By Indie Authors for Indie Authors.

Tag: writer rejection

7 Things Authors Can Do To Deal With Rejection

How authors can deal with rejection



Every author is going to face rejection during his or her career – lots of it. Here’s how you should think about that rejection and what you can do to deal with.


 1. It’s A Test

You can take it crying like a baby or face it like an adult. It’s a true test of your will, determination and mental strength. Instead of the old “why me?” response when you face it, you should be saying “I’m glad I was chosen for this test.”

Writers face rejection. That’s it. You can’t get away from it. As long as you want to be in the arts, you will experience it – whether you’re a writer, journalist, musician, artist, painter, photographer or dancer. It’s like Hyman Roth says in Godfather II: “This is the business we chose!”

And by business, I mean the business of rejection.

Just think of it as a test, and the more you study and learn the ins and outs of it, the easier it will be for you to take, and pass, that exam of personal resilience, persistence and tenacity.


2. Start Taking It As Early As Possible

If you’re lucky enough to know what you want as early as possible, you’ll start going for it right away. However, that means the rejection will start as well. The better you’ll be later on if you start receiving rejection from a young age, because that’s what builds a think skin and backbone – and it will help you with other things in life as well.

Take professional athletes as an example. Athletics is one of those careers where you have to start practising from a very early age. By the time these athletes reach their teens, they’re already seasoned in being cut, hearing “no”, and people telling them they need to practice more and that they’re just not ready yet.

With any hardships in life, the earlier you start enduring it, the stronger you will become.



3. It’s A Lightbulb Above Your Head

When you receive rejection, and a lot of it, use it as a realization. Being self-critical is extremely hard, but it will help you as a writer. If you receive 10 or 20 rejections within a short timespan, use it to reflect and take a step back. Go back to the drawing board and REWRITE.

Sometimes, and in some cases many times, the people rejecting you DO know what they’re talking about – especially if you’re able to get your material in the right hands. If some of them have taken the time to give you constructive criticism, feedback and notes – take that and run with it – and don’t come back until you’ve improved on your work.

If rejection makes you go back and rewrite your material to make it better, you should be personally thanking rejection.


[clickToTweet tweet=”If U receive 20 rejections within short timespan, go back and REWRITE. #amediting #amwriting” quote=”If you receive 20 rejections within a short timespan, go back to the drawing board and REWRITE.”]


4. It Separates You From The Rest

If you can take rejection, you’re already ahead of the game. I have found that most people, and by most I mean literally 99% of people, can’t take rejection. Us 1% of people in the fine arts have chosen to be guinea pigs. You can be like 99% of people who choose a profession just so they don’t have to face rejection, or you can go with your gut instinct and what you were meant to do, and be that original, unique, 1% that not only takes it, but rises above it.

People are impressed with those that face rejection on a regular basis. It makes you stand out. It means you have been through the ringer and back, and that you have stories to tell.


5. It Helps With Connections

As a screenwriter, one of the most frequent questions or comments I get is: “It’s all about who you know, right?”

Well, obviously! That’s not the only thing, but it certainly helps. The question is: how do you get to know people? Not just making connections, but building relationships as well. You need to throw yourself out there and get people to read and analyze your material. This goes for all writers. If you’re going to be spending years at this craft and facing rejection, you might as well take that time making connections as well and build up your network.

Rejection isn’t always a completely closed-door. Sometimes that door is left open just a bit and it’s up to you to nudge that door open a little more. I’ve made some of my best connections with people who initially rejected one of my scripts. There’s always chances for you to come back better and stronger, and what better way to make connections then with people who can become fans of your writing?


6. Nobody Cares That You’ve Been Rejected 

Nobody cares about your sob story. Nobody cares about how long you’ve been in the trenches. Nobody cares about how hard you’ve worked, how many writing samples you have, or this or that. Sympathy is not something writers can use to get them in the door. Also, it’s very naïve and unprofessional to be using rejection to garner the sympathy vote.

Perseverance is the key ingredient to reaching your goals, but you have to let the writing speak for itself. It may take you years for things to start happening, but the people you’re trying to impress (agents, managers, editors, publishers, executives, etc., etc., etc.) only care about the WRITING and quality of the material.

What came before is your own internal story, which you can certainly share with others, especially if that’s what allowed you to reach certain goals – but don’t think people will say “yes” to you just because of that.


7. Turn Yours Dream Into A Burning Desire

There are people who have hopes and dreams and then there are those that have this obsessive, burning desire to make it at what they’re so passionate about. These are the ones that can’t see themselves not doing this thing for a living. The people who aggressively go out there, hustle, and keep coming back stronger year after year after year after year after year…those are the ones that find a way to reach their dreams.

If this is you, then rejection will be much easier to take, because nothing should stop you from reaching your goals. You have to be so intent on making it that no amount of rejection will break you or question your ability or talent.

It’s one thing to have a dream, but a whole different ball game if you’re realistic about it, in the form of a question that goes something like this: Do I want and need this bad enough that I’m willing to not only spend years at it, but in those years face a mounting plethora of back-breaking and bone-shattering rejection that comes along with it?

I asked myself that a long time ago, and there has been no turning back ever since. I’ve been able to take rejection all these years because the writing fire burns inside of me so intensely and the willingness to persevere is way stronger than people saying “no.”



About the Author

Shane Weisfeld is a screenwriter from Toronto. His first produced credit was the crime-thriller feature film ‘Freezer’ starring Dylan McDermott and Peter Facinelli. He sees rejection as a good, blunt, honest friend who will always be there by his side, making him better and stronger. He adheres to the Gina Rodriguez philosophy of “I Can And I Will.”




Find more writing and publishing tips at Nothing Any Good.


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.



Find more writing and publishing tips at Nothing Any Good



The Critical Part of Being a Writer: Rejection

Wade S. Lang


The Critical Part of Being a Writer: Rejection


by Wade S. Lang


When I was starting out as a writer, I received a lot of unsolicited advice from different kinds of people. Most of them, of course, have been a writer themselves. They made different choices and served as different examples for my own point of view. One piece of advice has lingered with me: You will  find rejection without being a writer, but you cannot be a writer without being rejected.

I found myself riddled with rejections left and right. Most of them stung and made me felt that I am not cut out for this, but there was always something that kept me writing.

It was my faith in myself. The faith that I will learn and I will be better with the rejection. I love writing and I know I can be good if I just try harder.

Thankfully, here I am. I have now reached the goal that I wanted so badly in my early days. I proudly consider myself as a writer. And I have a stable job to prove it. Yes, it pays good money.

If you are now dealing with rejection yourself, do not be discouraged. Let the rejection sink in and let it be your lesson. Here are some tips on how to manage rejection.

Cheer up, it will pass.


[clickToTweet tweet=”U will find rejection w/o being a writer, but u cannot be writer without being rejected. #writerslife” quote=”You will find rejection without being a writer, but you cannot be a writer without being rejected.”]



Never Take It Personally

Given that you have poured your heart, soul, mind, time, and anything else that you got into this manuscript, having someone flatly say, “No,” to you is discouraging. Worse is when you’re rejected by an automated email saying,” Sorry, your article is just not fit for us right now.” Or when you are told you that they will just contact you whenever they find it necessary to discuss it further.

So what?

It’s not the end of the world. It’s probably just a result of a wrong-timing-sort-of-thing. Think of it as a bad day that started right, but ended up crashing for no good reason. It is not your fault and neither is it theirs. You did not write a bad piece. They are not fools to not give you the chance.


Look At It As An Opportunity

No matter how good you are with writing, rejection is inevitable. But that does not mean that it is your fault. It probably just means your work is not what they want at the moment. Or that your work is brilliant, but it is just not going to sell on their target market. There are a lot of reasons for your rejections and most likely it is not about what you think.

“It was because what I offered did not fit what he wanted.” – What I Learned from 100 Days of Rejection, Jia Jiang,

According to Jia Jiang, rejection does not always have to result in bad energy. Sometimes, you have to read between the lines on why you are really being rejected. If you try to better understand why you were rejected, you can better learn from it, which brings us to our next piece of advice.


Learn From It

If you are rejected, don’t just stare blankly at the wall and surrender your cause. Ask why you are being rejected (politely, of course). Know what you should have done and the things that might be lacking in your writing. Take rejection as a form of reference to your future strategies. Learn from it and do not allow your pride and ego to be so deluded to think your work is the best ever in the history of mankind. You have just been rejected, deal with it.

You cannot be a writer if you will not face rejections along the way. Even the greatest writers receive rejection. A lot of them have been even branded as lunatics and crazies like Lord Byron, an English Poet, and Yukio Mishima, a Japanese author. They were thought to be up to no good, but still they each wrote one of the most compelling masterpieces ever recorded in history.


Talk About It

Rejection can sometimes be something to be ashamed of. Our initial reactions would be to hide or to get some alone-time in our own room or in a bar drinking our hearts out.

Most of the time, keeping bad emotions and not sharing those make it seem a lot more important that it is. It gives you a negative take on your own goals and perspective and eventually makes you feel unwilling to try anymore.

What you should do is to talk it off. Unburden yourself with what is bugging you. Talk about it and you will find that it is not as bad as you think it is. Once you do, you might just see that you are not alone at the bottom of your pit. Those people around you have their own taste of rejection and most of them have even worse rejections than what you have.

There are actually a lot of things to do about feeling rejection. Some people join groups and share their burdens. Beck McDowell of the best-selling book This is Not a Drill sets up a number of china plates in her backyard and smashes them every time she got turned down or rejected. It could sound weird, but those simple things in life are the vital parts of relieving yourself of the negative vibes around you.

Being a writer will always be a challenge, even after you think that you have accomplished your goal. A week after reaching a new success there will be another rejection to come your way. It is normal. Don’t fear it.


So, do what you think is right? Innovate and improve your skill as there are always room for improvement if you meant serious business. Pride can only take you so far but trying again can take you anywhere.




Find more writing and publishing tips at Nothing Any Good


Wade Lang

About the Author

Wade S. Lang is an essayist at He incorporates nature’s beauty in his writing. Besides excellence, he puts his lovely wife and two kids at the center of his craft. He is fond of physical contact sports and considers South America as a haven for tourists.



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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