6 Ways to Handle Rejection of Your Writing

Regina Paul

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Have you written what you think could be a bestseller, and then had it rejected by a publisher? Maybe you entered a contest, and one of the judges used a red marker all over your entry, and none of it was good. This happened to me once, and it almost made me stop writing forever. Most of us who are writers have experienced rejection in one form or another, whether it has been one of our articles, short stories, novellas, essays, or novels. Whatever the form of writing we prefer, we all have suffered rejection at one time or another. So, how do you handle rejection when it comes your way? Here are the 6 ways I choose to handle rejection when it happens.

1. Remember that not everyone is going to like your writing style. This is a very important one, the rejection of your writing may be nothing more than your reader having a particular style preference. That does not mean that there aren’t others out there who will love the way you write.

2. Keep in mind, the publisher may have an overabundance of the genre you submitted. This too happens, and it has nothing to do with whether or not someone liked your writing but rather it is a case of supply vs demand. The publisher may have more in their supply and not enough demand for your genre.

3. If the comments are particularly virulent, or downright nasty, remind yourself that there are always going to be some bad apples in the barrel. If the comments are personal, and not nice, your writing has probably been reviewed by someone who thinks it is their job to shoot down others and keep them from succeeding. Fortunately, I’ve not run into too many of these, but one way to tell is if the comments are not objective, but rather personal towards you, and are nasty. Disregard any responses such as these.

4. You may occasionally receive a rejection letter with suggestions for how to improve your writing. By all means, don’t be down on yourself if this happens, don’t focus on the fact that you were “rejected. ” Instead realize that the publisher saw promise in your writing, and felt strongly enough about what they read that they were willing to take the time to send a few suggestions. Read the suggestions over, see if you and others agree with them, and if so make the changes suggested and try again!

5. If you disagree with comments in a rejection letter, but are still concerned, have several others read what you’ve written and see if they agree. If it is pretty much unanimous that they don’t agree with the comments, then maybe try another publisher. If they agree, then polish your writing, have the same people read it again, and resubmit it, either to the same place or somewhere else if you aren’t comfortable doing that.

6. Last, but certainly not least, do not keep rejection letters. I used to do that, but ultimately all that is going to do is make it easy for you to run across them again later so that you feel discouraged yet again. Instead, keep a spreadsheet with all your submissions that includes all the pertinent information, and a box to mark when you are rejected or accepted. Post any useful comments from the publisher in a Comments section so you know what to improve on, and then shred the letter.

The movie, A Cinderella Story has a wonderful saying in it that I have personally taken to heart. “Don’t let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game. ” I think this is a motto that we can all stand to take to heart, and not only those of us who are writers.

Regina Paul is a full-time author. She has four books available, Getting Out Alive, a science fiction romance, Illara's First Christmas, a holiday novella which is a continuation of Getting Out Alive, The Mark of the Guardian, a free fantasy romance novella, and Destiny's Choices, a romantic suspense recently released from Amira Press. To find out more about Regina and her books you can visit her website http://www.reginapaul.com


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