How To Deal With Rejection As A Writer

Writers discover the world through rose-tinted glasses, sense everything like no one else can and voice straight from the heart. Their intensity lies in the fire of their gift to apprehend even the smallest of things in a godly manner which is why the magnitude of this sensitivity leaves their vulnerability bare against bruising realities. So when you bump into a writer, be careful about what that smile on face could hide – letters and e-mails of publishing dismissal, in short, rejections.

With each rejection of a submission, there goes one invested hope of a writer in vain. An unceasing bullet-fire of ‘no’ shatters the slowly woven dreams into heaps of failure, insecurity and loss that could hardly be revived again unless a writer learns how to alleviate the pain of being rejected. Somehow there are writers who choose to ignore
their faults completely. Ignorance is not always bliss and in this case their indifference towards criticism could lead to serious loss of creativity in future. Below are few tips to overcome the thorns on the way to success and to finally realize survival is for the fittest, as the saying suggests.

Laugh at your rejections

Pain is not everlasting. And definitely not when you don’t want it to be. Rejection bites everyone and to deal with it is the only way out if you want to survive as the jack of this profession. When I say laugh at your rejections, it is a rhetorical way of saying ‘laugh out loud because there is going to be more of this and you have everything in you to face it.’

Understand it’s never personal

I know how you feel like punching the publisher who returns your mail with a NO after you’ve practically sweated it out on your piece, putting hours and months to establish that. Well as much as punching may sound tempting, it is a bad idea because both you and the publisher are right in your own places. You gave your best and they’re giving their finest performance to their jobs as well. They probably want to invest on an idea that doesn’t match with yours. Nothing personal here, move on.

Hope against hopes

The world has some great examples of people who made it despite all the odds. Stephen King, for example. Do you know what’s hoping against hope? Heard the story of an ant which falls each time it tries to lift a bundle of food on its way to the nest but never gives up unless it does what it ought to do? Well I will rest it here.

Don’t pester –

When you are criticized, you are open to conceive it in a constructive way and even could go to the extent of convincing the other person about your perception. But that’s not how you play in rejection mails. Your publisher may have shut their doors for better or worse or right or wrong but there is no chance for you to re-convince them. That shows desperation which is a big no-no.

Write a rejection letter to yourself –

Self-criticism needs a lot of courage. Obviously being at the receiving end of rejection letters makes you learn a lot about your craft but how about being your own judge for a while? It makes sense as you’re in a perfect position to make a list of the mistakes in each of your work. With this, you could review your last work as strictly as possible and write yourself a rejection letter pointing out necessary changes. When you’ve done that, nothing else can hit you harder.

Motivate others

I read something interesting a long time back which I find worth sharing here. It’s a conversation between a student and his master.

Student says, “I am very discouraged. What should I do?” Master says, “Encourage others.”

Well life is that teacher which constantly reminds you are not alone. If you can convince others to live through a storm even with one single reason put forward, you’re set to go. Because once you’re sorted about what life has to offer, you know what you want for yourself. Motivate others to find out your own reason to live.


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