I saw a great tweet this morning from @SamTongeWriter:
Some of my rejection letters. They taught me many things – including DON'T GIVE UP ! #ThursdayThoughts #amwriting pic.twitter.com/6lCruJJnep
— Samantha Tonge Author (@SamTongeWriter) June 1, 2017
I know, Author Tweets of the Week runs on Fridays. I’m a day early (and a dollar short, but that’s another story), but this tweet reminded me how important it is to ignore rejection.
I have a similar stack of rejections from most of the top law firms in the Pacific Northwest when I first became a patent attorney. Now I have been named as one of the world’s top 300 IP Strategists every year since 2010. My first published book was rejected by every agent I contacted, and I contacted well over 100. Now it has reached Amazon #1 Bestseller status for short story collections on two different occasions.
Rejection has been a regular theme for me in my encouragement to other writers, particularly that rejection is a requirement to being a member of the writing community. A common thread for highly successful people, writers and non-writers alike, is perseverance. You want to succeed as a writer? PERSEVERE.
You want to succeed as a writer? PERSEVERE.Click To Tweet
Life is going to continually try to knock you down. It just is. It does it for everyone.
The people that are able to pick themselves back up and dust themselves off are the people that find themselves continually in the best positions to succeed. I’m reminded of one of my 3-year-olds favorite songs from the movie Trolls sung by Anna Kendrick:
I would contest that even more important than getting back up again, however, is the ability to not let rejection knock you down in the first place.
I recently shared a TED talk about how we need to learn to embrace rejection. While this may be a foreign concept to most of us, it’s spot on. When we’re rejected, we receive it as personal and a rejection of us as a person, but that’s not the reality of the situation in most cases. When you’re rejected as a writer, it says just as much about the person that rejected your work as it does about you.
Don’t ruminate on it, and certainly don’t wallow in it. Sure, take the lessons that you can from the rejection and learn how to improve, but leave it at that. It means nothing more than an OPPORTUNITY to improve and continue on.
One of my favorite writers of all time is Theodor Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss. Do you know how many times Dr. Seuss was rejected before he published his first book “And To Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street” in 1937?
You can bet that Theodor Geisel learned to embrace rejection. Now he has published over 60 books. His name is Googled over 135,000 times a month.
Do yourself a favor. Learn to embrace rejection. Don’t let it knock you down.
Find more writing and publishing tips at Nothing Any Good.