How to handle rejection as a writer


Rejection is a common experience for writers, yet it can be extremely difficult to learn how to handle. One example of an individual who has had success in doing so is author JK Rowling. After her Harry Potter series was rejected by numerous publishers, she kept persevering until the books were finally published and became one of the most beloved franchises in history. This article will provide strategies for managing rejection as a writer and offer key insights into maintaining motivation despite facing adversity.

The first step in handling rejection is accepting that failure can be part of the process. All authors have experienced moments where their work does not meet expectations or does not receive the attention desired; however, this should not detract from self-esteem or discourage future efforts. Additionally, understanding why feedback may not have been positive is important in order to continue improving skills and developing better writing techniques overall.

Finally, seeking out advice from others can also help manage feelings associated with being rejected as a writer. Talking through experiences with family, friends, other authors or mentors can provide perspective on how best to move forward and maintain enthusiasm when faced with criticism or lack of interest in one’s work. Through these conversations, new ideas may emerge which could lead to further successes down the line.

Ultimately, rejection is an inevitable part of being a writer and should not be seen as a failure. By taking steps such as accepting that failure can be part of the process, understanding why feedback may not have been positive, and seeking advice from others, authors can manage their feelings associated with rejection and stay motivated to pursue their writing goals.

Understanding the nature of rejection in writing

Rejection is an unavoidable part of the writing process. It can be difficult to remain resilient in the face of criticism, and it’s important for writers to remember that rejection is often part and parcel of being successful as a writer. Take for example English author JK Rowling who was famously rejected by 12 publishers before her beloved series Harry Potter was accepted for publication. Despite this initial setback, she went on to become one of the world’s most celebrated authors – proving that persistence pays off in the end.

In order to effectively handle rejection, writers must first understand its nature:

  • Rejections are not personal attacks. Writers should aim to separate their work from themselves; while they may feel personally affected when their work is criticised or turned down, it is important to remember that rejections are typically rooted in business decisions rather than any judgement against them as individuals.
  • Rejections are necessary steps towards success. Without failure there can be no eventual triumph – so although initially disheartening, rejections should ultimately be seen as stepping stones leading up towards success.
  • Rejections do not mean you have failed forever. The publishing industry is constantly changing and evolving, meaning what might have been unpopular today could be hugely successful tomorrow – so never give up hope!

Writers need to develop resilience and coping mechanisms in order to successfully navigate through periods of rejection without losing sight of their ultimate goals…

Developing resilience and coping mechanisms

It is essential for writers to learn how to handle rejection. Rejection can be a difficult and painful experience, but it can also provide an opportunity for growth and resilience. To build upon the understanding of the nature of rejection in writing as discussed in the previous section, this next section will focus on developing resilience and coping mechanisms when dealing with rejections.

One example of such a case study is that of Joanne K., a freelance writer who was recently rejected from her dream publication after submitting two pieces she had been working on for months. She felt discouraged and unmotivated; however, instead of giving up or sulking over the disappointment, she decided to use the situation as an opportunity to grow.

In order to develop resilience and cope with rejections, writers should:

  • Identify their own triggers – It is important to recognize what situations trigger feelings of insecurity or defeat so that they can better anticipate how they might react in similar scenarios in the future.
  • Develop healthy strategies for self-care– Writers should take time away from their work and practice self-care activities like meditation, journaling, going outside into nature, or talking to friends who understand their struggles. This gives them the space needed to confront their emotions head-on without letting them become overwhelming.
  • Reframe failure as learning opportunities– Rather than seeing rejections as ultimate failures, writers should consider them as learning moments where they can gain valuable insight into improving their craft by asking themselves questions about why something wasn’t accepted and then actively seeking feedback from editors or industry professionals if possible.

These methods help create a positive outlook rather than one filled with negativity and discouragement while providing concrete steps towards building confidence in oneself as a writer despite any hardships encountered along the way. By shifting our perspective away from viewing mistakes as permanent losses toward embracing constructive criticism as helpful advice we can make progress even when faced with rejection. With this newfound attitude comes increased motivation which ultimately leads us closer towards achieving our goals no matter how long it takes us down that road. In turn, this allows us to move forward ontoseeking feedback and constructive criticismfor continued improvement within our craft.

Seeking feedback and constructive criticism

It is not uncommon for writers to experience rejection, particularly when they are starting out. For example, one aspiring novelist submitted her manuscript to fifty literary agents and received no response from any of them. This can be an incredibly disheartening situation for a writer, leading to feelings of frustration and helplessness.

In order to cope with the inevitable rejections that come with being a writer, it is important to develop resilience and coping mechanisms. Here are some tips for doing so:

  • Accept That Rejection Is Part Of The Process: Acknowledging that rejection is part of the writing process helps writers reframe their thinking about it in a more positive light.
  • Take It As Feedback On Your Work: Rather than seeing rejection as failure, view it as constructive feedback on your work. Consider what you could do differently next time or how this particular piece could be improved upon before submitting again.
  • Reach Out To Other Writers And Seek Support: Surrounding yourself with other writers who understand your struggles can help provide much needed emotional support during difficult times. Seeking advice and encouragement from fellow authors can also give you valuable perspective on how to handle rejection going forward.

By developing these tools and strategies, writers can begin to see rejections not as defeats but opportunities for growth. Reframing rejections in this way will empower writers to continue honing their craft and pave the way towards eventual success. With newfound determination and confidence, they can approach future submissions with optimism rather than fear—knowing that each ‘no’ brings them closer to achieving their goals.

Reframing rejection as an opportunity for growth

Having received feedback and criticism, the next step in handling rejection as a writer is to reframe it as an opportunity for growth. To do this, writers must embrace their mistakes and use them as valuable learning experiences. For example, after receiving numerous rejections from literary journals, one aspiring author decided to study the accepted pieces more closely in order to better understand what made them stand out from other submissions. By doing so, they gained invaluable insight into how to craft stories that were successful and had a much higher acceptance rate with subsequent journal submissions.

In addition to studying accepted works, there are several strategies authors can adopt when trying to reframe rejection:

  • Acknowledge your feelings: It’s okay to be disappointed or frustrated by rejections—it’s part of being human. Allow yourself time to acknowledge these feelings before moving forward.
  • Look for lessons: Once you’ve taken some time to process your emotions, take stock of any advice given in the rejection letter or via feedback and make note of any points you may have overlooked while writing the piece initially. Use this information to inform future work instead of dwelling on past failures.
  • Celebrate small successes: Each submission teaches something even if it isn’t accepted right away; celebrate any new skills learned along the way! Keeping track of accomplishments will help build confidence over time.

By re-framing rejection letters as opportunities rather than obstacles, authors can gain perspective on where they need improvement and stay motivated throughout their journey towards publication success.

Maintaining a positive mindset and staying motivated

Transcending the sense of disappointment brought on by rejection is an essential skill for any writer. With perseverance and a positive outlook, it can be possible to use rejections as opportunities to develop one’s craft.

To illustrate this, take the example of prolific author JK Rowling who was famously rejected multiple times before her Harry Potter series achieved commercial success. Instead of giving up in the face of adversity, she persevered until her work eventually caught readers’ attention and became popularly acclaimed.

It is important to maintain a healthy mindset when dealing with rejection. Here are some tips on how to stay motivated:

  • Remind yourself why you write – keep your passion alive and do not lose sight of what you want to accomplish through writing;
  • Stay connected with other writers – discuss strategies for tackling challenges and seek support from peers;
  • Build resilience – practice creative problem solving and look for ways to turn negative experiences into constructive learning opportunities.

The key takeaway here is that while failure may appear daunting at first, it does not have to define our future successes or limit our potential. By harnessing creativity and pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones, we can leverage rejections as stepping stones towards achieving our goals.

Questions and Answers

How do I know when to keep pursuing a writing project and when to give up?

A difficult question for any writer is knowing when to keep pursuing a project and when to give up. A classic example of this dilemma can be seen in the case of J.K Rowling, author of the beloved Harry Potter series. After being rejected by twelve different publishers she refused to give up on her dream and eventually found success with Bloomsbury Publishing. This serves as an inspiring example that perseverance is often rewarded.

There are several things writers should consider before deciding if they should continue working on a project or move onto something else:

  • Understand your audience – It’s important to understand who will be reading your work and what type of feedback you hope to receive from them. If you don’t have a good sense of who the reader might be then it may not be worth continuing with the project.
  • Don’t let rejection define you – Rejection can feel like a personal attack but its important to remember that all projects go through multiple drafts and revisions before publication so use criticism as constructive feedback instead of letting it discourage you from continuing your journey as a writer.
  • Take risks – While it’s important to take into account feedback from others, ultimately you need to trust yourself enough to make bold decisions about which stories or topics you want to explore further – even if there is risk involved in doing so.

Ultimately, each individual must decide how much effort they are willing put into a particular writing project considering both their goals and resources available at the time such as money, energy, etc. There is no easy answer as every situation is unique; however, if one listens closely enough they may find their own inner guidance telling them whether or not they should pursue a certain story or idea further down the line.

What are some good resources for connecting with other writers who have experienced rejection?

An excellent resource for connecting with other writers who have experienced rejection is online forums. For example, the writer’s group on Reddit has a dedicated thread specifically for discussing rejections and how to cope with them. This forum can be incredibly helpful in finding support from fellow writers who are going through similar experiences, as well as advice from more experienced authors.

Other resources include joining an online writing community or attending local writing workshops. These groups provide a safe space where aspiring writers can share their work and receive feedback from peers, which could help them improve their craft and learn more about rejection. Additionally, many of these communities offer mentorship opportunities that allow members to connect with established authors and editors to gain valuable insights into navigating the publishing world.

For those seeking additional guidance beyond what’s available in online or physical communities, there are numerous books written by professional authors offering tips on handling rejections such as:

  • “The Rejection Cure: How To Turn No Into Yes And Make Your Writing Dreams Come True” by Al Sarrantonio
  • “Rejection Proof: How I Beat Fear and Became Invincible Through 100 Days of Rejection” by Jia Jiang
  • “Resilience: Facing Down Rejection and Criticism On The Road To Success” by Mark McGuinness
    These publications provide insight into how successful authors have handled past rejections in order to move forward in their careers. Ultimately, it is important for any individual looking to become a published author to recognize that rejection is part of the process and should not hinder their ambition; instead they should seek out resources that will enable them to continue pursuing their dreams despite setbacks along the way.

Are there any specific strategies that can help improve my writing style?

When it comes to improving one’s writing style, there are a variety of strategies and resources available. For example, novelist Margaret Atwood has been quoted as saying: “If I waited for perfection, I would never write a word”—underscoring the importance not only of producing work but also of continuing to improve on that work over time. To effectively use these tools in order to avoid or handle rejection as a writer, here are some key tips:

Firstly, practice regularly by setting aside dedicated writing time each day. This will help create momentum and increase confidence in your abilities as you develop consistency with your craft. Secondly, take constructive critiques from others seriously and try to incorporate their feedback into future works. Finally, read widely across genres in order to gain exposure to different styles of writing which may influence your own style over time.

To further support these efforts and become a better writer overall, connecting with other writers is important too. Joining an online community or attending physical meetups can provide invaluable insight into how seasoned authors have faced rejections throughout their careers. Taking advantage of such opportunities allows you to learn directly from those who have experienced similar struggles while developing relationships that can be leveraged long-term.

Therefore, when looking to strengthen one’s writing style and handle rejections more effectively while pursuing a career in this field, utilizing various resources like mentorships and workshops along with intentional practices like reading extensively should be considered essential steps towards achieving success.

What should I consider before submitting my work for publication?

Prior to submitting work for publication, writers should consider a few key points. For example, Patrick wanted to submit his novel for consideration but was unsure of the expectations. He did some research and found that it is important to ensure the work meets certain standards before submission. Here are three items to keep in mind:

First, review any guidelines provided by the publisher or platform you’re submitting your work to. This will help determine whether the content meets their requirements. Second, make sure that your writing style is polished and clear; this may involve getting feedback from other authors or editors who can identify areas where improvement can be made. Finally, familiarize yourself with copyright laws so you understand what rights you have as an author when publishing your work.

Before sending off a manuscript for publication, it is essential for writers to assess their material against these criteria and adjust accordingly if needed. Doing this helps increase the chances of success with publishers while also protecting one’s legal rights as an author. It also ensures that readers receive quality content which reflects positively on all involved parties – writer, publisher and reader alike

Is it worth sharing rejected pieces of writing with others or is this a waste of time?

Sharing rejected pieces of writing with others can be a difficult decision to make. For example, consider the case of Emily, a writer who has been working on her novel for years and finally submitted it to a publisher only to have it rejected. She is now deciding whether or not she should share this piece of writing with friends and family in order to get their opinion.

When considering whether or not to share your work that has been rejected by a professional publisher, one must take into account the following factors:

  • The potential emotional impact – sharing such personal works may cause embarrassment or humiliation if you receive negative feedback from those close to you;
  • Time investment- if someone spends time reading your work after being shared, they are less likely to invest additional time in future projects;
  • Reputation risk – releasing your work without having gone through the proper channels could damage your reputation as an author.

Therefore, before making any decisions about sharing previously rejected pieces with other readers, one must weigh these points carefully against the possible benefits. On one hand, there may be some comfort taken in knowing that people will empathize with the rejection experience when looking at the finished product. Additionally, receiving honest feedback from another person can provide valuable insight which can help improve upon future works. On the other hand though, too much criticism might lead to discouragement and burnout over time. It is also important to note that submitting unpublished work online can open up risks associated with plagiarism and copyright infringement issues if it falls into the wrong hands.

Ultimately, sharing previously rejected pieces of writing is ultimately an individual choice based on each creator’s own preferences and goals for success as well as willingness to accept constructive criticism from others. However, whatever path is chosen should include careful consideration of all related risks so that authors do not feel overwhelmed by disappointment later down the road.


About Author

Comments are closed.