Dramaquill's All Things Writing

February 16, 2008

Handling Rejection

We all know how it feels to open the mailbox and see that SASE sitting amongst the bills and coupons.  Another rejection!

Writers who are serious about getting published will see plenty of rejections in their mailboxes, most likely before they ever receive their first acceptance.  Rejections can be extremely frustrating and have put an end to many an aspiring writer’s career.

But let’s think about what’s behind these rejections…

 1.    Some rejections occur because the writer didn’t know the market
        well enough and subbed inappropriate material

2.    Some rejections occur because the writer sent out a piece that
       wasn’t tight enough or just wasn’t quite ready to be subbed out

3.    Some rejections occur because the publisher was inundated with
        submissions and the writer’s manuscript had to compete with
        an incredible amount of material

4.    Some rejections occur because the publication had already printed
       something similar to what the writer has sent

5.    Some rejections occur because the editor didn’t feel strongly
        enough about the piece to take on the project

And I could go on and on and on and on with valid reasons that writers get rejected.

The bottom line is this:  rejection stinks!

So as a writer, make sure to study your markets, send out ONLY your best work and then let it go and start working on something else. 

Rejection isn’t personal.

Rejection isn’t necessarily an indication that you are a bad writer.

Rejection isn’t a reason to give up.

If you get personal comments from an editor, read them and really evaluate if what they say can help you improve the piece before you send it out again.  And rejoice in the fact that the editor took the time to actually comment – that’s a good sign.

My favorite rejection, yes I have a favorite, was from a magazine.  The editor said:  “I enjoyed reading your work and regret that we do not have any more room for rhymes in this issue (referring to the theme to which I wrote an appropriate piece).  Instead of feeling badly that my piece didn’t get accepted, I studied their future themes list and tried again.  The second time, the third, and the fourth, were all rejections. 

But…the fifth time I was successful and will have two pieces coming out with that publication in 2009, one in May and one in December.

How do you handle rejection?

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