Lessons From My Writing Fails

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I got that dreaded phone call. It was the one from the hiring committee from that big job promotion I was certain I’d land.

They decided to go with someone else.

I was in shock for fifteen minutes. But I’ve been here before. This was the same feeling I had when I was told—twice—that I had to rewrite my 200+ page thesis.

Didn’t make the moment suck less.

It’s hard enough trying to make it as a paid writer. It’s also tough getting your writing published—or hearing no.

But it’s trying times like these where rejection in our writing or writing careers can hold us back—or move us forward.

I choose to keep going.

Lesson 1: Reaffirm What You Want

After ten hours of interviewing, hand shaking and department discussions, was this what I really wanted? Did this position align with my values, my talent and my ambitions?

Not so much.

So what was it that I really wanted?

I made a list. I thought big picture. I reevaluated my skills and how I wanted to put them to good use.

When you get stuck, reaffirm that your writing goal is still worth seeking. If not, rework it so that your goal rejuvenates your passion to get back into the game.

Lesson 2: This Isn’t Your One & Only Shot

To think that it’s the end of the world that I didn’t get offered this position is downright silly. There are numerous opportunities across the country—and the globe—where my writing and marketing talents can be put to great use.

Totally not fishing for compliments here.

It’s the same with your writing. Just because your writing was rejected by that one publisher doesn’t mean your story will never get published. Either your story needs to be revisited or you chose to propose to the wrong publisher.

The longer you dwell, the more missed opportunities will pass you by.

Lesson 3: Bounce Back—And Fast

I gave myself two hours to pout. Then I went back to work.

I devised a strategy (see Lesson 1) then jumped back into my job search with more gusto, more clarity and more determination on where I wanted my career to go.

Rock Bottom doesn’t have to mean landing flat on your face. Make it a trampoline and bounce back, aiming to go higher than before.

That’s what I’m doing. And I can’t wait to land on my feet.


  1. I can relate. During a period of unemployment I applied for a writing job with an out-of-state corporation. I needed work, so I convinced myself to pretend I didn’t care about the travel or the isolation or the fac that I didn’t particularly like the person who would be my direct supervisor. I went through several rounds of interviews, to the point that they were saying, “When you start working with us, you will…” It came down to the formality of an official offer. Or so I thought. A week went by. Then three more days. I finally called and was told, “Sorry; we went with someone else.”

    My initial reaction was of the WTF variety. Then I realized that, beneath the disappointment, I felt relieved. I didn’t want to fly around yet work alone. It would have sucked and I would have left after six months, or stuck it out and hated it. The happy ending is that I landed another writing job not long after at an office 13 miles from my apartment. So, silver linings being what they are, get ready for some good news coming your way soon! You can do whatever I can and then some.

    1. Eric, I wrote this blog post exactly for situations like yours. I know I was caught up in the idea of moving my career forward that I didn’t take a step back to analyze if it was the right step forward for my ambitions and for me.

      I’m so glad that you found an opportunity that aligned with your goals and values.

      Thank you for the encouragement. What’s so great about the blogging community is the genuine support we all share in wanting us all to succeed.

      1. Your writing is so clean and lean and professional that I’m sure the right opportunity will come your way in no time. Based on your text above, I’m assuming you have a graduate degree as well, which opens up a lot of opportunities in pharma and other health care-related organizations. We have tons of those organizations here in NJ, if you’re willing to look into it.

        Good luck!

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