Prepare Yourself for Rejection

prepare yourself for rejection

Rejection stings, but as a writer, you better prepare yourself for it.

I recently submitted a couple of essays for possible paid publication. The publication part is cool enough, but tack on a dollar sign alongside that and it’s even better. (Of course, with all the hours poured into the writing I figure I would have made about $2 an hour. But I digress.)

I worked really hard on that writing. I spent hours writing, rewriting, editing, and searching for just the right words. I felt like the first essay was one of the best pieces I had ever written. I felt sure it would be chosen. I was on such a high from that piece that I submitted a second essay to another publication. Again, I felt like I had a really good shot.

Weeks passed, and the deadline for notification on the first piece came and went. Which usually means one thing: NO. The second publication sent me an email to let me know that my piece had not been chosen. A double blow.

Writers need thick skin. We spend countless hours bleeding onto the page, only to be told it’s not quite good enough. It’s easy to become beaten down and discouraged. I know I do.

But this is all part of the process. I could write and keep it to myself and thus avoid the ugly sting of rejection. But how the heck am I going to grow as a writer if I don’t put myself out there and take a chance?

I better get used to the word no, because I’m probably going to be hearing it a lot more. And it’s okay. I don’t write for the money or attention. I write because I believe that God gave me a gift and a story to tell.

The more I practice and the more pieces I submit, the better chance I will have of receiving that wonderful response of YES! It may not be that far off. When I received my second rejection letter, they stated that they wanted to keep my piece for consideration for a second volume of work, which may be published next year. It’s not a yes, but I’ll take a maybe.

I will continue to put myself out there through my writing. Maybe someday I will make a few bucks through this art, but even if I don’t, I will be glad that I had the courage to let others read my words.

Question: Has any of your writing been rejected? What lessons have you learned from the rejection?

  • Thanks for being so open and transparent with this rejection, Jamie.

    No one likes being rejected (especially writers like me), but it has a way of sanctifying us for better things to come. Keep up the great work, my friend.

    PS: Would you mind sharing which publications you submitted to?

    • Thanks, Charles. The publications I submitted to were: The HerStories Project (stories that have changed your life/how you view the world) and Stories of Music (an anthology about how music has changed people’s lives). I learned of both opportunities from http://www.freelancewriting.com. (That’s a great resource for writers looking for opportunities!)

  • Hi Jamie,
    Thank you for baring your heart for our benefit.

    I’ve also learned a couple of things from rejection. For me rejection can mean any one of the following:

    #1. Get better, improve, work on your craft.
    #2. Not now, try again sometime.
    #3. Shaping-God is pruning my character.

    The key lies in refusing to get stuck in negativity and focusing on the positive. May God surprise you with yeses sooner than you think.

    • Thank you for reading and for the encouraging words.

  • It is difficult to accept rejection. Yet God has a reason for everything He does. As in bad reviews we look for the nugget of gold in the rock.