The "R" Word

All writers, no matter how experienced, no matter how talented, will eventually face rejection at some point in their career. Hopefully, they’ll get all of the rejection letters out of the way on their first novel until that one publisher decides to take a chance, and that first novel rockets to meteoric success.

Yeah, right.

Okay, we’ll all face rejection and almost certainly more than once. Those of us who don’t see our work passed over will at least receive a list of suggestions to make it better, ways we should rewrite what we have so far. Some of the suggestions will change the story in ways we hadn’t considered.

How do we handle that?

I think it’s a good thing, in a way, that many rejection letters aren’t really letters at all. Some are post cards. Some are form letters that waste a page to say, basically, “No, thank you.” Occasionally, agents or editors will simply mail you back your same cover letter with the words, “Not for us. Good luck” written in the top corner. It’s bad that they can’t seem to make the time to write a single page of unique suggestions that might give the writer an idea of changes that would make the novel salable.

At the same time, though, we don’t have the double whammy of the rejection itself combined with a scathing critique of every terrible thing we did to make us feel like we should toss any hopes of writing as a career (or even a hobby) and crawl under a rock.

The question is, how do you handle rejection? Note that I didn’t ask, “How do you like rejection?” I presume none of us likes to be rejected. Some of us don’t even enjoy being disagreed with. But it happens to everyone…so what do you do to keep the faith and your perspective?

Patrick is a Christian with more than 29 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.