I thought long and hard about the dedication for my inspirational romance, Dreams Do Come True. After thinking about dedicating it to everyone who's ever read any of my writing, I decided to go for a dedication that also fit the story. What did I finally choose?
To all writers struggling with rejection: Never give up hope.
I've spent years receiving one rejection after another. Dreams Do Come True was rejected twice before White Rose Publishing offered me a contract. Even though there were times I thought I'd never receive a contract from a publisher, I couldn't give up my dream. That perseverance (some might call it stubbornness) is what made me keep submitting even when it seemed pointless. I'd gotten to the point where I expected a rejection from every submission I made, but I also made sure each of those submissions was as perfect as I could make it.
All the hard work of learning the craft of writing and rewriting nearly everything finally paid off. Last year, two of my short stories were accepted for publication by non-paying markets. I know that doesn't sound like much of an accomplishment, but those were my first pieces of fiction published, and one of the markets had rejected my work in the past.
With the confidence those acceptances gave me, I pulled out Dreams Do Come True (which had previously been rejected) and did a little rewriting and polishing and submitted it to White Rose Publishing (which was still the White Rose line of The Wild Rose Press at that point). I had a good feeling about it, sure this would be the publisher for my story. Then I received the email from the editor telling me it was good as far as it went, but I needed to make it longer.
Big sigh. I had absolutely no idea how to make it longer. I'd written the story until the ideas stopped coming. So, I spent a few days praying, thinking, and discussing it with my critique partners. To my surprise (and relief), the ideas started flowing. I added a few thousand words, wrote a much more satisfying ending, and sent the new and improved manuscript to the editor. Her response? She gave me a contract!
With a writing history like that, and since the heroine of Dreams Do Come True is a writer struggling to find a publisher, I had to dedicate it to all the writers going through their own struggles on the road to publication.
All I can say is this: If I can do it, so can you. All it takes is willingness to work hard, learn everything you can about writing and storytelling, and accept constructive criticism. I have yet to hear of anyone who writes a perfect first draft. Even the most well-written manuscript will come back from an editor with a few markings.