Maggie Wells · Margaret Ethridge

Rejoicing in rejection

We’ve all heard the war stories. The author with a shoebox, suitcase, or trunk filled with rejections, or the one who toiled for decades taking no after no on the chin. I wish I was one of those people who can scoff when someone disses my work, but I can’t.

Rejection hurts.

Bad reviews suck.

Anyone who says anything different is a big, smelly liar.

There’s this perception that once you’re published you never have to face rejection again, but that simply isn’t true. If you think you’re going to write something that everyone will love, you’re deluded. Some will argue that an author’s job is simply to write, but I don’t believe that’s true. I think it’s equally important to put your work out there to be seen. It doesn’t matter if it’s an audience of one or one million, a story is not a story until you share it with someone.

If a writer is doing his or her job right, the risk of rejection should be a constant companion.  If we don’t put ourselves out there, our stories can never come to life in a reader’s imagination. And if everyone loved every little thing we wrote, there would no reason to try to grow and improve.

So when some pesky person *cough, cough* reminds you that rejection is part of being a writer, just remember there are better ways of looking at it. And other words too. I think from now on, I’ll use ‘rebuffed’. It sounds so much gentler.

How do you handle the R word?


3 thoughts on “Rejoicing in rejection

  1. I cry. Kidding. I haven’t cried, yet, because I knew my work wasn’t “there.” I’m still new. Still growing each day by leaps and bounds. My short story rejection taught me a lot and helped me improve, so the next was accepted. The most important thing, I agree, is to put it out there. As I finish up plotting “the novel” (the first I’ll query), I’m sure my crying day (days) is (are) coming. Along with some improvement.

  2. My first rejection was tough. BUT let’s be honest. The POS wasn’t ready. Should have never have been submitted! I’ve learned a lot since then. I try not to take rejection personally. I think it’s more painful to enter a contest and not final than to have a submission rejection. 🙂

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