Let’s face it, if you’re a writer you are going to run into rejection. Even the very best writers have incurred some form of rejection in their career. It can happen when peers critique your work, when manuscripts rejected by agents and publisher or when readers leave a bad review or comment.
Rejection hurts. It’s brutal.
It can make you want to quit writing. Toss your computer out the window. Hide under the covers while you bawl your eyes out. Use language that would make a longshoreman blush.
Or maybe accept that you might actually be able to improve on what you’ve written.
It’s time to stop treating rejection as something bad. Treat as something positive and use it to make you a better writer. I know, it’s heresy.
People aren’t rejecting you so stop taking it personal. Maybe your work isn’t what the audience enjoys or is looking for? Maybe it still needs more editing? If someone has taken the trouble to provide you with feedback, then use it. Maybe share it with a friend to get some additional advice. If it’s a literary agent, check to see whether your manuscript fits in with their profile and look for a better fit.
Unfortunately, a lot of rejections are useless. If it’s a form letter or template response, you’re not going to learn anything from it. Maybe the rejection makes no sense. So just move on.
Sometimes feedback will be mean-spirited. Not everyone will be diplomatic. So you’re going to need a thick skin. You already know that writing is tough. Sharing what you write is even tougher. Here are a few suggestions I have to get through these rough times.
- Remind yourself why you are writing and how much you love writing.
- Reach out to other writers for support. Everyone has experienced what you are going through.
- Consider self-publishing. I did it and it’s a great way to empower yourself. There are a lot of good stories that no one wants to take a chance on. Take on the risk.
- Don’t give up.
Ray Bradbury, said this about rejection: “You have to know how to accept rejection and reject acceptance.” He knew a little bit about rejection. Bradbury was rejected over 800 times.