How To Stay Positive After A Rejection

By on February 6, 2018
How To Stay Positive After A Rejection

Being rejected is not a great feeling. Any writer who has suffered a rejection will attest to this.

There is nothing quite as disheartening as pouring all your energy and passion into something only to be told it isn’t good enough.

Worse than this is the way writers are often rejected. You don’t get any feedback. Often, in fact, rejection comes as a form of ‘ghosting’ - where you know if you have been ignored for a long enough amount of time you have been rejected, you don’t even get the decency of someone telling you they received and read your story.

After months, even years of work, that is going to sting a little.

While rejection isn’t something that writers alone experience, it is fairly unique to be rejected in such a brutal and frankly, kind of rude manner. However, we just accept this as part of the job. In any other circumstances we might say something, perhaps write a rather short email explaining why it would have been nice for the editor to at least acknowledge that we have contacted them. But we don’t, because it’s just the way things are, and that’s got to do something not so great to our self-esteem.

After a rejection the writer has to simply go back to the drawing board with no real information on what they’ve done wrong, only that what they have done simply isn’t ‘good enough.’ What’s worse still is that if they go on to spend even more time changing it, it might not make the slightest bit of difference. How will a writer know that the next editor they send their manuscript to wouldn’t have actually much preferred the original? Initially, it does come down to one person's opinion after all.

However, we must accept that things are unlikely to change anytime soon. This being the case it is better to focus on how to stay positive after a rejection rather than dwell on it for too long.

So what are the things you can do?

Keep things in perspective. A rejection doesn’t have to be devastating, and it certainly doesn’t mean that you should give up on your writing dreams. There are plenty of other opportunities for you to succeed, and the sooner you focus on them and move on the better.

Create your own opportunities. It’s all too easy to sit and wait and hope that success will come to you, but in reality, you have to fight for it with all of your might. Do everything you can to make yourself successful, be creative and imaginative in your ideas and don’t stop until you get what you want.

Don’t take it personally. Remember, a rejection of your writing is nothing personal. In fact, it might be that an editor enjoyed your piece, but it simply wasn’t what they were looking for. It’s hard not to want to retreat and lick your wounds after receiving a rejection, but that’s not going to help anyone.

Reflect and learn. While there are a myriad of reasons your work might be being rejected, if it happens time and time again it’s a good idea to take some time to reflect and try to figure out where you might be going wrong. You might gain some valuable insights into what you need to do to improve your work, and then have better luck next time around.

Rejection is never easy to take, especially for writers who are so invested in what they are trying to achieve. However, a positive attitude and the ability to dust yourself off and pick yourself back up after a rejection will mean that you’ll keep persevering and let nothing stand in the way of attaining your goals.

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

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