By Indie Authors for Indie Authors.

Tag: embrace rejection

How Many Times Will You Be Rejected?


I saw a great tweet this morning from @SamTongeWriter:


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.


[clickToTweet tweet=”You want to succeed as a writer? PERSEVERE. #amwriting #writerslife” quote=”You want to succeed as a writer? PERSEVERE.”]


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.

Dr. Seuss quote

Dr. Seuss was rejected 27 times before publishing his first book.

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?

27 times.


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.



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Writers: Embrace Rejection

I came across a wonderful TED Talk video recently titled “What I learned from 100 Days of Rejection.” Jia Jiang begins by sharing a time when was 6 years old and felt rejected by all his classmates. This moment has stuck with him for decades and was the formation of his fascination with rejection, and particularly why everyone is so afraid of it.

To overcome his fear of rejection, Jiang sought rejection out for 100 straight days. Have a look at some of his outlandish escapades.




As writers, we know rejection all too well. It kind of comes with the territory. You can be rejected without being a writer, but you can’t be a writer without being rejected. I really enjoyed this TED Talk and I think it’s a must watch for every writer out there. If you’re struggling with the constant rejection in our profession, sit down and watch this video.


[clickToTweet tweet=”You can be rejected w/o being a writer, but you can’t be a writer w/o being rejected. #writerslife” quote=”You can be rejected without being a writer, but you can’t be a writer without being rejected.”]


As the promo describes, “Jiang desensitized himself to the pain and shame that rejection often brings and, in the process, discovered that simply asking for what you want can open up possibilities where you expect to find dead ends.” This is a powerful idea—desensitizing the pain and shame of rejection. Shame can be absolutely debilitating. As Brené Brown writes in Daring Greatly, “Shame derives its power from being unspeakable.”

So let’s speak about it more. There’s nothing to be ashamed about in the rejections you’ve received. My book Pieces Like Pottery was rejected by over 100 publishers and agents before I decided to self-publish and watched it climb to best-seller status on Amazon. I wear those rejection slips with pride.

If I can paraphrase Jia Jiang: “Don’t let rejection define you. Let your reaction after rejection define you.”

Enjoy the video! Embrace rejection!



Find more writing and publishing tips at Nothing Any Good

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