Dealing with Rejection

As a young writer, I have a pretty big collection of rejection letters cluttering my inbox. I’m a very sensitive person, but over the last two years I have developed what I like to call a writer’s shell. It lets the rejections bounce off of the outside, and lets me keep in all of my positive thoughts, ideas and creativity. Before I started regularly submitting work, my creativity levels were directly related to the feedback I received. If it was positive, I would write for days and have endless ideas; but if it was negative, I wouldn’t write anything, for fear of it not being perfect. As you can imagine, that way of thinking was extremely unproductive. I had to get out of it if I was ever going to get something published, so I decided to follow my own advice, and the advice of my amazing tutors and lecturers. Below are a couple of tips that I use to help me deal with rejection.

*Remember that it’s normal – After getting a couple of rejection letters in a row, it’s easy to start doubting your writing ability. You have to remember that rejection is just something that comes with the job. Every single writer has been rejected.

*Don’t take it personally – A lot of the time, your piece just doesn’t suit the other pieces in the issue, or the market at that point in time.

*Do keep improving – In response to the previous tip, it’s equally important to never stop learning and experimenting. If you’re getting multiple rejections, and you just keep sending out the same piece, maybe it just isn’t quite finished. Take advice, make drastic changes, and kill your darlings.

*Honour your rejection letters – Ok, so you don’t have to frame them and hang them on the wall, but I think it’s important to not just disregard your rejection letters. If the editors have taken the time to give you feedback, use it. Keep your version saved, but also make the changes that the editor suggested and see what happens. Even if it’s a generic letter with no feedback at all, keep it and remember what that particular literary journal or publisher does not want.

*Don’t compare your successes to those of others – You are on your own path to becoming a better writer. You have your own style, voice and goals. Try to be happy for fellow writers when they succeed. Don’t look at someone else’s success and think you will never achieve what they have achieved. Comparing is a sure way to kill your creativity.

*Write a blog post about how to deal with rejection – This one is pretty self-explanatory.

Remember that you are emotionally invested in your rejections because making it as a writer is something that is important to you. That means it is worth trying for. I know the feeling. I’ve also found that the closer your piece gets to publication, the scarier the thought of getting rejected is. One of my pieces is currently on a short list, and I feel like I’m going crazy. I don’t know if this feeling changes once you’re an established writer, with pieces in every major publication. For now all we can do it keep doing what we love to do, and just keep submitting.

Best of luck to all of my fellow writers out there!

– Tamara Drazic

 

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4 thoughts on “Dealing with Rejection

  1. I was delighted to see you were starting a new blog on writing. Regarding this post, well, what no one ever tells you is that rejection and failure are a big part of success, or at least how you react to them.

    No writer, athlete, entrepreneur or CEO got to where they are instantly, all of them were rejected several times and yet they kept pushing until they reached the top. That´s the vibe I get from this post- that you are pushing.

    Trust me you will eventually get there and when you do, I´d be delighted to read your published work, I am sure it´s gonna be great!

    I am somewhat of a writer myself, I have several unfinished stories I want to get out there, however I simply haven´t gotten the time to do so, so I am thinking on maybe taking a week or two of work to see how it helps. Some of my stories are in my mother tongue, Spanish and others are in English. I just can´t seem to decide in which language to write, so my question for you is: what language do you think would get my work more exposure?; I´m thinking on going self-published (amazon maybe), if at all.

    It´s nice reading you. Keep pushing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for being such an active reader of both of my blogs. It really means a lot to me. I love your comment about the reaction to failure being a big part of success. I guess it’s kind of a way to weed out the people who don’t really want it, and aren’t willing to keep working at it. I’m so glad to hear that you’re also a writer! I can’t wait to read some of your work, and will be happy to help spread the word once it is published. In regards to your question, the USA is still the largest book market in the world, so although more people speak Spanish, I think English might be the way to go. Of course, no matter how the market is doing, you should definitely work with the language that allows you to be creative and completely free to take risks with your story. You could always publish one version, see how it goes, and then do your own translation and release that as well. It’s great that you speak both Spanish and English! My second language is Swiss German, so it isn’t very helpful in the writing department, haha. I wish you all the best with your writing, and I hope you can get your stories out soon. Thanks again,
      Tamara

      Liked by 1 person

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