I could tell you “Never give up on your dreams” or “Never give in” but you would sit there and say to yourself “Who are you to tell me what to do, you are not the one struggling”
“Do you think I like rejections?” I can hear the wheels in your head turning.
Guess what rejection is going to happen, it’s what you do with the rejection, either grow stronger or step away. I mean this sincerely, there is going to be rejection no matter what you do.
The job interview you thought went well, instead they give the job to someone else. The date which you thought was awesome, you start planning the next one and it turns out he or she had the most awful time. It’s rejection and its going to hurt.
When you are a writer and start to send what you write out to others to view. You are opening yourself up to an entirely different form of rejection. It is scary but it is something you have to learn to deal with.
Nobody can fault you for what you do when you get that rejection because after all it sucks. You are allowed to react, it doesn’t matter if it’s the first or the last you will still feel it.
There are a few ways you can handle it, first of all cry your eyes out and swear you will never write again. You figure you are not good enough therefore you should quit.
Also the rant and rave angle is a very good choice. This option is when you say things such as “They wouldn’t know good writing if I slapped them upside the head” or my personal favorite “Who the hell made them God?”
There is also the crying and wondering why you even tried, this one has a tissue box and snacks of your choice. It can also involve screaming into your pillow or quite possibly beating the stuffing out of it.
If after receiving a rejection you start to think “Why am I torturing myself this way? I obviously just have no idea what I’m doing. You could start to write short stories, flash fiction which could help you to get you on track again. Submitting short stories is easier than trying to submit a longer story.
You could also ask someone you know and trust to read it. What they can do is tell you where you may have gone wrong. As a writer sometimes it’ hard for us to see what is wrong with what we created simply because we are so close to the story. Other people might be able to spot the incorrect verb usage or god forbid using a crutch word. Yes they do exist and yes we use them trust me on this one. I have a list of ones I use so its a normal thing.
If you start thinking maybe there is something wrong with your plot or characters, you could read some stories, in the genre you are writing it might give you some ideas on how to fix your story or it might show you what people are reading right now.
There are many more things you can do, those are just a couple I can think of off the top of my head. Everyone has their own ways of dealing with rejection. You could do any of these or even a combination of them but once the upset, frustration and anger are over you have 2 choices.
What you need to do after you have had time to process it is think then act accordingly. If the rejection gave you some ideas on how to fix the issues then if you chose to do so you can put those ideas to work. If they simply told you the answer is no, you can either improve it or just send it to someone else.
I have been told things are subjective after all it is human beings you deal with. They have their own feelings, thoughts and emotions. If you think about this way, there are days when you wake up, read what you wrote and think “This is the best thing I have ever written” you also have those days when you read it and think “What utter crap is this.”
I have had so many rejection emails, if I ever wanted to print them out, I would be able stretch them across the world. I admit I get angry, occasionally the wall ends up with a few dents in it.
After I react depending on how close I am to the story. I will either try to fix it or there is a chance I will put it aside for a while then work on something else. It depends on how I feel about the story. I will be honest and say I have a file of stories I started but never finished. I also have stories who have been rejected and they just sit in my computer like lost boys without Peter Pan to lead them.
What I don’t do is give up. If I were to be honest there are days I tell myself it is not worth the fight. I make the decision to stop writing, tell myself I am done but then the urge to write something overwhelms me and I find myself getting excited to try again. You will hear people talk about how hard it is, they are right but what you don’t hear very often is how rewarding it is.
I am not talking about getting the book deal of your dreams, the first check you get that can pay for more than a single cup of coffee. I am talking about how what you do means something to someone.
That is what I find rewarding which is why I will never give up. I may never be a New York times best selling Author but if one day someone says to me “What you wrote touched my heart or scared me out of my wits” this will be all the reward I need.
If you have a dream, just keep going after all rejection will come and go but the dream. The dream is why you keep going. No matter how hard it may get you just have to keep going. Every word you write, every song you sing brings more beauty into this world that wasn’t there before.
Kim Plasket is a Jersey girl at heart relocated to sunny Florida. She enjoys writing mainly horror and paranormal stories and lives with her husband and 2 kids. When she is not slaving away at her day job, she can be found drinking coffee with fellow author Valerie Willis and planning the demise of some poor character. Currently she has several short stories featured in anthologies such as ‘Demonic Wildlife’ and ‘The Hunted’, also has a story in an Anthology Titled Fireflies and Fairy dust with more to come.
You can follow her work on Amazon.