Thursday, August 5, 2010

Punch Rejection in the Face

Rejection. It’s certainly a big part of life for writers.

We get rejection letters, for crying out loud. Think about that. (Puts junk mail in a whole new light)

I read this very honest post by author Jody Hedlund and among all the excellent facets of perspective she brought to this painful subject was:

“Rejection reminds us that pursuing publication is NOT for the faint of heart.”

Just like opening yourself up to critique, starting to put your work out there for consideration by editors and agents = lots of bruises on your ego. And maybe some broken bones.

So you have to ask yourself, “Do I really want to be published?”

Maybe you don’t. There’s no problem with writing for yourself, or your family. There have even been some incredible writers who’ve gone that route. (Emily Dickinson for starters… and there are plenty more)

But if it’s publication you’re after: There’s no prize for also-ran.

If you believe that you have something to say that the whole world ought to hear, you’re going to have to face the pain of rejection. Lots of it.

There’s no consolation for this pain except perseverance and raising the quality of your writing (and querying) until the right person finally takes notice and says: “This is it!”

But chocolate helps.

Is there anything you do to take away some of the sting? (Like a special "anti-rejection ointment" or something?)


  1. For some reason rejection has never bothered me when it comes to career pursuits. Even when I was very young auditioning in CA for commercials and such I just figured it was part of the game.

    It's not my favorite but I'm able to brush it off pretty easily. You're right chocolate does help, especially when it's mixed with flour and eggs and baked. Mmmm... cookies...

  2. Hey, Mason! Donna Davis here. Bill and I are fans of yours, believers in you, and enjoying what you write and hearing about your life. Hang in there, keep trying, don't give up. Keep sending out those queries. But I have to say one thing, for oldies like me the white on black template on this blog is hard to read. Just so you know, smile.