Tag Archives: Writing rejection

Rejection, Part 2

“After rejection – misery, then thoughts of revenge, and finally,oh well, another try elsewhere.Mason Cooley.

The misery part of the above quote I totally agree with. After my most recent rejection I did the following, not necessarily in this order: cried, ate a package of Milano cookies, cried, cursed the person rejecting me, cried some more but now howled, too, ate two chocolate donuts then two more, cried, cursed the air and then fumed.  After fuming I moved into seething, then cried again, not because I was upset about the rejection, but because I had now moved into embarrassment over it. I was ashamed that I had told people about my potential good news – based on what I was told by the person reviewing my work – and now I had to tell these same people that I had – gulp! – been rejected.

Red faced, trembling lip, crimson eared, embarrassed.

I wasn’t able to tell anyone for a week. Seven days I held all that emotion in, stuffing it with bad food and mentally castigating myself. Life I said in my  previous post, I had to talk myself off a proverbial ledge.

And then, the final part of the above quote filtered through all the hurt and the rage and the humiliation of failing. I woke up one day and decided that this wasn’t going to dissuade me from writing, that it wasn’t the end of the world or of my writing career, and that today was a new day.

A little Scarlett Ohara-ish, but true.

If we were to quit every time we failed at something, new inventions would never be discovered.

If we were to give up on love every time our heart was broken, we would never know the joy of rebirth that new love brings.

If I quit every time something I’d written was rejected for publication – no matter how much it hurt or how wrong the rejector was about it – I wouldn’t be at my laptop right this second typing this.

So, tomorrow is another day ( Thanks, Scarlett for making me realize that!) and there are more places to submit to and different people to read what I’ve written.

Rejection hurts. This is true. But it’s not the end of the world.

I have to go exercise those damn donuts and Milanos off now.



Filed under Editors


“Every rejection is incremental payment on your dues that in some way will be translated back into your work.James Lee Burke

To write about this topic is stomach-upsetting for me. I am the penultimate expert on the subject of rejection: in my personal life, in my work, in my career, and in my writing. I joke that failure is a familiar friend to me, but that rejection is my sworn enemy. I can deal with failure because I know that out of it will some day come  success. Rejection, on the other hand, is a form of failure that is so much more personal and ego-devouring, that when it hits me, it throws me into the bowels of depression, and I have a very hard time clawing my way out of its clutches.

I could quote chapter, book and verse on the number of ubersuccessful people who suffered rejection before ever  seeing their proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. 27 publishers rejected Theodore Giesel’s first book. Stephen King was rejected 30 times before his first book sold. Supposedly, Jack London received over 600 rejection slips before he ever sold a story. The list goes on, but one thing they all had in common was that rejection did not mean the end of their desire to write. It probably spurred it on just to prove the rejectors  wrong.

Obviously, I’m writing this today because I, too, have suffered another writing rejection. And it hurts. Like hell. This time I was so confident that something good was going to come out of my submission – based on what I was told by the person I was submitting to –  that when the final rejection came, with no explanation of why, I was devastated. Beyond devestated, actually. I had to talk myself off a ledge. A  proverbial one, but a ledge just the same. To be rejected, to have my work rejected, my thoughts, my ideas, the way I write the words, is soul-killing. I could barely put a sentence together for a while because every time I opened my mouth, all I wanted to do was wail, “Why??!!”

A little overly melodramatic, but true.

I’ve had a few days now to get over the hurt, shock, annoyance, dismay and anger.  I no longer want to make a phone call and say vicious things to the person at the other end about their heritage and schooling. I’ve pulled myself back in from the ledge to my writing room. I am still having a little difficulty with the “Why” but for now, I will ignore that question and ask myself this one: “Where do I go from here?” The easiest answer is back to my laptop, so that is where I am today.

And where I will be every other day I have the time opportunity to be. I will not let this latest rejection steal my joy about writing. And it is a joy. No one should ever be allowed to rob you of that.

To quote one of the smartest women I know – my friend Jill – who is quoting her father when she says, “every thing happens for a reason.” This is so true. I don’t know the reason now, but I am confident I will someday. As the James Lee Burke quote of above tells us, this rejection is dues I am paying that will some day, some way, be translated back into my work.

Want to talk about your rejections??





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Filed under Editors