Yesterday, I read both the column and comments about rejection in a great writer’s blog called Making A Living Writing, by Carol Tice. Someone had written that they had received 50 rejections on 50 articles and were thinking of quitting writing altogether. Carol gave some sound advice (she usually does, which is why I like her column). When I clicked on the comments there were many more.
A few months ago, I was rejected on a pitch for a speaking engagement. It was, as always, a big let down. At one time I would have spent a week being upset over the fact, but this time I found the time to journal the experience. Here are some things I picked up from that:
- Rejection is like a miniature grieving. You don’t need to pretend it isn’t important. Embrace your hurt, so you can move through it and on.
- Part of the rejection hurt comes from your expectations when you send things off, but just as it doesn’t make you blue when your lottery ticket isn’t chosen as a winner, your rejection slip is a hard earned lottery loser. Buy a new ticket next week and try again. Dreams are important.
- Learn from your loss. Okay, so this one sounds more like your mother than your friend, but the harsh reality is that we can all learn from our various rejections. Did you choose the right market for your submission? Did you follow their rules for submitting or your own? Did you read your work out loud before sending it off? You know the drill, and probably have better writer’s standards to follow than I.
- Even though it’s great to dream each time you hit the send button, be prepared for the potential rejection to come. I don’t mean that you should be saying to yourself, “this wasn’t what the editor wanted” but be prepared by having a list of where you’ll send your work/idea next. What will you need to change to fit that next opportunity better?
- Be prepared to “win” as well. Do you have all the notes to complete the article if an editor accepts your pitch? Do you have photos or other artwork in line? What would be another article or story you could write along similar lines?
- Keep going on your writing. This one is so hard! When someone wrote that your last piece didn’t “fit our current needs” you may want to give up. All the stories about famous authors who were rejected forever doesn’t help when it happens to you. I prefer to think about the story of the sales professional. A good sales person knows that life is all about rejection. Each rejection you receive is one less that you have to endure on your path to eventual success. Think of a rejection as a win. Earn your rejection with heart and effort so that the sweet taste of success will be even sweeter when it happens.
Now, my reading friend, it’s your turn. How do you handle rejection? How do you celebrate success? I’d love to hear from you.
Have a great day. Now go earn your rejection.