Every profession, career, or even artistic hobby comes with a measure of rejection. After all, no one can be all things, provide all things for, or please all people all of the time. There will simply always be some rejection that comes along with anything you do. With that being said, though, writing is a profession that has perhaps more than its fair share of criticism. In fact, according to one author Dana Stabewow, “to be a writer is to embrace rejection as a way of life.”
Thankfully, we can look at other writers who have found success in their professional careers and learn from them how to overcome the inevitable rejection that comes along with being a professional writer. A few of these helpful tips are listed for your perusal below:
Writer Tools For Success: How to Deal With Rejection
Don’t Take it Personally
The quote, “it’s not personal, it’s just business” made popular by the Godfather comes to mind here. There will be a time when someone doesn’t like your work. That’s okay, and it doesn’t mean you failed as a writer. You are not your work. Even though our writing can feel like an extension of our very souls in some instances, when you are writing an article about HVAC units for a client in Florida, this is not the case. They simply might prefer different words choices or style of writing. Who knows? If they choose to go with another writer to complete their content, this doesn’t mean you necessarily did something wrong. It just means you didn’t “fit” their specific job.
If you were rejected by a publisher, the same thing remains true. They rejected your style, your idea, your genre, not necessarily you. This doesn’t mean you aren’t a talented writer. It just means that this client, publisher, editor, individual didn’t recognize your greatness. Their loss! Remember, publishers rejected the works of Stephen King, C.S. Lewis, Alice Walker, Agatha Christie, Dr. Seuss and J.K. Rowling, along with countless other bestselling authors, some of them multiple times. Just think, if you’re being rejected, you’re in good company.
Learn From Your Critics
While you can’t let rejection get you down, there is some value in considering the reason why your work was rejected. Some clients/publishers will never tell you the “why,” perhaps they don’t even know themselves. However, some will offer feedback. On occasion, this information can help you improve your work, making you more powerful as a writer and a professional. Although it’s natural to become defensive when we are rejected, sometimes it’s wise to take a deep breath, consider the feedback given and then look at your work from an outsider’s perspective. For example, one author in an New York Book Editor article shared how they were once criticized for ending too many words with “-ly.” At first, they recoiled at the suggestion and become defensive. Then, they took a look and realized, they were using “-ly” words too often in their composition. Therefore, they turned what once was negative feedback into positive changes. This in turn made them a better writer overall.
Remind Yourself Why Became a Writer
We have all had those moments. The groups of days, weeks or even months, when clients are difficult to handle. Revisions are coming all at once and the complaints seem to outweigh happy results. Most of us who have tried to pitch manuscripts or ideas to various magazines and/or publishing companies have also known the feeling of rejection in this manner. When you have a wave of rejection hit you, you might be tempted to throw in the towel (or the laptop, as the case may be), and try something else to make ends meet. It is at this moment, though, you must remind yourself why you got into this gig in the first place. What about writing fulfills you? What do you love about the prose or storytelling aspect of combining interesting dynamic wordplay in an entertaining and educational manner? What do you love about working from home? Remind yourself why you are a writer and also know this time won’t last. Soon, you will have a run of pleased clients and find yourself in demand with so many wanting your literary efforts you can hardly keep up. It truly is an up and down, ebb and flow, feast or famine kind of profession. Just remind yourself of that fact during the valleys.
In conclusion, as a writer, you know what it means to be rejected. It’s just a fact. It will happen. If it hasn’t yet, get ready, it’s coming. However, also know, there is a client or avenue for virtually every type of writing style. You simply must find your ideal niche and someone who values your skill set. Until then, don’t let the haters get you down. Keep your fingers moving over the keys and keep producing, because eventually, there will be someone who recognizes your worth. Happy writing!
Brandie P. has many personal interests, which include reading, watching college football (Go Dawgs), practicing yoga, along with spending time with her husband, cheering her son on as he plays high school football and her daughter as she participates in choral activities, and of course, writing.