Writing Wednesdays: Rejection--it's not as personal as it feels

You pour your heart into writing something. Then, with fear and trepidation, you risk sending it off to a potential publisher or magazine or devotional.

You wait. And wait. Then finally, word comes. In some generic form, you are told thank you very much, but your piece doesn't meet the editorial needs.


You feel as if someone just rejected your baby, or said she was ugly. How can they do this to you?

Okay, so maybe it's not that dramatic (then again, maybe for you it is!). I remember how devastating rejection used to feel for me. It felt very personal. They didn't like me. They didn't like my writing. I should just give up, etc.

Know what I mean?

Well, here are a couple of facts that might help in that department.

1. When you first get started, plan to get rejected 9 times out of 10. You're at the very beginning of the learning curve and you've got a long way to go. (I know this sounds discouraging, but the intention of me telling you that is to give yourself permission to be rejected without feeling like it's a terrible thing, means you're a failure, or you should stop trying. The more you do this, the easier it gets. Really!)

2. Sending out a story is like applying for a job. There are LOTS of other applicants. You have to expect not to get the very first job you apply for. Life just doesn't work that way (at least for most of us).

3. If an editor is looking for an article on snails, no matter how amazing your article on the Eiffel tower is, it's going to get rejected. That had NOTHING to do with you--it had to do with snails. =)

4. Sometimes you just have more to learn. If a rejection does come with a reason, take it to heart, learn from it, adapt and move on. All of us have a whole lot more to learn, so it's not an insult or a bad thing that you do, too!

If that didn't make you feel better, hold out till next week. I'll be giving practical tips on sending out submissions that will hopefully result with you get less rejections, and that will feel better instead!

Conclusion: Don't assume a writing rejection is personal. 
You'll save yourself a lot of stress and heartache in writing if you can accept that 
rejection is just part of writing. Let it go and move on to the next try!

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