by Angela Dion
Sorry, but if you can’t handle rejection writing probably isn’t the business (or even hobby) for you. In freelance writing, you will experience the pain of rejection. A lot. You can either concentrate on the rejection or you can learn from it.
You’ve heard of John Grisham’s numerous rejections before finding a small publisher for The Firm. Emily Dickinson only had seven of her 1800 poems published in her lifetime. My first book, Dear Son, was rejected 19 times and Let’s Talk about Race stayed with a publisher for almost a year before they rejected it to work with another author on a “similar” project. I’ve also gotten as many as four magazine rejections in one day.
Rejection sucks. It does. You want to quit, wonder if it’s all worth it, question whether you’re any good. And yes, after over a decade of writing I still get rejections and I still question my writing. But then I’ll get what I call a kiss from God.
An e-mail from a mom grateful for my article on talking to teens about drugs, a card from Kentucky – she just finished Let’s Talk and wants to use it as a teaching aid in her church, a Facebook message from a stranger saying she placed a child for adoption and reading Dear Son changed her life. I once got a message from an editor – a gentleman read one of my articles and wanted to know if I was single! These affirmations make all of the rejection worth it.
The truth is the more you write, experience rejection, and revise, the better writer you become. The better your writing, the fewer negative and more affirmative responses you experience.
Are you feeling an onslaught of rejection lately? Trying to find a place for your poetry, articles or books? Or are you afraid to send something out for fear of rejection? You’re in the company of many great writers, trust me. Rejection, as much as writing and editing, is an ingredient of the trade. Move past it. Keep revising. Keep submitting.
The road to success is paved with setbacks. Yet, in the end, it is our persistence despite rejection that will make us the writers we were meant to be.
Here are a few of my favorite quotes for the rejected writer.
Opportunity…often it comes in the form of misfortune, or temporary defeat. –Napoleon Hill
Experience is what you get when don’t get what you want. -Dan Stanford
If you don’t risk anything, you risk even more. –Erica Jong
A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit. –Richard Bach
The fear of rejection is worse than rejection itself. -Nora Profit
If you’re a singer, you lose your voice. A baseball player loses his arm. A writer gets more knowledge, and if he’s good, the older he gets, the better he writes. -Mickey Spillane
Next to trying and winning, the best thing is trying and failing. -LM Montgomery
You have to know how to accept rejection and reject acceptance. -Ray Bradbury
Angela Dion is the owner of Dion Communications, LLC. To subscribe to her free e-magazine Write Words and get the free 9 page booklet, Write Killer Queries, go to http://www.dioncommunications.com./newsletter/?p=subscribe.