Thursday, April 1, 2010

A Writer's View on Overcoming Rejection

Hemingway posing for a dust jacket photo by Ll...Image via Wikipedia
Rejection is part of writing.  If you've chosen fiction writing there will be rejection coming your way and probably a lot of it.  Paradoxically the writer who sends out frequent queries will, in all probability, receive even more rejections.  I've known writers who've collected them in the hundreds. 

So, why do we write at all?  That's a question left best answered by each individual author.  The real challenge is how to deal with the rejection that will come your way - how to use what you can, get over the hurt (because rejection does hurt, no matter how gently done) and continue writing without feeling your work is worthless. 
Hey, there are lots of ways to do it.  One is to understand rejection can be, but isn't necessarily about your writing. Could be the person to whom you submitted was simply having a bad day, could be that what you've written doesn't fit with what they publish.  Could be your writing.  

Now, before you get all insulted, writing really is rewriting and editing and rewriting.  So, if you're lucky enough to get any personalization on your rejection, read it, pay attention and rethink your work.  See how what you've been told could help improve the writing.  I know, I know, this step comes after you scream and throw things in frustration, but after you've calmed down it's the thing to do. The next thing to do is to  apply any lessons learned and send that piece of writing out again. And again.  And again.

Another track to follow when you receive a rejection is to hit the  rresearch, check out more places to send it, match guidelines to what you've written and again, send it out again. 

The trick, in truth, is not to take rejection too seriously.  It  happens to all writers. It happens to already published authors.  It happens to the very best - repeatedly.  So begin your collection of rejection slips today and you'll be in great company.

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  1. This is interesting to me because I am in both the music and the theatre world, and we talk about rejection all the time. The difference is how you say that rejection can sometimes be because of the writer and sometimes not, when in the music and theatre worlds we often talk about how it is not about the artist. I think that it's because for actors for example, there is so much that has to do with having a particularl look and a particular vibe, and you don't know what people are looking for, but I guess the same is true for writers, that writers never know what the person deciding to publish them or not is looking for. But rejection is definitely a hard thing for all artists to deal with!

  2. Thanks for posting Geraldine. Yep, rejection is hard, no matter who it is. Thing is, artists have to find ways to cope with it or bad things follow!


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