How to Write: Taking Rejection

For the next two posts in this series, we’re going to have a look at how the outside world reacts to your writing – and, more importantly, how you react to that. There’s two parts; this one is focusing on taking rejection, and the second will focus on how to take critique and feedback. So, you’ve written something. It’s awesome! Now you want to get it out into the world. So, you submit it to a writing competition, an agent, a publisher, an anthology… And it gets rejected. Let’s face it, this frickin’ sucks. You wrote something amazing, and they hate it? Nooooo! So what’s the best way to deal with it? Everyone gets rejected The most famous writers have stories of the piles of rejection letters they’ve received, and I suspect that every single publishing house has rejected someone who’s later gone on to be famous. You’re not alone. It’s ok to feel bad Grab some ice cream and have an evening off to wallow. You work’s awful and everyone hates it! They just didn’t understand it! You’ll never get published! And then get back up, and get on with it. Rejections suck, but even best-selling authors get them. Have a pity party, and then dust yourself off and keep going. Treat it as a learning experience Take a long, hard look at your work. Was it simply that the publisher didn’t think it fitted, or could you actually have submitted something better? What needs improvement? If they’ve given you feedback, take time to consider it. But… Don’t argue It’s really hard to fight the urge to defend your work, particularly if you’ve been given feedback, but it really doesn’t help! If your work has been rejected, there is nothing you can say that will change the reviewer’s mind. Take the… read more →