Love your mug rejection ritual. I definitely need to start a rejection of ritual. It may have to include a nopepity nope nope dance cause that sounds fun. Maybe I should even start a submission ritual that gives me something to look forward to when submitting instead of dreading it. Wow… that’ll be a lot of celebrating. As I say… celebrate today. 🙂 cant wait to read the book. Congratulations on Bunnybear. Looking forward to reading it.

  17. Hi Andrea – I love your strategy of channeling all those rejections into something positive, and in the case of mug cake, tasty! Your story is inspiring for those of us who are still new to rejections. They certainly do sting! I look forward to reading your books, and to employing a few of your strategies. Thanks!

  18. A woman after my own heart – I love cake! But I’m on the look out for the perfect writing mug…I think that’s a 2017 goal. Ironically I find the closer I get to publication (ie. personal communication with an editor) the more the rejection hurts…don’t have a routine as such but it’s a great idea 🙂

  19. I see a day out with my girls to paint myself a truly inspiring mug (that is also gigantic) for treating myself for continuing to write and submit. I’mean partial to sugar and chai tea. What a fabulous idea! Thank you ever so much for sharing.

    And thanks also for the statistics on rejections. It is a confidence builder that there is hope on the other side of the slush pile… really that there even is a downhill slope that lands on a real desk and not a trash bin. So, onward we go!

  20. Andrea, thanks for sharing the downs and ups of your writing career. I appreciate true lessons from someone who has been there. 12 x 12 is a great way to keep writing and get excited about new projects!

  21. Excellent, honest post about rejection and great advice about working “with” the rejection with a positive response ritual! Thanks for reminding us all to keep writing and submitting, Andrea.

  22. LOVE the cake mug idea. But I agree it would be too fattening right now. Thank you for this inspiring post and challenging us to come up with a rejection routine. I think a glass of wine (do Children’s writers drink?) with a friend and some dark chocolate. Then digging in harder is my “routine.” I’m glad you didn’t quit.

  23. So excited for you, Andrea…you are an inspiration…and I’m thrilled to have connected with you.
    It is hard to receive lots of rejections…but I treasure the positive feedback from editors, even though they may pass on the project. I realize that this is such a subjective business…and if the story is really really good, it will find a home eventually. 😉

  24. So excited for you, Andrea…you are an inspiration…and I’m thrilled to have connected with you.
    It is hard to receive lots of rejections…but I treasure the positive feedback from editors, even though they may pass on the project. I realize that this is such a subjective business…and if the story is really really good, it will find a home eventually. 😉

  25. We all know misery loves company and I have heard the outrageous number of rejections famous books encountered before finally being published, but we need to hear it again and again to be able to hope for our turn. Congrats to you.

  26. Andrea, your books sound delightful! I will keep my eye open for them. Also, thank you so much for sharing the shockingly horrible journey that exists for a cute little book trying to get itself published. It helps to understand how much others also have to commit in time, enthusiasm and resources to bring a selected book to market. It is good inspiration for us to work even hard to make sure our books are worthy of that kind of support.

  27. This is fantastic! I’ve learned to say, “maybe it’s not ready yet…if it’s not, I’ll keep working, but if I really think it is, I’ll keep submitting!” So far, I am mostly writing. I love the mug cake idea…it might motivate me to submit more often! 😉

  28. Thank you so much for sharing your rejection letter strategy with us! It’s encouraging to know that perseverance is key. I am planning to submit more often this year, so I will likely get more rejections than ever! ? But hopefully there will be some success along the way too. I’ll keep my eyes open for your upcoming books.

  29. You are telling MY story and the story of a lot of people reading this blog. I’m just hoping that I can have the same happy ending that you have. I’m working on it every day! Our critique group has an award for the person who has gotten the most rejections throughout the year. That girl wins the title of Queen of Rejections for the year. It’s a coveted position to have. The more you are rejected, the more you are actually putting yourself out there. Congratulations on never giving up!

  30. You are telling MY story and the story of a lot of people reading this blog. I’m just hoping that I can have the same happy ending that you have. I’m working on it every day! Our critique group has an award for the person who has gotten the most rejections throughout the year. That girl wins the title of Queen of Rejections for the year. It’s a coveted title. Congratulations on never giving up!

  31. Wonderful post and congratulations on your books! I love your idea of a rejection mug cake.
    I’m a newish PB writer and haven’t felt the sting of one of my manuscripts being rejected, yet. But I have been submitting to magazines for a while and, as well as two acceptances, there have been a whole heap of rejections. I think I need to develop a rejection ritual ready for the next one!

  32. Andrea, thanks for sharing the lighter side of rejection. I could have had many mug cakes by now if I’d known. Very encouraging article and I love your sense of humor.

  33. Andrea, I thought the mug cake was a fantastic idea. I also like following a rejection letter by a cup of one of your favorite teas. Warm, soothing, just what a rejection letter needs. Thank you for sharing the tough road that authors journey down to share their stories with the world.

  34. Andrea, congratulations on the wonderful new picture books you have coming out! Your delightful post about rejection, along with your mug and mud cake, make rejection seem normal, acceptable, and an important part of the process! Thank you!

  35. I am somewhat of a newbie with writing, with not so many manuscripts sent out into the world. This year that will change. Thank you for offering a way to look at rejection with a different kind of perspective. Now, the fun part is finding the perfect rejection ritual!

  36. Love your rejection mug! Thanks for sharing your journey with us. I need to read BUNNY BEAR. It looks like it might be hilarious. Congratulations on getting some “Yessity Yes Yes” from an agent and some editors!

  37. Each rejection is evidence that I’m submitting. It means I’m in the game, not watching from the sidelines. Like they say, ‘You can’t win the lottery if you don’t buy a ticket.” You can’t get published, if you don’t submit.

  38. Thanks for sharing your story, Andrea! It’s a great comfort to hear how subjective the whole process is, and the why behind rejections given the time and money invested by publishers on a single book…
    Wish you much luck with your writing! D.

  39. Thank you for that reassuring and humorous reminder to keep plodding on. Maybe I’ll give myself a consolation prize, too, for rejections. I never thought of that. Okay. I think a bowl of coffee ice cream will do nicely!

  40. Mmmm…mug cake. Sounds soooo good. Maybe celebrate only once a month though. Bunny Bear sounds great! Can’t wait to read. Thanks for a wonderful post!

  41. The “champagne rejections” don’t hurt as much…it’s the form or “never hear back” ones that can really sting. I love your idea of a cake mug or other way to comfort myself before getting back on the horse. I’ts way better than my moping around the house for a couple of days wondering if I should take up macrame or some other obscure craft!

  42. I believe we met at NJSCBWI this summer and you told me about “Bunnybear.” So glad to see it out in the world! Thank you for your encouraging post (and love the mug).

  43. Wow Andrea, what a shot in the arm this is to me! I needed this insight as with every thought of submitting in my discouraged mind is accompanied by a sigh.
    Your prescription for the rejection doldrums is right on. Writing on, sharing, and ritual submission is now my mantra.
    And now I’m promising myself a double-shot caramel macchiato (super sized) for every rejection.

  44. This was a fantastic post. Congratulations on your successes and thank you so much for sharing your inspirational journey. The mug cake ritual is perfection!!!

  45. Andrea, I love the way you invented a rejection ritual that made you feel better. Thank you for sharing your system for handing the most discouraging part of this process. Congratulations on your success.

  46. Andrea, Wow, thanks for sharing with us your journey to publications, detours included and of course the perfect rejection ritual – searching for my biggest mug right now. Congratulations on your well-deserved success!

  47. Thank you Andrea, for reminding us that perseverance doesn’t have to just be about slogging away and powering through, but can involve humor and rewards instead! I really needed to hear your message about rejections, because I allow them to defeat me far too often. Congratulations on your successes — they are clearly well deserved!

  48. Thank you for such wonderful thoughts, Andrea! It’s always good to hear what others writers, especially those who have been published, have gone through to get there. I love the ritual! I talk to my mugs, too. 😉 I think, if you’re going to write and try to share with anyone beyond your closest circle of loved ones, you have to grow that thick skin pretty quickly. You just have to understand that rejection is part of the ride. It’s hard. It hurts. But deep breaths, and next tries. And learning, always learning. This forum and group has been wonderful for reminding me that we’re all out there trying, and we all have more to learn and tweak and fix and trim and improve and so on. I can’t wait to check out your books! Toddler just woke up so I have to run …

  49. I love the idea of having a rejection ritual. I will try that. Hmm…. Chocolates? Caramels? Lemon bars?

    Thanks for sharing your story with us and congratulations on Double Bass Blues!

  50. Thank you so much Andrea! I love your humor and great advice. This will be my first month of submitting and I’m prepared for rejection! And your mug cake … 🙂

  51. Congratulations, Andrea, on your publishing success! Thanks so much for your awesome “Post of Inspiration” here, as well as on yesterday’s Brown Bookshelf blog. I’m going to tape this quote to my PC monitor (“. . . rejection ensures that the people who say yes to our work are ready to go the distance and deliver the best book possible.”) and look forward to welcoming a slew of rejections this year as a sign of forward progress on my inevitable journey to publication. 🙂 I’m also looking forward to reading BunnyBear, James VanderZee, and many more of your books for many years to come.

  52. Andrea, this is the blog post I needed to read right now. I just realized I have three new rejections because they are a few weeks past the deadline for each agent to request more from me and I have no reply from them. These are my least favorite rejections but I understand the time required to respond to each query writer and time is precious. So to celebrate, I melted some chocolate and stirred in banana chips and peanuts and spoon dropped them onto wax paper. Now that they have hardened, I treated myself to two chocolatey treats and commenced back to writing. I have tried the mug cakes and they are delicious and truly a good choice to celebrate rejections with.

  53. Oh my gosh I love this post so much. A couple months ago, I got 3 rejections in one day and it really killed my creativity for several days. Focusing on StoryStorm and 12×12 has kept me so busy that I haven’t grieved the rejections that came in last month (only 2, but they still sting). I’ll keep writing, and I’ll find a rejection ritual that feels right for me.

    It will probably involve chocolate.

  54. Wow, MUG CAKE!!! If hearing crickets in response to my manuscripts is rejection (and it is), I wouldn’t be able to wear my clothes using that first ritual. It’s a good idea, though, to try some kind of ritual. I’m going to think about what a healthy one might be. Maybe a walk…

  55. Thank you for this insightful reflection! I found it absolutely inspirational. Admittedly, I quit submitting last year after a number of rejections. Reading this post made me realize I’ve been such a wimp! Many thanks for sharing your story of persistence, ritual and … success. “Cheers” as I raise my mug to you!

  56. While I love the idea of mug cake (turning a negative into a positive), my waistline probably wouldn’t love me back. LOL! Maybe I’ll just dig into my stash of DavidsTea Chocolate Cake tea instead. 😉 GREAT advice though, coming up with a ritual to deal with it. We all know rejection happens, so what is the plan to deal with it? Hadn’t really thought of that before! Thanks for sharing!

  57. Hi Andrea,
    And thank you, thank you, thank you! I can certainly see why your books became successful (eventually). Your perseverance, subtle sense of humor, and ability to get to the core of a matter are probably key to that success. Although I have a few manuscripts I really like, I have only sent one round of queries (rejected!). However, now I feel like I can summon the courage to spruce up those manuscripts one more time and send them out there–and take it on the chin if they are not accepted. But first I must find a rejection ritual of my own that is as appealing as cake!

  58. ‘Every no brought me closer to a yes.’ Love how you took what you could learn from each rejection to make your writing better. ‘the Great Mug Cake Decision’ : ) What a fantastic idea to have a positive ritual when faced with rejection. Definitely have to think up one of my own. Can’t wait to read BunnyBear! Mahalo!

  59. Thanks so much for the inspirational post. And congrats on your new books! This was a great read on a blustery, day that started off felling like a rejection!

  60. Thanks for the reminder that we have to wade through many rejections. Also, I like your idea of a panacea: I think mine will be coffee ice cream.

  61. I started laughing out loud at the mug cake and proceeded to giggle through the rest of this. I think this is my favorite article about rejection that I’ve read! Thank you for sharing your story and insights. I will be bookmarking this post and coming back to it when I need a kick in the pants (or a mug cake)!

  62. Great post, Andera! Thank you for letting us know that we are not alone… it helps knowing that even someone like Jane Yolen gets rejected. I believe it was Jane who said that to break into this crazy world of publishing you should have enough manuscripts to keep 12 in circulation all the time… when a NO comes back, immediately send it out again… obviously it wasn’t the right publisher.

    I love your Mug Cake idea!! I was going to buy a brick for every rejection that I got and wanted to try reverse psychology on the Fates by saying that I didn’t want to be published. I needed more rejections so I could build a brick ranch house… but decided that bricks was not the way to go… and yes, every rejection brings you closer to that magical “YES!”

  63. Thanks for your comments about rejections and critique groups. I dealt with rejection by stopping for a year and not submitting. Then working on revision after revision and sending them to my critique groups. I now know the manuscripts I sent out early in the game were not ready. But then I took on the Picture Book Submission System from Julie and Emma and that is helping to draft and get my manuscripts ready with query letters. Still working on those manuscripts, though.

  64. Andrea, thank for sharing such a funny and forthright account of your experience handling rejections, and your advice on dealing with them! Rejections are pesky and inevitable, for all authors (and for people in all walks of life!) Handling them with thick skin, humor, grace and persistence, like you do, is the only way to go! I will try to do just that, in order to improve my craft, and maybe, just maybe, sell a book or two in the process.

  65. Thank you, Andrea, for your words of encouragement! What a welcome reminder that rejections are not the last word on all my effort. Also, glad to know I am not alone with my feelings of self-doubt. So glad you kept writing. I am trying to do the same. 🙂 Congratulations on your new book.

  66. I was feeling down until I read this post. Now, I am energized! If a blog post can be this uplifting, I can’t wait to read your picture books!

  67. Hi Andrea- Thanks for sharing! The cake mug idea is BRILLIANT! It’s a win-win situation that should be adopted by all writers/dreamers/anyone terrified of rejection. Onward (with a stocked cake pantry)!

  68. It’s always uplifting to hear how persistence can pay off. In the past, I’ve focused on writing MG and YA, so haven’t submitted many PBs until last year. This year I plan to write a PB manuscript each month, so I will have more possibilities to submit.

  69. haha. I loved this. Such sound advice too. As Dina said, it is comforting to know that the selection process is entirely subjective – just as those rejection letters say.

  70. This was so uplifting. Thank you for sharing. Thus far I’ve just tried to ignore the rejections or wallow a little and then get back to work – but I like your idea of mug cake so much more.

  71. I remember learning of your mud cake ritual a while back (in a video) and thought what a great idea. I immediately designated one my mugs that says, “Today is your Special Day” as my rejection mug. I’ve used it several times and this year and I also use it when I’m stuck in the mire of writer’s block. I will be using it again but knowing you had one, and used one, and are now published makes it that much sweeter! Thanks for the inspiration, Andrea, with your mug…and books!

  72. Thank you Andrea, your post made my day. I have a long way to go with rejections, but at least now I have a hope and a plan. I’m a Serena fan too, and look to such stars for inspiration. You’re one of the stars. Congratulations and keep shinning!

  73. Thank you for writing about rejection in such a positive manner. You remind us that it is part of the process. I look forward to reading your books. Best Wishes!

  74. Thank you for this fantastic blog post filled with advice, honesty and laugh out loud moments! I love this line: “At first, it was overwhelming – I mean, how much mug cake can one woman consume?”
    This made my day! I can’t wait to read your books. Congratulations!

  75. It takes courage to keep going. Kudos to you! I too will think of a rejection ritual, what a great idea! Can’t wait to buy your book.

  76. I’ve read the rejection statistics, but your story made it seem real. The success part, I mean. Congratulations! Thanks for sharing the journey of your tenacity.

  77. What a great message, Andrea! And just when I needed it. I received a “Nopeity Nope Nope!” today. Onward to create more good stories. Thank you and congrats on your new book.

  78. Thanks for a wonderful, from-the-heart post, Andrea. I hope I have the courage, grace and humor to look back on piles of rejections the way you do. So far, only two, one with a positive comment, so I wasn’t broken-hearted. But I’m sure I have some grumpy days coming my way…

    Watching my carbs, but I do wish you’d post that recipe for mug cake!

  79. Thanks for sharing your input on rejections. I always get a bit down with them, but knowing it is part of the writer’s world helps me persevere. I also make cake in a mug, but add a scoop of ice cream. Thanks for your story. It helps me keep a going.

  80. Thanks for sharing your input on rejections. I always get a bit down with them, but knowing it is part of the writer’s world helps me persevere. I also make cake in a mug, but add a scoop of ice cream. Thanks for your story. It helps me keep a going. I know there are a lot of us in the same boat.

  81. You’ve helped to make rejection more bearable. Thank you for all your insights. Also, I’d never heard of mug cake before, so I now have a couple recipes to try. I’m not sure if I should thank you for that, though, because they look so easy to make that I will surely over-indulge.

  82. Hi Andrea, I loved your post and, by coincidence, in my bubble all my stories are wonderful and instantly publishable, too! I have a wonderful critique group that keeps me grounded and helps me move forward and I’ve improved a lot with their help. Reading your post I’m convinced that I’m still at the very beginning of my path to publication, but I’ll get there. 🙂 Now I need to get that mug! Congratulations and many thanks!

  83. I love your mug cake ritual – I’ll be sure to give it a try. Thanks for sharing rejection numbers – that takes the sting out of my rejections, and makes me realize that I should keep sending my manuscript out until I have at least 20 rejections. I’m thinking of rewarding my rejections by putting $5 deposit into my savings account earmarked for writing conferences and retreats.

  84. Angela, I also love the idea of putting $5 towards a conference for each rejection! But… and this is a big BUT… don’t ever limit yourself to the number of rejections on a manuscript, especially if you really love the story. A good friend of mine decided that she’d file the stories after 12 rejections. I couldn’t understand why and begged her to send one of my favorites out one more time. And sure enough, thirteen was her lucky number — it sold! Twenty one might be your lucky number. BunnyBear received 27 rejections before it sold. The idea is to get that manuscript out there. I always say, “A manuscript in the drawer is rejected. A manuscript in the mail is not.”

    A writing ritual for one of my friends is to eat a whole bag of Cheetos. You could tell how her career was going by how orange her fingers were! LOL!

    For me, I keep writing. Rejection hurts, but, like you said, Andrea Looney, it helps to keep writing. Once I got six rejections back in one day (for six different manuscripts). So, yeah, that day I didn’t write, but I did have a talk with my mailman and asked him to please spread out the delivery of those brown envelopes. And then I went to lunch with my critique group and got lots of sympathy and that helped. 🙂

    This was a wonderful post! Thank you for sharing, Andrea!

  85. I think the key for me is to be working on other manuscripts. Like you said, it’s hard to stay down when you’re excited about another story. We’ll see how I feel at the end of the year. 🙂

  86. This is one of my ALL TIME favorite posts and I have been with 12X12 since Julie started it. This was hilarious: “Nopepity Nope Nope.” (okay, maybe I’m paraphrasing here). Thank you for the great post on the process that got you to publication.

  87. This was a great post! Thanks for sharing your process. I’m still not brave enough to be “actively” submitting (only once or twice when opportunities arose and also for professional critiques), but when I do, I will definitely keep your words of wisdom in mind. Congratulations on your career! I look forward to reading your books.

  88. What an inspirational post about not giving up – just what I need at this moment in time. Thank you and congratulations on your success!

    1. Don’t you just love her positivity?! Rejection is just a fact of life. Thinking of ways to cope is both fun and a great exercise for mentally preparing. I love the way she describes her understanding of why rejections happen, based on her visibility of the creative process of making a book!

  89. I love the idea of creating something to look forward to after every rejection. I shall now find my mug cake equivalent! Thanks for your candid honesty. It really helps boost my motivation and try and keep up the momentum and most importantly keep up the writing. Look forward to reading your books! Thanks for sharing.

  90. Thanks for putting humor into this blankity-blank-blank topic we all live with, with your “Nopepity Nope Nope.” Congratulations!

  91. Thank you for the pep talk Andrea. I gave up after one rejection (haha), then dragged myself off the floor and found 12×12. Yay!!!!
    Congratulations on your success!!!!

  92. I lilke tor emind myself that the only difference between those who are published and those who are not is that those who are never gave up.

    Thank you! And please post your mug cake recipe!

  93. I like to remind myself that the only difference between those who are published and those who are not is that those who are never gave up.

    Thank you! And please post your mug cake recipe!

  94. Andrea, so inspiring, thank you! I’m going to frame this mantra and keep on my desk, “Every no brings you closer to a yes.” Love this!

  95. You have a great attitude. I’m getting ready to make my first 12 x 12 submission, so I need to remind myself of your story. It’s good to hear that success can follow multiple rejections.

  96. Andrea thank you for your honest commentary about handling rejections. No matter what our age, experiences or career paths, rejections are a thing. Having a good understanding of the Big Why allows all of us to keep going because the reward is worth more than a published book. Congratulations on all your accomplishments!

  97. I also love the idea of a rejection ceremony. BunnyBear looks adorable. I will look for it at the library! Thank you for your humorous honesty.

  98. A laugh-out-loud blog about rejection. That’s a gift. Thank you, Andrea!
    I’ve received so many rejections, both before and after my two picture books were published. Every one stings, even if they are gentle or have something more than just a form sentence or two. I think the best way to salve the sting is to be working on lots of projects at once (thank you 12 x 12), so that when the rejection comes, you can focus on the ones that haven’t been rejected yet. That helps me to keep optimism front and center!

    1. I love hearing thoughts from so many colleagues, as I prepare to begin submissions this spring! I’m one for positivity and hope, generally speaking. Hearing coping mechanisms from people on here will really help me mentally prepare for what I know will come!

  99. Andrea, you are delightful! “I mean, how much mug cake can one woman consume? ” and, “I see you, Grumpy Cat!” I laughed out loud and felt SO ENCOURAGED by your words today. Thank you for sharing your story. It’s so good to know that none of us are in this alone.

  100. Thank you so much for sharing your perspective on rejection. Sometimes it’s hard to look past the feelings, but I love your idea of having a “rejection ritual”. Now I just need your fabulous mug cake recipe! Congratulations on sticking with it and your success that has followed!

  101. This is so encouraging to me, Andrea, thank you. I’m learning to look at all this in a more realistic way, and a more positive and hopeful way. Now, I really have to set out to find a mug that suits me, or something else of use. I, for one, appreciate all your advice.

  102. I find this post so relatable and an important reminder of a reality of our industry- a simple, objective reality. Rejections happen. We all go through it. (Well, I will, anyway, once I start the active submissions I have planned for spring). I am actually new to formal pursuits in the literary industry, a new member of SCBWI, and a new member of 12 x 12, having just joined this week. I have done a great deal of personal research on publishing and I love learning about writing picture books. From colleagues at this year’s SCBWI conference in NY, and already in the 12 x 12 community, particularly on this post, I see a wonderful group of people who share my passions, my enthusiasm, my hopes, my excitement, my dedication, and my vulnerability. I appreciate the thoughts expressed above because I can empathize with them. As I begin to dive into submissions this spring, I hope I can cope with the same poise described in this months’ post (though I’m sure I will also go through a full range of emotions, as was described in the beginning of the post). The ideas for treating yourself following rejections are great!

  103. Whenever I get down about rejections, I have an imaginary conversation with my creative self, or my muse, or whatever you want to call the part of me with the drive to make books. She doesn’t care about rejection–or success, for that matter. She just loves the work. When I remind myself of that, it’s easier to let go of the part of me that gets upset about rejection. I still wish for success, of course, but my desire to write is bigger than that. Even if I never publish, I still want to write. So I might as well get on with it.

  104. Andrea, you’ve baked up a terrific mug of hope with your writing this time! Thank you so much. What a terrific idea: a rejection ritual.

  105. Andrea’s attitude and humor are a great approach to rejections — and life! I mark my rejections in a spreadsheet and then move on. It helps that being in 12×12 means there are continuous opportunities to submit to other agents.

  106. I think I need to reread this post from time to time because it does such an excellent job of putting rejection into perspective. Thank you for sharing how you deal with rejection and giving tips about how to prepare for it. I’m excited to read Double Bass Blues!

  107. I love reading about the highs and lows of BunnyBear’s journey to publication. And I love the idea of rejection rituals. I have writing rituals and now I’ll have rejection rituals – that cake sounds good. 😉 Congratulations and much success with BunnyBear!!!

  108. I loved this post and its encouraging perspective change — considering that the publisher and the whole team involved has to feel passionate enough about a manuscript to commit to working on it possibly for years. Thank you, Andrea, for that morsel, alone! Also, your “nopepity nope nope” made me laugh. Also, I have to gather my courage and get ready for some rejections–starting with a critique group!

  109. Thanks so much for sharing your journey with us Andrea! I love how you said, every no brought you closer to a yes. That is so encouraging and such a great way to look at it. Congrats on all of your success!

  110. Thank you for your encouragement and suggestions to handle rejection. I love your rejection ritual! I am already thinking about what mine will be.

  111. Thinking about it and I really do like the idea of celebrating rejections as they are part of the journey as well as successes is a wonderful idea. And well, any excuse for cake… 😉

  112. Not sure why my comment didn’t come through — let me try again. The toughest part of this job is the rejection BUT the sooner you realize it’s just part of the process, the better. A rejection isn’t about YOU, it’s about words on the page. Nothing more. Best of luck everyone!

  113. GOSH. This is so true and good and real and inspiring. It is also EXACTLY what I needed to read right now (currently in the agented-but-still-getting-rejections doldrums). Thank you Andrea! Cheers from my mug cake to yours!

  114. Thank you again for your words of encouragement and inspiring me to think of my own strategy for coping with rejection.

  115. It’s encouraging to read how others deal with the rejections that are a part of writing. Thanks so much for a wonderful post, and for the mug cake idea, too!

  116. Andrea,
    Thank you for sharing your strategies for embracing rejection as part of the journey! I have a mug which says “I’m a writer, what is your super power?”, and I think I will use it as my rejection-treat mug. I have been sending out queries, but your ideas have inspired me to query even more, so I can earn treats-for-rejection like a dark chocolate truffle, tea and cake, or even a new picture book. Thank you so much for helping to make the process fun. I will be looking for your books!

  117. I think the idea of a rejection ritual is brilliant. I can’t believe I never thought of that! I have been so scared of submitting for fear of rejection…and yes I know that fear will still be there but if there is also cake….:)
    Thank you so much for your post. This was so helpful!

  118. Just got my first rejection this week! I’m really doing it! (Also, working on my 7th draft of the year… have I really written that many?) And a book illustrated by Rudy Gutierrez?? Thats gonna look AWESOME. Amazing success story, I’m excited to read your books!

  119. There’s no way I could afford the weight gain of rejection, if I celebrated with food. I accept rejection as part of the process in the same way it is strewn throughout life, lots of rejection happens in ways large and small. This is a great post to remind us all that the rejection never ends, and that’s one of the many things I also love Jane Yolen for, her reminders of that.

  120. Hi Andrea, what an inspiring message – who knew that you would still get rejections after winning the award from Lee and Low! Thank you so much for sharing your words.

  121. Your post couldn’t have come its way to me at a better time; my background is in writing poetry, and the lit mags have been saying NO so much lately, it’s….crushing. Thank you for sharing with us. It DOES mean a lot.

  122. I need to find a mug and figure out what to put in it, post haste! Thanks for reminding us rejection is just like a speed bump–one of those sharp, angular speed bumps and not the smooth, casual ones. There will always be speed bumps. Congrats on BUNNYBEAR!

  123. I needed this post so much today. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the rejection ritual suggestion. What a great idea!! Thank you so much.

  124. “Every no brought me closer to a yes.” That’s exactly the way we should all view rejection. Thanks so much for your encouraging words. (Now, can you post the recipe for mug cake??)

  125. Thanks for your inspiring post and the laugh, Andrea! Rejection is part of the process and managing it is vital to that process. So “nopepity, nope, nope” 🙂 to giving up when you read/hear the words “it’s not you, it’s me”. Moving on!

  126. In the month of my very first rejection, this post was like a sign from above. Thank you for the laughs, encouragement, and really logical reason to eat more cake. Congrats on all of your exciting news!

  127. Andrea, thanks for the reminder to celebrate rejections. Last year, a writer I admire suggested that instead of counting acceptances, we should count rejections and make it a goal to earn at lesst 100 rejections per year. Thank you!

  128. Andrea, Congrats on your books! They both look awesome. When I get a rejection letter I head to the bookstore to read as many current picture books as I can in an hour. I take notes and come home ready to revise.

  129. Thanks, Andrea! This post makes it easier to deal with the rejection. When I started getting them I was discouraged at first but answered by writing more and sending out more queries!

  130. What a great post! I’m excited now when I get rejections because I know I am in the game! Every baby step is a STEP! Congratulations on your books!

  131. Andrea, I love this post and your sense of humor! Thank you for the encouragement to persevere. I’m about to make my first submission of many, and I’m expecting many rejections to follow. Now I’ll be prepared with a rejection ritual ? Your books look wonderful and I look forward to reading them. Congratulations!


  132. I love what you say in this post! Thank you for your inspiration and encouragement! Congratulations on all your success!!!

  133. Thank you Andrea for this timely post! Your tips for dealing with rejection seem solid. I see that I need a Grumpy Cat mug on hand as I begin the process of submitting my work. Congratulations on your success.

  134. Oh man did I need to hear your story right about now! I also come from the film/television industry and am a secret children’s book writer too afraid to share with my friends and colleagues! But, I’ve also been too afraid to submit in fear of rejection so this completely flipped my thinking/fear upside down! I’m going to make my own fun and hopefully delicious rejection ritual and push past my fear!

  135. I love the mug cake idea! At the moment my rejection strategy is to just give myself a full day to be dejected and pouty, and then get back to work the next day. Your way beats mine in delicious points, hands down. Now I’m going to go hunting for a special rejection mug. Thanks for posting for us, and good luck on all your future endeavors!

  136. Cake in a mug sounds like the perfect antidote for rejection. Gluten free cake in a mug will work for the celiacs among us!

    Great ideas and thank you for sharing your publication story. It is very inspiring to read!

  137. Wonderful post. When I was in direct sales, I learned to play the “no” game…… go out and see how many no’s you can get. The idea being that if you shoot to get a lot of no’s, eventually you’ll get a yes. I’ll have to keep that mentality in mind when submitting.

  138. I am so inspired by your story. This is such a great example of perseverance. I shall keep this story in mind when I falter on my writing journey. Thank you so much for sharing. 12X12 has changed so many lives-transformed so many lives. I am so thankful I signed up!!!!

  139. A rejection-to-resilience ritual is an excellent idea! I need to come up with one of my own. And each rejection of a manuscript is a serious opportunity to revisit it, to see what holds up and what wavers and could be made stronger. Your experience and perseverance are inspiring–thanks for sharing.

  140. What a great story of perseverance and success! Rejection is so tough to contend with, but like childbirth, I’m finding myself forgetting the awful parts and just focusing on the result I’m hoping for. 🙂 Thanks for a helpful and heartening post!

  141. Andrea, I cannot say enough how much I LOVE LOVE LOVE this post! Thank you for sharing your story and how you manage rejection. I have not submitted much, which I think is OK, because until this year, I think my writing wasn’t there. I’m much more confident about the last three stories I’ve written and am getting feedback from my wonderful PB critique group. I did submit one story to four agents this month. I’ve decided that each time I get a rejection I’m going to buy a picture book that I’m coveting! The first on my list will be BUNNYBEAR because it’s not yet available at my library. I CAN’T WAIT TO GET MY FIRST REJECTION NOW!!!!

  142. ” In effect, rejection ensures that the people who say yes to our work are ready to go the distance and deliver the best book possible.” This line really struck a chord with me. Absolutely–I want the people who acquire and illustrate my book to love it just as much as I do and to treat it with the same love and respect. When keeping my eye on that perspective, it makes rejection a bit easier to take.

  143. AWESOME!!! I made the mistake of sending out a manuscript too soon. Now I feel like I may be the plague for that publisher….(yea it was my dream publisher but now just a name with a single pink sharpie line through it…I revised my plan and keep moving forward….
    I will of course go get a mug BUT I think I may have to put something with very few calories in it….
    Thanks for the uplifting, motivational insights!

  144. What a great, inspiring post. Rejections are no fun, but I’ve actually come to expect them. And that’s not good! I’m going to change my thinking and will look forward to a yummy mug cake when those rejections come in. And a full-blown 3-layer cake when that fist acceptance finds its way into my inbox!

  145. Thank you for your inspirational words. I am just starting my journey as a writer and have written a couple books and am anxious to learn where to go from here. Your advice on focusing on new projects while waiting to hear on old is great! Thanks.

  146. What an incredibly motivating post. I really enjoyed it. And really needed it this week too. I wonder, if I ONLY eat cake when I get rejections, maybe I’ll start looking forward to them =)

  147. Mug cake–I love it! Any of us who have been writing for awhile know that suffering through the stings of rejection are just part of choosing to be a writer. I’m sure new writers reading your post will be comforted by the fact that their works are not the only ones being rejected. I love your method of rewarding yourself for making the effort to get things out. I am still bad about hiding my rejections in a drawer for awhile. Then when I go back and look at them I can find things that I should have changed before I sent it out the first time. Before I send something out, I try to have a list of places to submit it if it comes back. Congratulations on your success and thank you for sharing it with us. Your post has been very encouraging.

  148. Thanks for reminding us to never give up and embrace the bad with the good. The problem is … I don’t like cake! Guess that means, the next rejection I receive will be celebrated with a nice, big bowl of ice cream 🙂

  149. As a fairly new PB author, it is hard to get your mind around the rejection process, so thank you for some great ideas knowing that is all part of the process. Looking forward to my first mug cake!

  150. Thank you so much for writing this. Your experiences—and those of other highly successful writers you outlined here—and the way you’ve learned to deal with rejection are enlightening! I need to find a new ritual moving forward.

    This past year, I’ve sent out a handful of stories to a list of agents. Most of my queries have either received form rejections or no response. I’m learning not to obsess (it’s so hard not to refresh my email), and to use the time between submissions devoted to reading, creating, and doing new things! Congratulations on your new book and thank you again for sharing your story with us.

  151. Andrea,

    Thanks so much for the advice and congrats on your new book! I take each rejection in stride, but sometimes they sting. Like when you spend a week on a query and get a form letter back in less than a hour. This industry is tough. But we do it because we love it and that makes it more “bearable”. Ha ha.

    Hope to see you at a conference soon!

  152. This is a great post! Very uplifting. I especially appreciate the Rejection Ritual idea. That sounds like a good plan. Also, the reminder that just because your family members like a story does not mean it is submission-worthy. Thanks!

  153. Rejections! Hurray! I love them! If we don’t get rejections that means we’re not writing! Submitting is sort of like playing the lottery–we know that the chances are against us, but that doesn’t mean we don’t play! After all, look at ALL THE SUCCESS STORIES even after 100’s of rejections. Thanks Andrea!

  154. This is a great article! Thanks for sharing about your rejections. It gives me hope! I especially appreciate the Rejection Ritual ideas. I will definitely be using those. It’s also a good reminder that just because our family likes a story does not mean that it’s submission-worthy.

  155. Thank you so much for sharing your insights about rejection, and the wise ways you dealt with it. I like the idea of keeping on writing even as we wait for what very well may be another rejection.

  156. I love the idea of a rejection mug/mug cake– (“how much mug cake can a girl eat” had me laughing out loud). No one wants to be rejected, but as I can see in this business (and I am just starting out) it will be a fact of life. Years ago I heard Oprah talking about guests who didn’t want to be on her show, and she told her producers not to bother trying to convince them. “If you don’t want me, I don’t want you,” she said. I like this idea for rejections–if they don’t want you, they aren’t the right person/publisher for the job. You do need someone to be passionate about what you are passionate about. I guess I can say my first rejection was sending a story to Highlights for Children when I was 18. I was lucky to receive a letter back at that time. Elizabeth Gilbert says every writer has a collection of rejections, so I guess it’s time to join that club! Thank you for the great post.

  157. Excellent advice! You have me wondering what sort of ritual I can come up with. And I love thinking of yourself as Serena Williams…Rejection letters comes in, more manuscripts go out!

  158. Andrea, I loved reading your post. I have yet to submit, but appreciate the insight into handling the inevitable rejection! Congratulations on your work, and books, and thank you for the motivation!

  159. An interesting post about not giving up in spite of the difficulty of receiving rejections and how it feels. It can be so hard! I definitely know about that. And you are so right about understanding that the editors need to believe in a book because it will be a major focus for a long time ahead. It’s the same with writing a good story and believing in it.

  160. Andrea, thank you for sharing your journey with us. I’m glad you didn’t give up. My word for the year is Persevere. Rejections come in, but I keep on writing, new stories and revising old ones. Each rejection will bring me closer to that elusive Acceptance.

  161. I’m really inspired, Andrea! Thank you for sharing your story to publication and your awesome rejection ritual. I want a mug like that! And I’ll channel my frustration like you have. I’m looking forward to reading your books. Congratulations on your success!

  162. Wow! What a story! Congrats on passing those first hurdles. And I’ve got to come up with something like your mug cake. That’s brilliant…and tasty…perhaps I should just go straight to the chocolate bar. No cooking involved.

  163. A rejection ritual is such a brilliant idea. I’m guilty of the ‘abandon all writing’ slump (after querying only two agents and a publisher), so this post has sent my spirits soaring sky-high. Thank you Andrea!

  164. Thank you so much for sharing this honest and inspiring post. In a way, I do feel like I’m chasing a dream and even though I know it’s part of the process, rejections suck! Hoping to make this dream a reality someday. Congratulations on all your success!

  165. What a great article on rejection! I like the idea of a ritual when the rejections come. I got my first rejection on my son’s 6th birthday. As I stared at the envelope, my son pipped up from the back seat: “Don’t feel bad Mommy. It doesn’t mean your story was bad, it just means they couldn’t use it.” I looked around wondering just who was sitting in the backseat of my car. I was thinking, “who is this kid?” With each rejection, I think of Richard. Rejection is the scariest part of writing. I had birthday cake that night, but I think I like the idea of mug cake better. I think I’m also going to get a special mug with a fox on it, in celebration of my current project. I’m looking forward to reading Bear Bunny.

  166. Thank you so much for this! It can be very discouraging to receive rejection after rejection, so it’s great to be reminded that even wonderful, published authors like you have gone through a lot of ‘no’s’ before they received a ‘yes!’ I love Bunny Bear and am so glad you didn’t give up!

  167. The ones who say “yes” are the ones prepared to champion your vision. I love that! It makes the “no’s” more bearable (no pun intended on your adorable book!) Thanks, Andrea!

  168. I apologize for misreading the title of your book, Andrea. Can I plead dyslexia? Or maybe sort term memory deficiency? I’m still looking forward to reading BunnyBear.

  169. Hi Andrea,
    Thank you for sharing about rejection. I’m ready to start sending out my manuscript and you have given me hope. The rejections(5) that I received last year were tough, but I put them in a folder and said thank you. I might need to come up with a better ritual than that!
    I also wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed speaking with you at the SCBWI gala in NY. The lady that asked about the 12 x 12 button didn’t know we were going to hold her hostage for ten minutes…lol. I wonder if she signed up 🙂

  170. Mug cake sounds like some kind of genius invention that I can’t believe I haven’t heard of before!

    I have a story so similar–after about three rejections I stopped writing for 10 years. AURGH!

    What helped me was learning how to “take care of my artist”–tools I learned in Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way”. She really helps you learn how to deal with rejection–at least, she helped me. You also have to be very careful about who you show your work, and when.

    My current picture book has racked up quite a stack of rejections, and I’m proud of that stack. That means I’m in the game. Just keep writing and learning–for me, that’s what it is about. If I actually get published, wonderful. If not, I’m still having fun.

  171. I enjoyed reading your post, Andrea, and love it every time that ugly word–rejection–gets turned on its head and becomes powerless to stop us. Then we start talking about it as part of the process and the journey, not the destination. In your face, rejection! Ha!

  172. Thanks for a great post! I haven’t begun submitting yet, but will have a rejection ritual planned when I do. So happy that you persisted until BunnyBear was accepted- I can’t wait to read it!

  173. Thank you for sharing your experience and perspective, really helpful!! And congratulations on persisting and succeeding, I’m very happy for you!

  174. “Bunnybear” is such a unique and well-crafted story, I’m surprised (shocked!) it went through 27 rejections! Kudos to you and your team for not giving up (but esp kudos to you! :>) Thanks for sharing your story and giving us all a little boost!

  175. Thank you so much for sharing your story and how timely it is for me. I signed with an agent this past fall and my book has been making the rounds and getting the inevitable rejections. I’ve definitely felt the discouraged twinge each time, but hearing how this seems to be the case for many authors and that there is a way to make it positive really helps.

  176. Thank you for sharing your journey with us in such a humorous and universal way. I’m so glad you didn’t give up! You have given me hope on the beginning of this journey as I know I will be facing rejection. Just keep writing.

  177. Oh Andrea, thank you for this! Rituals are so very important for the creative process, at least for me. Having one for rejection only makes sense too. Thank YOU

  178. Like you, Andrea, I quit years ago. I decided to move on, give up on my dream and focus on my career instead. Then, like you, I caught a second wind years later. Thanks for sharing your experience and views on rejections. Hearing such words helps inspire and comfort us all knowing that it isn’t personal, it’s just business and how things work.

  179. I just read Bunny Bear, and I LOVE it! I’m thinking BunnyBear and GrizzlyBun have a future together…one that involves a book series…. 😀

  180. I used to take each rejection personally and hard. But, then I realized it isn’t going to easy or everyone would do it, right? I also had a great friend tell me once, every no leads to that one yes…the yes that matters. And, I’ve always kept that with me. Each rejections gets me one step closer and I even have a rejection folder, entitled One Step Closer. 🙂 I learned quickly to have thick skin and don’t take things personal. use what critiques and feedback you’re given to help you grow. Such a great post, thank you!

  181. Andrea,

    This past week I was rejected by an agent…and I survived. I have been bragging to everyone I know “I was rejected”. Their response is usually one of sadness/shock/comfort. My attitude is I am over the hump. I submitted an article to a children’s magazine years ago, and was turned down. I promptly stopped submitting or writing, because that one rejection was proof positive I was not a writer. It’s taken forever for me to get past the initial event. Now , I believe I just need to get past a bunch of “nos” to get to the yes! I so loved your blog- Thank you! Sharing your experience helps build my determination and persistence. And Congratulations!

  182. Oh Andrea, I would love to be your friend and eat mug cake with ya. This is the best post–I love your “Nope-ity Nope Nope” and your “I see you, Grumpy Cat!” humor sprinkled throughout. This writing journey IS hard–I mean, in what other business do people get extra excited by a personal rejection (as opposed to a form one :))? It is a tough business, but it’s comforting to know we are not in this alone. Thanks for the inspiration and example of stick-to-it-ness! Can’t wait to read your wonderful stories!

  183. Okay, so I guess I am not the King of Rejection. This was a very helpful post, because rejection happens to every writer, even Jane Yolen. Thanks, Andrea.

  184. Hi, Andrea! Congratulations on your picture books, including your latest news! Happy to finally read BunnyBear last week – so adorable and funny! Thanks for sharing your journey and for your insights into the process (I’m trying to mentally prepare myself for when I’m ready to submit – cake does sound good).

  185. I love your Mug Cake idea, but think I may need to find a less fatty way to treat myself!! Thanks for sharing your story! So inspiring! And congrats on your latest success!

  186. I take my rejections with a grain of salt. I see it as a sign that I’m not submitting/working enough. I think I should come up with something like you do. I’m not devastated by the rejections, but it’s always good to turn the bad things in life into good ones. Thanks so much for your post!

  187. Andrea, thank you so much for sharing this! I did not realize how much courage it really takes to just keep on going and keep on believing in yourself. Thank you so much for all the advice and encouragement you’ve shared, and best of luck in your future projects!

  188. Andrea, I could read you all day! I’m another 12 x 12er that hasn’t submitted work. Mostly out of sheer terror that a rejection is proof of my complete lack of common sense to think of writing as a career. Your choice to learn from the comments and continue on is nothing short of inspirational. Fortunately for me, there are grocery stores with bakeries. I’m fairly certain I’ll get banned from trying to cook in the microwave. Again. Can’t wait for both your books! Bunny Bear is right up my alley…er..burrow and the illustrations on “Take a Picture of Me” are gorgeous! Thanks for persevering and bringing more joy to the world 🙂

  189. Thanks for your inspiring post and congratulations on your perseverance and success! I’m about to start submitting to agents, so I’ll no doubt be using your strategies soon. The mug cake one sounds dangerous, though!

  190. Love, love, LOVE your way of dealing with rejection! I think I’ll download the mug cake recipe and buy another pair of knit pants that fit loose so all that mug cake can fill them up! Congratulations on winning the Lee & Low New Voices contest, too! And all your subsequent successes. Great post!

  191. Rejections mean that you are submitting–always a good thing. I just had a manuscript rejected two day after I submitted it… and I was glad the agent got back to me, since lots don’t. I try to look on the positive side. : )

  192. I LOVE this post! So filled with heart and inspiration. Thank you for sharing with us. (And you could sell your own NO! mugs…I would buy one!)

  193. Thank you for sharing this. I don’t feel so alone anymore. Rejections are so hard, but I’ve learned to move forward. I cherish a response from any agent, even if it is a form letter or card. I keep them all in one file folder and thank them for responding. There is nothing that hurts more than having an agent not respond. I know rejections are part of the journey and I won’t ever give up.

  194. What a great read, Andrea. Thank you. In my “other” career, I work in Sales and rejection is a something I’ve come to accept and learn to deal with. But I’m still finding that I need new ways to brace myself, process it, and rebound when it comes to critical comments about my *writing*. Who would have thunk you can’t just seamlessly transfer those lessons learned from one area of my life to another? Your insight and vulnerability around this topic are wonderful and your words have sparked some ideas for ways that I can have a system for dealing with the inevitable, innumerable rejections in my future! Bring it! One takeaway I had while reading your words was this thought: editors (and agents) get to choose if they reject my manuscript, but I get to choose how I react to their news. I still have choice and I find power in that. At the moment, I’m thinking that I’ll focus my energy on trying to see the positive in the closure I’ll get with each rejection. To mark those moments in a way that empowers me, I shall celebrate with a little dance party. It can’t be dancing to the same song each time, since I’ll get WAY too sick of that song as the letters/emails pile up. So I think I’ll do a different song each time. Starting with the 80s. Really loud. Then, how can I possibly mope over that one editor’s opinion when I am secure in the knowledge that I have these additional master dance skills that editor will never get to see for herself? Thank you, Andrea, for helping this whole community look at the reality of rejection in a way more fitting for us… creatively!

  195. What a great, inspiring post Andrea! Congratulations to you on your success and turning lemons into lemonade or mugs into cake in this case. 🙂 Success stories such as yours provide hope for us all. Thank you for your insight, honesty and humor.

  196. Andrea,
    Your post encouraged me to keep writing and not give up when faced with rejections. I liked the idea of keeping track of the specific comments which provide constructive advice, realizing these subjective comments will help me grow as a writer.
    I loved the expressive way you wrote about your rituals when receiving rejections. I’m looking for the perfect mug for me.
    Congratulations on your perseverance! I look forward to reading your books and reading them aloud to children.

  197. Thank you, Andrea, for the inspiration to keep going when my work gets rejected. I’m working on my ritual to handle rejection that may involve chocolate!

  198. Thank you Andrea for the inspirational story! I loved your rejection mug and now I’m thinking how to start my own ritual. You were persistent in seeking out publishers if you received so many rejections and I admire your dedication in spite of the obstacles.

  199. Great thoughts Andrea as I sent off a mss yesterday… I have a favorite mug, so I had better start getting it ready for 2017! I’m anxious to see Bunnybear-such a great name 🙂 Great insight on your journey. Thanks for sharing!

  200. Thanks, Andrea! As an artist, I am used to rejection. I guess it only made sense to find a whole new way in which to be rejected. It took me two years to get the courage to even submit- and now I have my first picture book rejection… and probably a whole lot more to come; but I love your perspective. You’ve inspired me.

  201. This is such an uplifting post, which is not an easy feat with regard to the topic of rejection! Thanks for sharing your experience…. now excuse me while I find myself a grumpy cat mug!!!

  202. Hi Andrew,
    Your book about Bunny Bear looks super fun. I can’t wait to read. Thanks for sharing about rejection. It’s hard to keep the old chin up when it comes to being rejected.

  203. Congratulations on your success, Andrea! Thanks for sharing–talent and perseverance are an unbeatable team!

  204. Why, oh, why did you have to go and mention MUG CAKE?? Now I have go buy a pair of pants with an expanding waist! ?
    Andrea, you are a gem and your story is just the thing any writer, especially newbie children’s PB writer, needs to read to keep that momentum going. Thank you so much for sharing with all of us. What a whirlwind of a ride this whole process has been thus far, and I haven’t even submitted yet! However, I remember back in the earlier days when I first joined a critique group and received what felt like my first “rejection”. And by rejection. I’m only talking about someone in my critique group not loving my story on the very first read. Oh, how silly we newbies can be! I’ve learned not to let myself get deflated and discovered the incredible value of constructive criticism. Oh, and it has very much helped me to stay quite humble! I shall bookmark this page for when the time comes that I need a pick me up after the inevitable rejection monster bites. Again, and again.
    I wish you success in all of your future projects and look forward to following your career. Cheers!

  205. Thank you for this post! It’s really very heartening, although scary to think of all the rejections that will soon be coming my way! I will put some thought into a ritual – I like that idea, because my default is definitely mope around the house for a few days, and that’s not good for anyone!

  206. Omigosh! Thank you! Such great advice and inspiration. Now I have to go find how to make mug cake… 😉 Congrats on your success! Hugs! xoxo

  207. I need to reread this post everytime that inner voice creeps in to say “what do you think you’re doing?” I love the mug cake idea to create a win-win and looking at rejections as stepping stones and detours, not stumbling blocks!

  208. Wow, I love your post Andrea! I’m taking this as a sign from the Universe because, as luck would have it, I read your post right after receiving my first rejection! Every word of this post resonates with me. I will trudge on and know I need to keep writing. Apparently I need a rejection ritual too.

  209. I can’t believe I’m just reading this now. Great interview, Andrea! You are an inspiration to so many and have the right attitude towards rejection. I especially loved this insight, “rejection ensures that the people who say yes to our work are ready to go the distance and deliver the best book possible.”

  210. Andrea- I had no idea that INCREDIBLE mugcake recipe was connected to a rejection ritual — now I love it EVEN more! Thanks so much for sharing all this — and congrats on such a wonderful debut!!!

  211. Andrea,
    You inspire each of us to keep writing, keep trying. Your message is fun and powerful. Congratulations on your success!

  212. Only another writer fully understands what the writing journey is like. I, like, you, have been thinking of quitting when the nay-sayer voices in my head tell me it’ll never happen. I, and children everywhere, will be so glad you didn’t. Bunny Bear looks adorable. The art is so winsome. I believe you are just now finding your stride. Happy writing!

  213. You are hilarious! Thank you for sharing your insights and sense of humor with us. We all need a little inspiration and levity in this business.

  214. Love your rejection ritual. I am hoping to submit something for the first time this year, and will be looking forward to rewarding myself for putting something out there with some cake and a fun new mug. Thanks for sharing!

  215. Rejection is something we all deal with but you have a great perspective on it.
    Thanks for the inspiring post.

  216. Thanks for sharing this. What can I add to what’s already been posted except to say it’s so helpful to hear. I can’t wait to read Bunnybear…

  217. Thank you so much for sharing your journey. Your idea to celebrate yourself and your progress with every rejection letter was brilliant!

  218. Thank you for this column, Andrea. I love the idea of a rejection ritual. And your book, BUNNYBEAR, looks like so much fun. Congratulations!

  219. Andrea,
    What a great post! I love your idea of a rejection ritual. I see many rejection rituals in my future! I’m excited to read Bunnybear. Congratulations!

  220. Your persistence is terrific! You make me feel a little better about those “Thanks, but no thanks” replies (Just a little) but I’m working on finding that special rejection reward that will help me view rejections more positively. Congratulations on finding the perfect home for your book and here’s to your continued success.

  221. I am so glad that person told you about 12×12 and brought you back into the fold. That’s nuts about Sophie’s Squash. Sheesh. An wonderfully reassuring post. Thanks.

  222. What a wonderful post!! I am going to be coming back to this one–rejection is so hard, but is part of this profession. Congratulations, Andrea, and THANK YOU for reminding us that all of our work will pay off one day if we don’t give up!

  223. I am so glad that person told you about 12×12 and brought you back into the fold. That’s nuts about Sophie’s Squash. Sheesh. A wonderfully reassuring post. Thanks.

  224. Wow! What an encouraging post! Thank you so much for the window in to your world. Very encouraging–

  225. I wrote a post earlier but for some reason it didn’t come through. All that’s there is my name and address. You journey was so encouraging and I too and going to try and find a recipe for mug cake. Thanks for your post.

  226. Thank you Andrea for sharing your ups and many downs in the pursuit of being a published author. I have never read such a real and encouraging summary of rejection. I have submitted 4 times and gotten two rejections and two that I never heard from. I actually loved getting a written rejection because at least I was hearing from them. I love the mug idea and will try to find my own rejection ritual – perhaps a less caloric one! 😉

  227. Oh, how I love this post! I just received my 10th rejection today. I needed a laugh and some good advice on how to deal with it. Thank you for supplying me with both. 🙂

  228. Aahhh yes rejection.
    I am going to be like Stephen King and start collecting my rejections as badges of honor–because with every rejection we are a step closer to publication.
    Thanks for this Andrea!
    I wish you much success.

  229. Thank you so much for your positive look at rejection. Who’d a thunk those two words could be used in the same sentence. You made me smile and remember it’s all part of the journey. I tell myself that every rejection is just part of the dues I’m paying to be in the club, but I have to admit, I like your grumpy cat mug much better. Gotta find me one of those. Congratulations. You are proof that perseverance and patience are part of the package. And with all that alliteration for you to consider, I’m signing off.

  230. What an inspiring story. Thank you for sharing!
    When I get a rejection I like to distract myself in some way. It’s also the perfect time to go for a walk.

  231. I can very much relate to the beginning of your writing journey. I’ve only told a select group of people in my life that I write picture books in my spare time. Thanks for the insight!

  232. I love how you created a positive ritual to take the sting out of rejection letters. I am so glad your perseverance paid off, I love Bunny Bear! I definitely will be taking your advice about rituals and hard work. Thank you!

  233. Rejection does feel like failure but is also a worthy tool to become a better writer with thicker skin. Your journey is inspiring, Andrea. Thanks for sharing.

  234. Andrea, all of your books sound fabulous and I love your sense of humor. I’ve gotten to the point where I celebrate personal rejections as a rite of passage. Rejections show that we are paying our dues. And that extra effort by an agent or editor to acknowledge our work feels more affirming than no response at all–even though I understand that they can’t respond to everyone.
    When I catch myself heading to a pity party, I envision movie characters giving me a pep talk, like Tom Hanks in A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN.
    “Are you crying? Are you crying? There’s no crying in querying!”

  235. Thank you for sharing!!!! It’s always nice to hear about the process from someone who made it. Thank you!!

  236. Thank you for sharing, Andrea. I’m still early in the process, and trying to figure out if the manuscript is really good enough to send out… But your post gives me hope. Love the mug cake idea!

  237. Thanks for your encouraging post, Andrea! I love to see the stats of rejections from those who made it through to the other side of the road to publication. It helps to put things in perspective.

  238. I loved reading this post, Andrea. Such sound advice and relatable experiences. And a couple LOL moments. (Nopetity nope nope! I think I got that exact same rejection once. HA!) Reserving your books now. Can’t wait to read adorable Bunnybear’s story.

  239. Thanks for your encouraging post, Andrea! I love to see the stats of rejections from those who made it through to the other side of the road to publication. It helps to put things in perspective.

  240. OMG, only three years? Then only 10 years? Some say you need to get 100 rejections before there’s any hope of getting an agent or published. My question is, 100 rejections total or just one story? Yep, I’ve exceeded the limit in all those categories. Yep, I keep asking why I’m doing this. For me, the answer has to be either because I can’t not doing it (writing stories for kids) or because I like to. More likely, though, it’s both.

  241. I appreciate your comments about how personal taste-driven these acceptance/rejection decisions are. I’ll try to remember that and find a way to celebrate my rejections as you have.

  242. Wow, I really love the idea of the rejection ritual. Thanks for mentioning that Andrea – I’m going to see what I can come up with for mine. Such a good suggestion to make it a win/win thing.

  243. Having gotten a few rejections under my belt I thought I had accepted that it doesn’t mean I’m hopeless. But I got another rejection today, and all my confidence evaporated and soon my mood matched the equally gloomy weather outdoors. Your post was a well-timed lift! I might need to make a custom mug (have you thought of selling “Nopepity Nope Nope” mugs? Thank you for injecting a little sunshine into my day!

  244. Andrea, thank you so much for the encouragement to keep on “keeping One.” I do have one published picture book, but the company went out of business, and I’ve ben treading water for two years. Although I joined 12 x 12 last year, I didn’t understand it or take part in all the benefits. This year I’m ready for full commitment and have just completed a draft on a new picture book which I’m getting ready to submit to my new critique group! I also worked on a revision of another, and I feel like I’m back in the saddle. You are such an inspiration. God bless.

  245. Congratulations on all of your success! Thank you so much for sharing your advice on how to just keep going and going and going.

  246. I like the idea that a rejection is a detour—and of course, the advice to keep writing hits home, too. Thanks!

  247. andrea,
    I am still in the revising phase which feels like its taking forever. Yet I am grateful that I can write and not be distracted by marketing etc. i am easily distractible. thank you for sharing your journey and how you cope with the daily downer of rejection. they will make me a stronger person.

  248. I love how creative you were in handling this thing which nobody likes. I think your mug cake was a genius idea! The humor with which you wrote about facing the sting of rejection has inspired me to come up with my own “get over it” ritual. Thanks!

  249. 12 x 12 newbie here- this really’s certainly intimidating to dive into something that has rejection so clearly part of the process. I appreciate your words of advice on keeping the focus on writing (anyone else have “just keep swimming” as a mantra?).

  250. Great post!
    “Nope nope nopeity nope”– I have also received this rejection!!! What a coincidence!
    “Make plans to submit again” is the most therapeutic and productive advice. Keeps me from wallowing.

  251. I haven’t even submitted anything yet, but I’m already planning which mug I’m going to use for my cake. 🙂

  252. Enjoyed this blog post very much! It was reassuring to hear that even a novel such as A Wrinkle in Time was rejected so many times before it was published. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, continuing on knowing that we all paddle the same rejection boats is comforting…it doesn’t just happen to me!

  253. I deal with rejection by freezing. Like a deer in headlights. And then creating obstacles and excuses so I never have to submit anything or get rejected again. Makes those mug cakes seem pretty damned healthy, doesn’t it? You have done it! You have actually given me HOPE. I’m unfreezing now, setting a deadline, and getting back into the show. Thank you for your wonderful post!

  254. aaaaand now Inwant mug cake (minus the rejection) ? Thank you so much for sharing your journey. It is so helpful to hear from those who are successful that the journey is tough but worth the fight. My kids and Injust read Bunnybear tonight and LOVED it!

  255. Hi Andrea, congratulations on not giving up and on getting published! I have to say that I am working on perfecting a cookie-mug (yes, a microwavable mug made entirely of cookies and you pour your milk inside) as I am in the process of pitching my PBs… Thank for your kind and inspirational words, it’s really important to hear success stories and remind ourselves that good things take a while.

  256. I really enjoyed reading what you had to say about not giving up. Isn’t that what life really is all about anyway. We push ourselves so hard to get ahead, to achieve something great but when it doesn’t happen the way we had hoped for, we feel disappointed, dejected and certainly depressed. But seeing rejection and depression turn into success and high achievement is terrific. It gives me hope.

  257. Luckily you didn’t post a recipe for the mug cake cause I could have used a salad bowl-sized helping today! (Although it was a personalized rejection at least.)Thanks for the article. It helps to see other people struggle through rejection to success. Congratulations!

  258. I’ve heard so many great things about BunnyBear – I can’t wait to read it! Also, I need to add some of these rejection rituals to my practice – but first, I need to introduce submissions into my practice! Horse first, cart later.

  259. Andrea, thank you so much for this! We all know your words are true, but sometimes it’s hard to keep going! LOVED your stats at the beginning about all the rejections to famous authors. So happy that you persevered!

  260. Thank you so much Andrea for writing this. I have only just started writing and I think one of the scariest parts is the fear of rejection…it is reassuring to read your success story and know you just need to see it as part of the process and keep on writing!

  261. Hi Andrea! Thank you for sharing your experience. I like your rejection ritual idea and my running shoes are ready to log mile after mile for each “NO!”

  262. What a great sense of humor you have, Andrea! And I love your tricks for getting past rejections. You’ve inspired me – once I start this whole submission, I’m going to design a ritual for myself, too. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  263. I read this post earlier this month and just got inspired by it Again. It’s official, Andrea: even your blog post has “Re-readability!” I love your rejection ritual! I had an acting teacher in college who always said to make sure you have an activity planned after each audition for similar reasons. All art forms are so subjective and so much is out of our control; about the only things we CAN control are our passion and our improvement. In discussing his journey at last October’s CenCal writer’s day, Kirk Jay Mueller said, “When they say No, I say Next!” After deciding that 2017 was “The Year of Submissions,” I got my first agent like from #PBpitch – and my first rejection from an agent I would have loved to have. Boo! “Onward!” sprung to mind and shortly after that, I signed up for 12×12. ; )

  264. Perfect timing as I got a rejection today! I just asked my husband “Are my stories just awful and nobody wants to tell me?” Thanks for the encouragement to persevere through this often challenging process. Now to try out that mug cake recipe!

  265. Dear Andrea,
    Your post could not have been more timely.
    Thanks so much for sharing your experiences, it helps so much to know
    that we are all in the same boat.
    And you really made me laugh with that cat mug! I LOVE
    that you created a ritual around rejection that ultimately became empowering for you.
    So inspiring! Thanks again for sharing. I’m really looking forward to reading BunnyBear!!
    xo Aura

  266. What a great post! I love what Andrea said about developing a rejection ritual, and also her thoughts about understanding why an editorial team has to be 100% behind a book, given the time and resources they put into it. Andrea, thanks for this deep perspective on the process.

  267. LOVE your post, Andrea! What a beautiful story you have, and what an inspiration! And I love how you had mug cake for your rejections. A reward (even tea) is a great idea! So happy BUNNYBEAR has found his way into the book world. YAY! More success to come! The rejections just make it that much sweeter! Hope you have cake when you publish a book too! I know I will!! 🙂

  268. Yaaaaaaaaaaay! So delighted that so many authors (published and pre-published) enjoyed this post! Celebrate yourself for all of your hard work! And thanks for all of your wonderful comments.

  269. Thank you, Andrea, for an funny and inspirational article to start my day! You mug cake would be my brownie! I try to always be working on a few projects concurrently, while also sending out my one polished manuscript. I hope before too long I can have three polished manuscripts! Congrats on your success, and I wish you many more!

  270. Thank you for this post! I needed to hear this! And I’m starting a rejection ritual, what a great idea!
    I’ve started to ask my kids how they “failed today”. At first, they were taken back by the question but now they are getting comfortable with the concept. If we are not failing then we are not trying new things, not learning new things, not living big enough.

  271. This is a great column! Thank you for sharing your journey and it is so revealing of the naturalness of rejections and the need to carry on, carry on. Perseverance seems to be a huge part of the writer’s world, so I like the way you have found humor and creating a ritual around rejection to spice up your life and your spirits!!

  272. Hi Andrea, thanks for sharing your experience and wisdom. I wish you best of luck and many more great books to get published! It’s hopeful to know that there are happy endings -or rather beginnings!- and dreams come true. And I like your advice to keep writing, because I tend to postpone it till later. Off I go to write then!

  273. Hi Andrea, thanks for sharing your experience and wisdom. I wish you best of luck and many more great books to get published! It’s hopeful to know that there are happy endings -or rather beginnings!- and dreams come true. And I like your advice to keep writing because I tend to postpone it till later. Off I go to write then!

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