Monday, April 27, 2015

More Help For New Writers - Handling Rejection

We all have routines, patterns, and habits.  As a new writer, you will be challenged to make some changes in order to be successful.  

It won’t be easy. It will go against the grain at times and may even hurt.  

But just like pruning will make a healthier plant and produce more flowers, allowing ourselves to be pruned will make us better and productive writers.

Whatever your challenges are, you have to work through them. If you avoid them, they won't go away and you will slow down to a crawl until you give up entirely.

During the last 4 years of committing myself to a freelance writing career, I discovered 3 areas I needed change in order to continue pursuing a successful writing career.

This month I'll talk about rejection. To have our work rejected can be shattering. 

My first submissions were contests. I won Honorable Mention in a Christian Writing Contest and placed 34th in Writers’ Digest. What a great way to begin a writing career!

With a whole lot of confidence under my belt, I submitted an article to a publication. It was nicely rejected and it hit me hard. It went something like this: "We wanted it to work. But after much review ... "


So we're told not to give up. But how? If you want to learn and grow, get ready to be honest with yourself.

Identify why it hurts

Depending on your niche, writing can be personal. Your story, although implicit, may have made you vulnerable.

Maybe you think you are better than you are. Perhaps you skimmed through the writers' guidelines and missed the word count or submitted a day late. Or maybe your cover letter was poor. The internet makes it easy to find ways to improve.

You're not writing what your passionate about. Sometimes it takes someone else asking you specific questions to narrow down what you're good at writing.

Keep going. 

The worst thing you can do is give up. Keep writing. Someone, somewhere wants what you write. Resubmit your work somewhere else. Write new articles and stories. Eventually, you will be a successful writer. Remember, your chances are greater when you keep submitting.
Because I didn't let the rejection stop me, it doesn't affect me now. I've learned just because one person (or even two or three) are not interested in what I write, there is someone who is very interested.

If you really need to be convinced, visit Literary Rejections and you will be

Believe in yourself. I know. You started out believing in yourself and after the rejection, you weren't so sure.
When you work through the rejection, you learn some things about yourself. If you're passionate about what you write, you will be compelled to write.

Next month, I'll look at patience – essential for success!

After raising and homeschooling her 8 children and teaching art classes for 10 years, Kathy has found time to pursue freelance writing. She enjoys writing magazine articles and more recently had her story, "One of a Kind", published in The Kids' ArkYou can find her passion to bring encouragement and hope to people of all ages at When It Hurts



Anne Duguid Knol said...

Sometimes there are no rejections. Submissions are simply ignored and we're left in anguish in limbo. My worst rejection came from a very cruel critique partner. I stopped writing for years until I learned to grit my teeth and get over it. A horrid experience.

@AnneKnol1 from
New Author Support - Tips on Writing and Promotion from A to Z

Shirley Corder said...

Yes, I agree with Annie that a normal rejection is easier to handle than no reply. At least sometimes they say "if you haven't heard withing X weeks . . ." but still, that's time wasted when you could be submitting elsewhere. Really no excuse in today's electronic age. Just a form email would help!

Rachna Chhabria said...

Hi, rejection hurts like hell however well it is disguised. It can also lower a writer's morale.

Karen Cioffi said...

Often there are those standard slips with no information aside from you're not accepted. Ah, the life of the writer. Great tips on how to handle submission rejection, Kathleen.

Chicken Soup for the Soul was rejected 144 times before they got a contract!

It's about perseverance . . . and honing your writing skills.

Kathleen Moulton said...

Thank-you, all, for your comments. Still waters run deep and I think most writers have deep emotions to begin with, so the rejection goes deep, too.

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