Why You Might As Well Befriend Rejection

All beginning writers, experienced writers, and even, perhaps, award-winning writers are daily reminded of the great writing nemesis: rejection.  We read articles about it in writing magazines and hear about it from our published heroes, but we don’t think of it in connection with our own writing.  At least I don’t.  And I doubt I’m the only foolish dreamer out there.  The trouble is that writing is so deeply personal, that we cannot help but take the rejection to heart. 

This article argues that rejection is a gift: Too Much Success Too Fast.  Is it? 

Rejection grounds us as writers.  We cannot be sucked into egotism when editors and agents and judges are returning our queries and manuscripts and submissions as quickly as we send them in.  We do not have the luxury of fame but instead become well-versed in determination, passion, and old-fashioned hard-work.  And that’s the stuff that makes for a great character – both in and out of books. 

 Try to think of rejection as a necessity.  With rejection comes greater revision and greater perseverance, and a masterpiece cannot be created without either of those.  Every time you receive a rejection notice, display it proudly (or not so proudly – your bottom desk drawer will work nicely) and use it to fuel your writing.  If only with the intention of sticking it to the man (editor, publisher, contest judge, etc.) later.  And don’t even pretend that’s not motivation enough.

Read this list of 30 famous authors who were rejected repeatedly and stop feeling like a failure.  After all, John le Carré was told he had no future in writing after sending in the manuscript for The Spy Who Came In From the Cold.

Do you buy the idea that rejection is truly a gift?  Or do you think it’s just nonsense writers tell themselves to keep writing day after day?