I received yet another rejection yesterday, and I’ve got to be honest, it hurts.
You spend all this time, effort, and energy creating something that you think is great, something that is now a part of you. This creation symbolizes a little of who you are as a person, and thus, your value is in some way attached to it.
So you wait for a while, hoping that maybe, just maybe they will like, not what you did, but who you are.
All that, only to receive this or some variation thereof:
“Thanks so much for submitting to ____. Unfortunately, we’re going to have to pass this time, but please try submitting again at a later time.”
It might as well say, “We see you, and we don’t like you. There is very little about your person that we find enjoyable, and therefore we have to say, go away. However, if you feel like coming back anytime soon, we’ll be happy to send you this again.”
Let’s be honest, no one likes rejection. First of all, it’s discouraging. Who would voluntarily sign up to be put down? And how could anyone ever deign to turn down something written by one of us, by Jove?
Well, that’s actually the first reason why rejection is important.
So, in this post-rejected status I now find myself in, I thought it would be fitting to give a few thoughts on why rejection is actually helpful, and even necessary.
1. Rejection motivates.
Sometimes, it’s just downright discouraging, and there have been days when I can’t even write afterwards just because…it hurts. Inevitably though, the clouds clear, and there’s a moment when I realize that maybe there is a little truth in those rejection letters. I am capable of better than that, and it only motivates me to get out there and do it again, and again, and again until I finally make it, and after that, until I’m dead.
2. Rejection makes you a better writer.
Anyone can sit by himself and produce a bunch of mediocre work. And chances are, it will stay that way if no one else reads it. You get better through rejection, provided that there is some sort of reasons given why your work is mediocre. That’s how you get better.
Encouragement is necessary, but criticism makes you better.
3. Rejection keeps you humble.
No matter how much you do it, you’ll always have those rejection letters reminding you of who you are and where you came from. If nothing else, it builds character and makes you tougher. And you know what, people like humility. In fact, the humbler you are, the better chance there is that people actually listen to you. Sure, you can have confidence, but in this industry, you have to earn it.
Finally, misery loves company, as the old adage goes, so post some of your rejection letters or stories in the comments below, and enjoy this list of famous authors and their books that were rejected before being published.
Take heart. If you are truly committed to writing, you will make it eventually.
But only after many rejections.