Saturday, June 13, 2009

What does an editor's "No" mean, anyway?

Today's post is really just something I found which I'd like to share. On his website, novelist David L. Robbins offers eight pieces of advice to aspiring writers. All of his advice is experienced, insightful, and well worth the time to read. The eighth and final is piece of advice is:

Understand that No does not mean stop, it means only Not this direction.
When an editor or agent says No, they are simply telling you to go another
way, you cannot go through me. But there are other ways. No one must have
the power to make you stop writing...

This, I think, is the correct way to view rejection.


  1. Yes. That is the perfect way to view a rejection. Thanks.

    ps - too funny, my word verification is: sheate , which just happens to be what I say when I receive that rejection in the mail :D

  2. On a good day, I agree 100% percent. On other days...
    In my other life, I work at a medical school and I'm frequently part of an interviewing team for admissions to the school, as well as part of the committee that makes the decisions on who to admit. I know that we sometimes make decisions that are very disappointing to the applicant, and I know that some of those applicants will go on to be doctors anyway, just not from our med school. And, I know that we always have a reason for the decisions we make, even if it's not always a decision I agree with. I'd like to believe editors and agents follow the same process, and for the same reasons.

  3. Thanks for the "no" tweaking. I'll reread it when the time comes.

  4. That's a great piece of encouragement for people to print off and tape to their monitors!


Join the conversation, add insight, or disagree with us! We welcome your thoughts.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.