January 21, 2013 by K. L. Wightman
In order to succeed in writing, you must be skilled in coping with writing rejection. Rejection letters are never easy to receive, especially generic postcards or emails without a stated reason for the rejection. Speed up the five stages of grief by coping with writing rejection with these coping strategies.
Don’t Lash Out
Complaining to others isn’t the solution to coping with writing rejection, especially to the editors that rejected you. Don’t sever editorial ties by writing to them with your disgust or disappointment. Even inquiries on how to improve your manuscript will most likely be ignored. Blow off some steam by writing in a journal or going for a long run instead to clear your mind.
Evaluate Your Rejection
Remember when you’re coping with writing rejection that rejection doesn’t mean you’re a bad writer. Take the time to evaluate all the reasons that lead to your rejection by asking yourself these questions:
- Did I send out my work too soon?
- Did I format my manuscript correctly and follow submission procedures?
- Did my work match the style or genre of the publisher or representative?
- Could my work possibility be too similar to other submissions?
- Does my work match current interest of readers?
Keep Your Writing in Perspective
Stick to the facts when coping with writing rejection. Remember that your work was rejected, not you. The editors most likely don’t know you, so the rejection was solely upon what you submitted. If the editors do know you, keep in mind that their job is to publish what is most representative of their company and their readers.
Laugh at Your Rejection
Bring your spirits up while coping with writing rejection. Find the flaws in the rejection letter. Does the rejection sound robotic? Are there any grammatical errors? Is a sentence phrased poorly? This will remind you that even publishers and representatives are human and make mistakes. Look up funny rejection letters received by successful writers for more laughs. Even established writers received rejection letters.
Set It Aside
Sometimes the best method to coping with writing rejection is time. If it’s too painful to find the flaws in your work, wait a few weeks or months and focus your attention on other writing projects instead. When the thought of your rejected work doesn’t sting, pick up the manuscript again (and a pen) and seriously review the manuscript.
Submit, Submit, Submit
Sometimes distraction is the solution to coping with writing rejection. Submit multiple manuscripts to publishers or representatives or, if publishers have stated acceptance of this practice, submit your manuscript to multiple publishers. So when you receive that rejection, you still have other publishing opportunities on the table.
Coping with writing rejection works best when you choose to move forward. When you have a goal to achieve, you don’t have time to dwell on the failures.
What are your strategies to coping with writing rejection? Please share below.