THIS Writer’s Guide to Rejection

THIS Writer’s Guide to Rejection

I can’t imagine an author who hasn’t felt the sting of rejection. And I’m certain every author that blogs has addressed the topic. So, now it’s my turn.

Yes, I’m certainly no stranger to rejection. I can’t tell you how many rejection letters and emails I’ve received over the years.

But I’ve had a few come back ‘yes,’ too, resulting in traditionally publishing a children’s book, an educational game, and just last year, a second publishing contract for a non-fiction book. Still, stepping into the world of fiction, holy moly. Rejection should be my middle name.

And every single rejection stings! I do take them personally, though I know this is part of the journey. Yet each time I receive a rejection, I go through the grieving process all over again before mustering the courage to keep plugging on. After all, I’m committed to seeing my work in print—just like you.

So, here are a few strategies that I’ve employed to help me move on and move forward whenever I feel the sting of rejection.

  • Expect Rejections. There are very few one and done pitches. Not too many authors can tell that tale. So, you should steal yourself to expect rejections along the author’s journey. Even if you get a contract, you’ll get feedback that might be a little tough to swallow, edits that seem unnecessary, and rejections to ideas you may have as the publishing process moves forward.
  • Be Professional. Rejections are part of the journey, so remain professional about it. I can’t imagine sending a note back to the agent or publisher expressing my dissatisfaction. While I might be thinking, “Geeze, come on, man!” I say it aloud then move on. Please don’t let your emotions cloud your judgement and cause you to lash out or retaliate. It will ruin your brand and ruin your chances. But more importantly, it’s unkind, immature, and unprofessional.
  • Celebrate “No’s”. This is the moment when you’re thinking, “She’s nuts!” Well, that might be true, but in this case, I’m not alone. There’s a lot of good that comes from “No.” Counting on rejections, celebrating them, and enumerating them can be helpful. Let me explain. When you know they will come, you’re prepared. It helps you reframe rejections. It’s a mind trick. To further understand this reasoning, please read the book Rejection Proof by Jia Jiang, if you haven’t already. After one hundred days of seeking rejections, not only did Jiang conquer his fear of rejections, but he also realized more acceptances than he’d expected.

To be clear, I don’t welcome rejections. I’d love to see my inbox filled with acceptances. But I accept it as part of the process. So, I’ll still get up every day embracing the “Law of Attraction” as I think, “This is the day I’ll have success!” But when I do feel the sting of rejection, I’m better prepared to bounce back and keep on writing.

I would love, love, love to hear your ideas. Please reach out and share how you thoughtfully manage rejections.

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