We can’t always succeed no matter how hard we try. That’s something I’ve learned to accept as a human being and as a writer. How do we go about making lemonade from lemons?
Here are some ways writers can actually benefit from rejection:
First, examine the nature of the rejection. Has this particular work consistently received standard rejections from numerous agents, editors, publishers or publications? Maybe it’s time to put this particular book, story, play, article aside for a while and examine it again at a future time with fresh eyes. You might need to do some rewriting. Perhaps this particular work is not yet ready for publication. Start a new project for now. But never, ever destroy your rejected work.
Second, if your work has received a personalized rejection from an editor, write back to that editor and thank him/her for taking the time to point out why the work was rejected. You might just turn that rejection into an acceptance after all.
Example, I received a personalized rejection on a short story. The editor stated she liked the story but felt the ending was too abrupt. I wrote back and thanked her, also asking for further details on how she thought I could improve the ending, because I was willing to rewrite it. She provided me with her insights. I actually had to rewrite the story’s ending twice before I finally made the sale. But the story was published in print and I was paid. Was it worth the effort? In my opinion, yes it was.
I can only speak for myself. I accept rejection as part of the nature of freelance writing. I always write to the very best of my ability, intending to create quality work. However, I know I cannot please everyone. I realize my words are not chiseled in granite—nor should they be.
What I advise: if you enjoy creating the written word, if you want and need to write, keep at it. Writing is a craft, and you can improve your abilities. Don’t let rejection discourage you. Success will come in time with effort, hard work and pit bull determination. Go forth: read, write, and prosper.
Your thoughts and comments welcome!