"Coping With Rejection: Use It AND Lose It" with Linda George

Thursday, November 1, 2001

Moderator is Kristi Holl, author of 24 books, 150+ articles, and the web editor for this site.

Linda is Linda George, author of more than 30 books, fiction and nonfiction, plus articles and stories for publications like Writer's Digest and The Writer. She has books with a number of publishers, including Harlequin Historicals, plus she's published two novels on Linda publishes a free newsletter with articles, conference information, and marketing tips called "Linda's Heart."

Names color coded in blue are visitors who asked questions.

Interviews occur on Thursday nights: 9-11 p.m. Atlantic/Canada, 8-10 p.m. Eastern, 7-9 Central, 6-8 Mountain, and 5-7 Pacific

Moderator: Good evening, everyone! Welcome to our Thursday night interview. I'm Kristi Holl, your moderator and the web editor for this site. Tonight we have Linda George back with us to discuss a subject very near and dear to our writers' hearts: dealing with rejection. Linda will talk about "Coping With Rejection: Use It AND Lose It." Welcome, Linda!

Linda: Hello! I'm glad to be here!

Moderator: First, Linda, can you give us a quick overview of your publishing credits?

Linda: I've been a professional writer since 1979. I've accumulated 50+ credits in articles and short stories and I've written more than 30 books for children and adults, fiction and nonfiction, for Grolier/Children's Press/Franklin Watts, KidHaven Press, Capstone Press, Deep South Press, and Harlequin Historicals. Over 23 years I've accumulated hundreds of rejections, and I've learned how to cope with rejection as part of being a professional writer.

Moderator: For the purposes of tonight's discussion, how would you define rejection?

Linda: Rejection is simply submitting a manuscript then getting it back, unsold. Editors generally don't call it "rejecting" a manuscript. They call it "passing on a manuscript." Perhaps that would be a better label, easier to accept.

Moderator: What does a form rejection mean?

Linda: A form rejection is a pre-printed form that says something like this: "Thanks for submitting your work to us. Unfortunately, it doesn't meet our current needs. Good luck placing it elsewhere." There are no hidden messages. They couldn't use it, so they're sending it back.

Moderator: What does a scribbled note on a form rejection mean?

Linda: A scribbled note on a form rejection means the writing was good enough, and the editor wanted to let the author know. I framed a form rejection letter once, from Isabel Swift, who is Nora Roberts' editor at Silhouette. Isabel wrote on the bottom of the letter, in her characteristic green ink, "Don't give up! You can write!" After my novel was published by Harlequin Historicals I met Isabel at a Romance Writers of America conference in Orlando and told her about the letter. She screamed, "I was right!" and hugged me. That scribbled note gave me hope, and that was the purpose of the note. When an editor takes time to write anything personal to an author, it means the editor found quality she wanted to acknowledge, and that she wanted to encourage the author to keep trying.

CHRISTINE COLLIER: That was so interesting about Isabel, Linda; do some editors only use one color of ink, almost like their trademark?

Linda: Isabel Swift is the only editor I know who uses ink that isn't black or blue. Most of the time you'll get a typed letter--not a handwritten comment.

CHRISTINE COLLIER: Does the editor of a best selling author became almost as famous as the author?

Linda: In a way, yes. With romance writers, editors are announced when they award prizes along with the authors. This is done because the AUTHORS insisted. Editors are special people who should be recognized for their work on books.

Moderator: What does a personal letter from an editor mean?

Linda: A personal letter from an editor is a gift. It means the manuscript you sent to that editor was written well enough that the editor might have bought it if the content had matched her needs for the publication. The letter may have her reasons for not accepting the manuscript, or not. She may say, "I'm sorry we can't use this piece. Good luck placing it elsewhere," just like a form rejection. The fact that she took the time to write the letter means there was quality there she wanted to recognize. If she gives reasons why the piece was rejected, that's a really nice gift! You'll have some idea of why she didn't buy it.

But keep in mind that an editor's opinion is one person's opinion. Another editor may love the piece just as it is. If you send it to several editors and they all say the same thing is wrong, then it's time to revise to those suggestions. There are several possibilities for the closing of the letter: "Good luck placing this elsewhere," means she doesn't want to see the submission again, even if you revise it. If she wants you to resubmit with revisions, she'll say, "If you'd like to revise and send this back to me, I'll be happy to take another look at it."

At that point, you drop everything, revise according to her suggestions, and send the manuscript back ASAP. In your cover letter, you'll say, "Per your request, I'm submitting **** again, revised according to your suggestions. I hope you find the changes acceptable. If there's anything else you'd like me to do I'll be happy to make those changes, as well." On the outside of the envelope, in the lower left corner, you'll write "Solicited Manuscript." It'll go straight to her desk, bypassing the slush pile (unsolicited manuscripts).

Moderator: What's the next step after receiving a form rejection?

Linda: The next step when you receive a form rejection is to send the piece to another publisher. Keep the rejection as proof to the IRS that you're actively submitting your work—that you're a professional writer. Don't send the same manuscript back to that editor—or another editor at the same house. Manuscripts are logged in by title and date when they arrive. The first thing they check is whether they've seen the manuscript before. If there isn't a letter from you saying the editor requested the manuscript be returned with revisions, the manuscript will be returned without the editor seeing it again. Editors share information. If you send a manuscript to a different editor at the same house, it may result in hard feelings from both editors. Send your manuscript to another publisher.

Moderator: What's the next step after receiving a personal letter rejection?

Linda: After receiving a personal letter rejection that doesn't ask you to resubmit with revisions, your best strategy is to send that editor another submission—something different. Begin your cover letter this way: "I'm sorry ***** didn't work for you. I've written another article/story I'm hoping will suit your needs." This tells the editor you're a professional writer who knows that every story/article won't fit what's needed at the current time. Professional writers keep manuscripts in the mail all the time.

Moderator: How often should a writer expect to be rejected?

Linda: There's no way to give you a percentage of rejections to acceptances. In the beginning, you'll receive a LOT of rejections, simply because you're a new writer, learning the business of writing. In the beginning you may be writing stories and articles "from your heart," then trying to find a publication that might want to buy what you've written. Later on, you'll learn that selecting the market FIRST, then writing something specifically for that market increases your chances of selling what you've written.

After reading the magazine you've chosen (a MUST if you're going to sell your work regularly), you'll write in the style that magazine prefers (lively and with humor, or serious and scholarly, for example), and when you send the piece to the editor your cover letter will say, "In the past two years, you have not had an article on *****. I hope you'll be interested in my article, "XXXXX," which I've written in a lively style, with plenty of humor, which your readers have come to expect." Once you start choosing markets first, then writing for those specific markets, your acceptances will increase in number and your rejections will decrease.

You'll still get rejections. But, after you've written for a magazine, if you get a rejection for one article, you'll also get an invitation to send more for the editor's consideration. And, in time, you may get a call from an editor saying, "I need an article on ******. Would you be interested?" Your answer is ALWAYS going to be "Sure! What did you have in mind?" –no matter what the topic might be. You want the editor to know you'll write on any topic he suggests. You'll write the article as close to the editor's expectations as possible, offering to do revisions if needed. You'll notice I said "article" instead of "story." 80% of the market is nonfiction. If you want to be a working writer who gets paid on a regular basis for writing, you'll have to write nonfiction. Nonfiction is a writer's bread and butter. Fiction is dessert.

Moderator: How much "rejection stamina" do you have? We hear stories like Madeleine L'Engle's 30 rejections before selling A WRINKLE IN TIME or Robert Pirsig's 121 rejections before selling ZEN AND THE ART OF MOTORCYCLE MAINTENANCE. Do you hang in there that long?

Linda: One of my books sold after more than 50 rejections. Another sold after two rejections. Three dozen of the books my husband and I have written together were never rejected because they were assigned by the editor. They were all nonfiction series books, ranging in age from lower middle grade to young adult.

Fiction is always sold on speculation, which means there's no guarantee it's going to sell when you submit it. Nonfiction is often written on assignment, so you agree to write what the editor wants, you sign a contract, get part of the money up front, then the rest when you turn in the manuscript and answer the editor's questions and then the copyeditor's questions. To avoid rejection, it's best to write nonfiction.

How long should you keep submitting before you give up on a manuscript? That depends on the type rejections you're getting. If you're getting nothing but form rejections, it's a good indication the writing isn't good enough to meet their requirements. If you're getting personal rejections with suggestions that are roughly the same, it's time to revise according to those suggestions. If the story or article is a common theme and nothing really new, the editor may have seen a hundred other stories or articles similar to yours in the past six months. Try to add something fresh and different. How do you know what's fresh and different? By reading the magazines you're submitting to! That's the only way you'll know if you're submitting an article on the same topic they published three or six or twelve months ago.

Moderator: Some writers--some very famous ones--get morbidly discouraged after being rejected, often to the point of not being able to write again. How can you prevent this depth of discouragement?

Linda: Preventing depression over rejection—and that's exactly what it is—is best overcome by writing. Don't get so attached to your first efforts that you stop writing new stories and articles and books, waiting for the first ones to sell before writing anything new. That's a trap. John D. MacDonald once said, "To write really well, you must get a million words on paper." He didn't say, "To sell…" He was talking about quality writing. That's what editors are looking for. To sell to the bigger, better-paying publications, you must be a quality writer. To do that, you have to write and write and write, submitting what you've written, reevaluating those previous manuscripts from time to time (you'll be learning with everything you write, and from reading magazines and books about writing and going to conferences) and applying what you've learned.

There are a hundred reasons why a manuscript might be rejected. The number one reason is---the writing wasn't good enough. I once read "If you'll get 16 things in the mail, you'll sell something." Coincidentally, my first three sales were #16, #17, and #18. That meant, of course, that 15 pieces had been rejected before I made those sales. The hidden truth behind that "rule of 16" is writing 16 articles, stories, or novels—getting thousands of words on paper, learning your craft. The best defense against rejection is to have so many things in the mail, you aren't worried about any of them once they're in the mail. You're busy writing something new.

Moderator: If we really believe in our manuscript, but it keeps getting rejected, how do we know we're not just deluding ourselves about it?

Linda: If your manuscript has been rejected a dozen times, put it away for a while. When you go back to it in a month or two, you'll have learned more in the meantime and you'll be able to revise and polish before sending it out again. If your gut tells you something is wrong, but you hope the editor won't notice—you're deluding yourself. He'll notice. Fix the problem BEFORE sending out the manuscript. Be professional. Do the work. Send it out. Then, get busy writing something new.

Moderator: They always say that rejection isn't personal. It really FEELS personal, so what does that mean? Is there a time in our careers when we can expect to stop getting rejected?

Linda: Yes, rejection feels personal, because you've put yourself into the writing. But the writing isn't you. It's a property you're trying to sell. That acceptance is hard, but essential if you're to write professionally. If you built birdhouses and went to craft shows to sell them, you wouldn't cry every time someone walked past your booth, "rejecting" your birdhouses. You'd keep looking for the person who loves your birdhouses and wants one for her yard!

Selling your writing is the same. You've put in hours and hours, careful thought and planning, and the result is, in your eyes, perfect. In the publishing business, you can't buy a booth at a manuscript show and have editors file by, looking at what you've written. You have to submit to one editor at a time (still the best way, even though it consumes weeks or months) and hope she'll want what you've sent. But she has dozens on her desk competing with yours and yours may not be what she needs right now. Don't cry when she sends it back. Send it to someone else, where it may be perfect for current needs.

Rejection is part of the business of writing. The sooner you can separate yourself and your worth as a person from the manuscript you've produced—the property—the sooner you'll be able to get back to writing and not take rejection personally. After 23 years of writing professionally, I hardly look at rejections any more. I still, occasionally, get a form rejection, but mostly personal letters that generally mention the reason for the rejection. As you build your publishing credits, you also build professionalism and editors take time to respond to writers who've been through the editorial process and have proven themselves to be professionals.

Moderator: What are some of the reasons manuscripts are rejected?

Linda: Manuscripts are rejected for as many reasons as there are editors. In many cases, the manuscript was sent to the wrong publisher. If a magazine has never published science fiction, they aren't going to start now just because you've written a great science fiction story. When a manuscript is sent to a publication that's clearly not the right one for the manuscript, it labels the writer an amateur. The writer didn't read the magazine and study the market listing for that magazine. The writer didn't request writers' guidelines or find the guidelines on the Internet before submitting the manuscript. The writer didn't do what professional writers do.

Moderator: Sometimes, even when the form rejection is checked or a reason given, it doesn't make sense. What do some of the more common phrases really mean?

Linda: You may get rejection letters that say the story is "didactic" or "heavy-handed." This means the story has a moral or lesson that's too obvious, talking down to the reader. When a plot is "slight," it means the premise is too weak, or the conflict too trivial. "Slow-paced" means exactly that. Get rid of filler, small talk, and anything that doesn't contribute directly to the main character and his/her quest to resolve the conflict. "Formulaic" means the story is trite and predictable. "Flat characters" don't have the depth that makes them seem real. They don't have flaws, as real people do. "Unsympathetic characters" means your main character is someone the reader doesn't care about. Generally, that means the character isn't fleshed out enough to seem real, to grab the reader's attention and make the reader want to keep reading to see if that character overcomes the conflict and triumphs in the end.

There are dozens of other reasons, but the primary reason manuscripts are rejected is that the writing isn't good enough or strong enough. Strong writing is tight writing. You should delete any word that can be deleted without ruining the meaning of the sentence. The best book I've ever read on how to tighten and strengthen your writing is MAKE YOUR WORDS WORK by Gary Provost. This book gives you specific examples of how the writing can be tightened and strengthened and provides exercises at the end of each chapter. When I first read this book, I'd just finished an historical romance I'd geared toward Harlequin Historicals (I chose the publisher before writing the book.). I applied the techniques to my book and cut 50 pages from the manuscript! I replaced those pages with a subplot that brought the "villain" in the book to life and made him a real person. I sent the book to HH. Three weeks later it sold. I credit that sale, and all subsequent sales, to Gary Provost's book, where I learned what strong writing was and how to make my writing stronger.

Moderator: What do you do when you can't get a response from an editor, even though you write and check on the status a time or two? Do you just assume it's been rejected?

Linda: Editors are busy. Even though e-mail and computers have made the writer's work faster and easier, editors still read one word at a time. They get dozens of manuscripts every day, hundreds or thousands every month. There's no way they can respond as quickly as we'd like. I heard about an editor who didn't have her own office, so she created one by stacking manuscripts around her desk. She had enough to make "walls" several feet high on all sides, with an opening left for the "door." Editors don't have time to read manuscripts when they're at work. They read submissions at home in the evenings and on weekends. They're exceptionally nice people who are overworked and underpaid. Appreciate what they do by being patient when you send them a submission.

If you haven't heard anything in 3 months, you might send a SHORT letter to the editor: "About three months ago, I sent **** for your consideration. Please advise as to the current status of this submission. A postcard is enclosed for your reply. Thanks for your time." Enclose a postcard that has the name of your manuscript on the back. That's all. Let her write whatever she wants to write below the name. Don't provide stock answers or boxes for her to check. If you haven't heard anything from your inquiry in another month or two, you have a choice. You can wait to hear from the editor, or you can withdraw the manuscript. It's possible, if you write to withdraw, that you'll get a response before they log in the withdrawal, locate the manuscript, and return it to you. That response might be an acceptance, which would be really embarrassing. My suggestion is to wait to hear from the editor, no matter how long it takes. Keep writing.

wendymh: How do you feel about simultaneous submissions?

Linda: I never send the same ms. to more than one editor at a time because it would be terribly embarrassing if two editors wanted to buy the same ms. and I had to tell the second one that the ms was sold. Her time was wasted....her valuable time... and I probably won't be able to sell anything to her again. I always recommend exclusive submissions on manuscripts. You can send out all the queries you want without telling the editor. That's a multiple query. Then, when you get several requests to see the ms. send it to ONE editor at a time.

CHRISTINE COLLIER: Linda, why are the response times listed in the market books downright lies? I have a story out that they have had for 8 months and their time listed is 1-2 months. (Yes, I contacted them, and they responded that day and said it was in their files.)

Linda: Because they never know which editors are going to be there in 8 months and which ones will have moved to another house or which one will be pregnant and go on maternity leave or a thousand other unpredictable events. After that long, I'd withdraw the ms. Three to six months is long enough to wait. I once got a rejection on an article to a magazine after 4 years!!!! I'd forgotten that they had it! And they'd been holding it, hoping they could publish it someday. That publisher paid on PUBLICATION instead of ACCEPTANCE. That means they could hold it forever and not pay me for it until they decided to publish it. It's best to submit to magazines that pay on acceptance.

Moderator: Should you ask for your manuscript to be returned with the rejection, or just tossed in the trash?

Linda: I generally enclose an SASE large enough and with enough postage to return my manuscript first class mail. I want the editor to know that I value what I wrote and that I want it back if she doesn't want it. Most of the time, the manuscript will still be clean enough (without any bent corners or coffee spills—and yes, it happens, and no, you shouldn't complain about it if it does) to submit to someone else. If not, you can recycle it yourself. The cost of submitting includes the SASE. If you don't want to pay return postage, send a business size SASE for the editor's reply and put "If the manuscript does not suit your needs, please recycle," at the end of your letter.

Moderator: What's the one reason manuscripts are rejected that will help you as a writer?

Linda: We've talked about a lot of reasons manuscripts might be rejected. There's only ONE reason that will benefit you as a writer. "The writing wasn't good enough." If you get a rejection that doesn't ask to see something else, your assumption should be that the writing wasn't good enough. This assumption keeps you LEARNING, which is essential if you're to be a successful professional writer. Carl Sagan, in COSMOS, said, "Learning is prerequisite to survival." If you don't learn the craft of writing so you can tighten and strengthen your writing, then you'll become extinct as a professional writer.

If, after you've sold some stories, articles, or books, you don't keep studying the market and adjusting your writing according to how the market is changing, you'll become extinct as a selling writer. Keep up with what's being published now. That will give you an idea of what editors were buying two years ago. To know what they're buying now, go to conferences and ask them what they'd most like to see in their stack of submissions.

When you get a rejection letter that says, "I'm sorry we couldn't use the story/article you sent, but I'd be pleased to see something else from you," then you'll know the writing was good enough—it was the subject you chose that didn't meet their needs. Your immediate response is to send something else. In the cover letter, say, "I'm sorry XXXXX didn't work for you. I appreciate your invitation to submit something else. Enclosed is YYYYY, which I'm hoping will meet your needs." Forget all reasons for rejection and keep making your writing better, tighter, stronger. Keep learning. It's the only thing that will help you reach your goal of being a selling writer.

Moderator: You experienced many years of rejections before selling. How did you keep going?

Linda: After years of rejection, I stopped writing anything new, thinking there was no use until I'd "fixed" and sold what was already written, and I stopped submitting. I didn't realize it, though. I woke up to the fact that I hadn't written anything new or submitted anything in the past five years. My brain had figured it out: "If we don't send it out, they can't send it back."

At that point, I put away everything already written and started writing a new book. Instead of 20 pages a day, as I'd written prior to those five years, I wrote 2-3 pages a day. I'd learned a LOT about writing in those five years, reading books and magazines about writing, attending conferences, and suddenly I couldn't write 20 pages a day. When your knowledge of writing increases, your output generally decreases because you're applying what you've learned as you go, improving your first drafts.

It doesn't mean you don't have to rewrite. Amateurs write. Professionals rewrite and rewrite and rewrite. Then, after the manuscript sells, they rewrite again, according to the editor's preferences, sometimes several times before the "final draft" is achieved. Coping with rejection means accepting it as part of the business of writing and forgetting about submissions once they're in the mail. Get busy writing something new. Writing is the answer to coping with rejection. Learning more every day about the craft of writing, so you can improve your writing with every new thing you write.

Moderator: What must you do to avoid rejection?

Linda: To avoid rejection, improve your writing constantly. Keep learning. Keep writing. Be professional.

wendymh: What is your success formula on how to spend a productive day? How much time is spent in writing, reading how to write, research, learning about possible markets, reading current books or magazines in the genre you are writing for, planning, creating characters for the future and on and on?

Linda: I could tell you but it wouldn't be worth two cents to you, or anyone else. Why? Because each writer must find what works for her/him. We have to see how LIFE runs around our homes and try to fit writing into that life. My children are in college and I'm a "full-time" writer, so you'd think I had worlds of time to write. Can you hear me laughing? Full-time writers generally get less writing done every day than writers with full-time jobs. I wrote a LOT more when I was teaching in the public schools full time than I do now!!!! That's because full-time writers work at home where there are thousands of distractions every day that have nothing to do with writing. Take the time you have available and do whatever needs to be done. When I was teaching my husband used to take my kids (small then) on Saturday afternoons for a couple of hours, giving me time to write. During that time, I got as many NEW words on paper as possible. Then, I wagged those pages around everywhere during the week, editing and polishing. The next Saturday, I put in the changes to get my mind going on that project again, then wrote as many new pages as possible, to wag around the next week. It worked great for me. But it might not work for you. Every writer is unique and must find that unique schedule that works for that writer!

Moderator: What will get an editor to overlook problems and buy the manuscript anyway?

Linda: I've heard editors say, "If I laugh out loud or cry, I'll buy the manuscript, even if it has other problems. When an author can write with enough emotion to elicit those reactions from me, that's a talented author." Remember, though, that the editor has to read the manuscript to experience these strong reactions. If your manuscript is full of typos, misspelled words, incorrect grammar and sentence structure, or if it isn't formatted correctly, it'll be rejected without being read. You don't want that to happen! Make sure the basics are taken care of. Professionals are picky about details.

racemup: If a male submits a romance novel, should he use his real name in the submission?

Linda: There's no reason why not. A friend of mine writes for Harlequin Superromance as K.N.Casper. Ken is going great guns writing romance, and the editors can't get enough of his books. Generally, romance editors are THRILLED to find a man who can write romance. They may suggest a pseudonym, like with Ken. Or some of the husband/wife romance writing teams. Again, it depends on the publisher, but there's no reason why a man cannot write romance. Just be sure you read 25-50 romances from the publisher you're going to target with your book before you submit to that publisher. If you don't read romance, you won't be successful writing romance.

JaciRae: Do you remember back in the earliest years when you got rejected a lot and some of the practical things you did to keep yourself motivated to keep writing in spite of all the rejections?

Linda: I cried a lot. I quit writing a thousand times. I told my husband, "If this one doesn't sell, I'm finished." But none of it helped. The only thing that helped was writing something new. Once I sat down to write, rejection didn't seem so terrible and I renewed my determination to "show those editors" I could write well. In time, it gets better, and that's the best thing I can tell you. Don't quit.

wendymh: In the last 5 years, you published 33 books. Did you work full time during this amazing period?

Linda: No, I didn't. I'd been writing full time for about 5 years when I suddenly sold my novel to HH and the first four books to Capstone--on snakes! My husband was teaching at the time. We realized, when I got an assignment to write 13 books in 10 weeks that it was time for him to retire from teaching, too, so we could write together. And that's what we did. We took turns researching and writing first drafts and editing and polishing. Then we passed the books back and forth until we were both pleased and sent them off. Then, we got busy on the next set!!!

JaciRae: What might be some things we could say to spouses or in-laws who think we're wasting our time, when secretly we wonder if they're right because of the rejections?

Linda: There isn't anything you can SAY that will change their minds. When you're successful--and you will be if you don't quit--show them your stories or articles or books, and smile! A non-writer can kill your enthusiasm for writing faster than anyone, so don't talk about your writing with those people. When they ask how the writing is going, tell them it's going great! If they ask, "Have you published anything yet?" say, "Not yet!" and smile! That means you expect to be published...and when you are, telling them about it will be sweet, indeed. :-)

wendymh: Do you and your husband write in separate rooms?

Linda: Yes! We discovered immediately that we didn't work well together. We have separate offices and we usually work on different projects, rather than on the same project, although there have been times, nearing a deadline, when we worked on the same project, but different parts of that project. We've been married almost 31 years. If we hadn't had separate offices, I probably wouldn't be able to say that!

JaciRae: That sounds like heaven to have a spouse who understands writers. Are there any drawbacks to writing together like that?

Linda: Yes, of course there are. Sometimes, we disagree about how something should be written. In that case, one of us defers to the other. Chuck was a history teacher on the high school level. So when we're writing history, I defer to his superior knowledge. When we write about science, that's my specialty, so he defers to me. If you were to look at a list of our books, you'll see much more history than science. That's because writers tend to get categorized by editors into one category, and kept there by the publishing house. At Grolier, they needed history writers, so they wouldn't give us any science books to write. A friend of mine who's a NY Times best-selling author, Ridley Pearson, told me once, "Be sure you're writing what you want to write because once you're successful, they won't let you write anything else..." So, be sure you're writing what you love, so you can keep writing it!

Oma: Did you ever have trouble finding a suitable place to write?

Linda: Oh yes! All writers have difficulty in the beginning because writing seems like a hobby to those who aren't writing. It really doesn't matter where you write, though, if you're determined to be a professional writer. You'll find a way--and a place--to write. When we moved from Texas to New Mexico last year, we went from a huge house to a house less than half the size. My office, for 8 months, was in the "kitchen nook" and in the middle of noise and distractions. I still managed to work because I WANTED to work. Writers never have time or space to write--they MAKE time and space to write.

Moderator: I'm sorry to have to interrupt here, but we're out of time. Linda, thank you so much for joining us tonight again to talk about--and uplift us--on a somewhat depressing topic! I'm sure our viewers feel much more encouraged, and I do too! Thank you again!

Linda: You're welcome. Let me say one more thing. Rejection, to a writer, is like rain to a construction worker. It has to be endured, but it doesn't have to slow the work. Keep writing!!! Also, I'm publishing an online newsletter called "Linda's Heart." If you'd like to subscribe, send a post to and I'll send you the current issue, which has writing tips, information about contests, and other good stuff for writers! Thanks, Kristi, for having me tonight!

Moderator: Do come back in two weeks on when Kim Siegelson will join us for another look at the subject of agents in "A Return to Agents: the Positive Side." Kim Siegelson has written award winning books as well as articles for writers. She has been a writer-in-residence at the Disney Institute in Orlando, and was Georgia's Writer of the Year in 2000. She and her agent have been together for seven nearly-blissful years! Come back in two weeks to find out how you also can find such an agent, how to contact one, and how (even as a new writer) you can snag an agent's interest. In the meantime, happy writing! Good night, all!

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