What Rejections Teach Us

They say you’re not supposed to blog about rejections.  I agree.  After that kind of a statement you know there’s a but, and this is no exception.

I just received my first rejection for the year!  (The exclamation point is on purpose.)  You might think I’m crazy.  I wouldn’t blame you if you did.  There is a reason for my excitement:  I learned something.

Anytime you have a chance to learn something, even if it is from rejections or your mistakes, take it, own it, and whatever you do –  make the best of it.

The publishing company said (and I’m paraphrasing) that while they enjoyed my piece (They called it interesting and poignant) that it didn’t stick closely enough to the prompt.  They took it a step further and explained that when they offer a prompt they expect it to play a prominent role in the piece (oops!).  They summed up their rejection by saying they liked my writing and hoped I’d submit to them again.

Now that’s a lot of information in a five sentence rejection.

One:  I was ecstatic that it wasn’t a form rejection.

Two:  They said what they liked about my piece and complimented my writing- it’s the first validation I have received that confirms I’m not way out of my league.

Three:  They told me why I was rejected and more importantly what it takes to be published with them.  Stick to the prompt.  It is as simple and as difficult as that.

Four: And I’m really excited about this one- they want me to submit to them again so I didn’t screw up too badly.

I would have loved to add “Published Author Extraordinaire” to my list of life’s accomplishments. This year I vow to be the submission queen.  I have four completed novels and a number of shorts that need to find homes.  I plan to rack up the rejections and when I find the right agent/publisher I know it will be because…

A:  I will have followed their submission guidelines carefully.

B: My writing is both interesting and poignant.

C: I will never give up.

My original goal this year was to be agented, sell a novel or rack up 100 rejections.  I’m going to change that to – I will never give hope and will do everything in my power to become a published author.

See what a difference 1 rejection can make?

Now it’s your turn, my faithful followers- what have your rejections taught you?



2 comments on “What Rejections Teach Us

  1. It’s great when you actually get an explanation of why you got rejected. That way you know what needs fixing and what actually does work. Congratulations on the positive comments you got from this rejection letter and I love your enthusiasm!

    I think one of the biggest lessons I learned personally from rejection letters (mostly those that don’t give any further explanation) was that 1) writing is very subjective and there will always be people that like and don’t like what you write (and how you write); and 2) to keep going, to persist and to really use the information you get about why you were rejected (if it’s provided) and fix what needs fixing.

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