A Brief Guide to Dealing with Rejection (For Writers)

As a writer, you know that every time you bundle up your book baby, over which you’ve shed blood, whiskey-scented sweat, and tears, and send it out it into the world, the odds of someone dropping it into a dumpster are pretty high. The world is not a safe place for book babies. And this is fine. This is how things should be, right? If every book was accepted and published upon first submission, reading wouldn’t be as fun and, I’m sure, we would have missed out on some amazing books that resulted from writers striving to make their novels even better.

But it still stings. Oh, how it stings!

After receiving a few rejections, I was feeling a little down. Instead of wallowing, I came up with something useful—a short, instructive guide to beating the pain:

1.) Feel your feels.

No matter how often it happens or how expected, rejection hurts, baby. Don’t try to be tough—yet.

2.) Wallow for a bit, but don’t get down on yourself. Rejection can make you question your very purpose in life, but remember:

3.) Have a little fun. Yes, you know that rejection is nothing personal, but sometimes you need to deal with your feelings constructively. Concocting elaborate fantasies about your future as a writer can help. Why, in a few years, who knows where you’ll be…

“Big mistake. Big. Huge. I have to go sell more books now.”

4.) Now, it’s time to get tough. Understand that a few rejections, or even a few dozen, aren’t the death knell of your writing career. They’re motivation to do better. Keep writing and editing, and eventually you’ll achieve your goals. And the more you write, the better you become, so get to work!

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