Rejection is not a pretty word, but unfortunately, it’s one everyone has to deal with on some level in their lifetime. When we’re young, it begins in school. The popular kids reject us. The coach doesn’t pick us for a team. We aren’t chosen for the cool sorority or fraternity. The date we want to take to the prom goes with someone else. Friends tell us to go take a hike. We all grow up with rejection.
But we survive. Hopefully, it cushions us for even more rejection in our adult lives.
Some of us follow dreams of becoming authors, only to discover a new rejection and one that cuts to the very core. Manuscripts and outlines get rejected by agents and publishers. When I started out as a serious writer in the 1970’s, I received enough rejection letters to paper my living room walls. Each one was like a knife wound to the heart. The question is, do we lick our wounds and move on? Or do we bury our heads in the sand and vow there will be no more submissions? Writing is a world unto itself and writers are a breed of their own. Writers write because they have a story to tell and want to share it with the world. Rejection is merely an element of the writing process--and we soon learn to be tough and take the no’s and make them into yes’s.
Many rejection letters, unfortunately, are form letters and show no emotion from the sender or indicate that they even read the submission. Others offer critical advice laced with encouragement. These are the “good” rejections. The ones we learn from. But they are few and far between. There are caring and nurturing agents and publishers, and there are the jaded who lack empathy and put the almighty dollar before all else.
Rejection can make or break a writer. It’s all about how we perceive adversity. If we treat it as a learning experience, it’ll make us strong and determined, and in the end, a far better writer. So consider rejection not as a negative, but as a positive and you may find your dream of becoming a published author is only a submission away.