Monday, January 20, 2014

Eight Ways to Handle Rejection.

Life is all about aiming to achieve. And when you do this, you face the likelihood that you won't get what you wantin other words, you'll be rejected.

If you look at this realistically, it means that rejection isn't all bad. In fact, if you are not being rejected, you're not moving on with lifewhether we're talking about writers and their books, young people looking for a job, adults looking for relationships, or even children starting out at school.

Rejection means you're trying to move on. And that in itself is a good thing. The real issue is, how do you deal with it? The better you get at dealing with rejection, the less it will affect you negatively. So here are eight ways to help you deal with rejection, whether it's in the writing field or not.

  1. Acknowledge it to yourself. Don't pretend it doesn't hurt. Don't tell yourself your thinking is wrong. You've been rejected. It hurts. Say it!

  2. Be specific. Stop for a moment and analyse what you're saying to yourself. Is it you that's been rejected? (And it could be.) Or is it something you have done? Is it the book you've slaved over for the past two years? Has your job application been turned down? Did the person you wanted to befriend spurn your approaches? Analysing the exact cause of the rejection will help to get it into perspective.

  3. Examine your emotions. How upset are you? Just a little? Or do you want to sit down and sob? That's okay. Do it if you want to. That's a God-given way of releasing emotion. Get it out your system, so you can move on.

  4. Write down your feelings: Write them in a journal or even on the back of an old envelope. Just get them down. e.g. "I've worked so hard at this book. This was the one publisher I was sure would love it. Now they've turned me down, I feel as if I've wasted two years of my life."
    Or"I feel sad because she doesn't want to be my friend. I am lonely, and really long to have someone to talk to." 

  5. Correct the statement. Go over it analytically. Is it exactly accurate in every way? Does it stop too soon? e.g. in the first statement, the publisher hasn't turned you down. He's turned your book down. And you probably don't know why. Maybe the reader had a flat tyre on the way to work, and your book starts with the heroine staring at a flat tyre! It can be as silly as that! The second example may be exactly true, but it's not logical. It suggests now that the one person has turned you down, there is no one else who can solve your loneliness. Not true!

  6. Decide to tell someone else. Notice I said "decide". Whether you actually do or not depends on the circumstances, and on whether it is really necessary. But think of someone you think will listen and understand what you're going through. Then imagine yourself sharing with them. Tell them just how you feel, the reactions stirring within you. Share the actions you feel like taking. Do you want to burn the book? Or more likely, hit DELETE--and find another interest? Even as you put it into words, you know you don't want to do this. Your rejection is a bump in the road. There is a lot more to your journey. Do you want to never talk to anyone again? Well then you certainly will be lonely! 

  7. Speak to someone, if you still need to, and you can think of the right person. Chances are by the time you get to this stage you will have realised you can deal with it yourself.

  8. Prepare to move on. It's easy to get stuck on the hurts of the rejection. But once you've taken a good hard look at your emotions, reactions, and have a clearer picture, it's time to move on. Dwelling on the negative is going to keep you living through the whole experience and the emotions. Don't sit around waiting for something to happen. You need to prepare for the next step. 

Have you faced rejection recently? How did you deal with it? Do you have anything to add to this list? Leave a comment below.

Related reading that will encourage you:
  1. Valley of the Dolls
  2. Know Who Theodore Geosel Is?
SHIRLEY CORDER  lives in South Africa, with her husband Rob. She is author of Strength Renewed: Meditations for your Journey through Breast Cancer, contributing author to eleven other books, and her name is on hundreds of devotions and articles internationally. 

Visit Shirley on her website to inspire and encourage writers, or on Rise and Soar, her website for encouraging those on the cancer journey. Do pop onto 
her Author's page on Facebook and introduce yourself so she can be your friend. 


Joan Y. Edwards said...

Dear Shirley,
Thank you for the good advice when we feel rejected.

Celebrate you and your wisdom.


Shirley Corder said...

:-) Thanks for your comment, Joan. It does come to us all, doesn't it? And it's never easy.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

One of the things I suggest in The Frugal Book Promoter is to have several submissions out there at once. That way we tend to think less about each one--and put less importance on the submission/rejection process.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Loving helping writers get read with my HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers including the multi award-winning second edition of The Frugal Book Promoter ( .

Magdalena Ball said...

Rejection is very much part and parcel of the writing process. Writers have to learn how to cope with it. One way I deal with it is to rework the rejected piece. Maybe it needs to be tighter. Maybe there are issues I can correct.

Melinda Brasher said...

Thanks for these tips. I always tell myself that being rejected means that I'm submitting. And only be submitting have I got things published.

Shirley Corder said...

Yes, good point Carolyn. Thank you.

Shirley Corder said...

Oh thanks for adding that, Maggie! I thought I had said that but I see I didn't! That's very important, that we look to see if there is something that needs to be corrected or rewritten. Thank you.

Shirley Corder said...

Absolutely Melinda! Rejection is a sign you're writing with a view to publication!

Karen Cioffi said...

Shirley, great post. We all face rejection, whether in life or in our writing, these are great tips on dealing with it and moving on.

My only addition to the list is prayer. It's good for everything. :)

Shirley Corder said...

Oh yes. Prayer needs to cover the before and after the rejection! Thanks Karen.

Heidiwriter said...

Good advice!

Anonymous said...

Great advice!

Sue Peters said...

Good advice. I just wish I could remember them next time it happens! I tend to do 1, 3 and 4 naturally. It's the others (equally important ones) that I usually forget or skip. Very good reminder!

Shirley Corder said...

Thanks Heidi. Have a great week!

Shirley Corder said...

Thank you Susanne. All the best.

Shirley Corder said...

Yes Sue, you're right. We all have our ways of handling rejection, and sometimes it's good to hear what others do and add something new to our arsenal!

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