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.
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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.
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, Ted.com
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.
About the Author
Wade S. Lang is an essayist at wedoessay.com. 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.