ten ways to overcome rejection – #WhatImWriting

Chrissie is hosting ‘What I’m Writing’ this week so if you’re looking to link up please head over to Muddled Manuscript – thanks!
tryptich 5Rejection. *Sigh.* It’s no fun is it? No fun at all. Nope.

But writers have to accept and expect rejection and not let it get us down. So I thought I’d share what I’ve learnt. Here are my:

Ten Top Tips For Getting Over (Writing) Rejections.

1. Your work has been rejected? Congratulations! This means you are officially a writer! You see, writers get rejected all the time. One of the first pieces of knowledge I ever absorbed about writing-as-a-career was ‘expect rejection – lots of it.’ So yeah: I write + one of my submissions has been rejected = I am a writer. Ace. Badge of honour, that. Hold your head high, my friend.

2. Music. Music heals the soul. For me it’s Nat King Cole. I’m writing this in December but even if it’s not December when I listen to him sing, it FEELS like Christmas in the very best way. Crap day? Put Nat King Cole on and all’s well with the world. Play your songs, people, play your songs.

3. Remember, it’s just one person’s opinion of one thing you wrote. It’s not what everyone thinks. It doesn’t mean you’re wrong/crap/talentless it just means that one person said no. To one thing. ONE THING. ONE PERSON. Since when did one person’s opinion of one thing matter so much to you? Exactly.

4. Some distractingly good telly. I would say ‘read a book’ but you might be feeling sensitive about the written word at the moment so lets look at the good old goggle-box instead. Comedy is good. I’m a ‘Parks and Recreation’ fan right now although we’re also rediscovering ‘Kath and Kim’ which is awesome. Or there’s always ‘The West Wing': Brilliant, funny, intelligent and the characters love each other in a way that warms the heart. Heart warming is good for combatting rejection, I find.

5. Mulled wine. Ahhhhh. My husband bought some mulling, spicy syrup thing that you add to red wine and heat up. I’m drinking a mug of it as I type this. By ‘eck it’s strong (so strong my Yorkshire roots are starting to assert themselves). It’s already gone to my knees (don’t know about you but alcohol always affects my knees first) and is gently worming it’s way round my brain as we speak. Rejection? Pah. Yum. Tee hee.

6. Children, family, friends – they still think you’re amazing. They still believe in you. If someone rejected something one of them wrote, what would you say to them? Say it to yourself. You know you’re right.

7. The natural world. It’s vast and stunning and puts everything into perspective. Go for a walk, breathe some fresh air, look at a lovely view or some beautiful old trees. Feel the disapointment melt into ‘meh’.

8. A really good satsuma. Not a euphemism – I really do love citrus fruit.

9. A really good satsuma. A euphemism. (sorry – husband poured me a second mug of wine – I really am quite drunk now.)

10. Look… I mean listen… I mean read… read this. YOU ARE A WRITER AND YOU CAN WRITE.  Carry on writing, carry on submitting and you will get there. YOU WILL.

I’ve drunk too much mulled wine to continue now. Over and out.

Muddled Manuscript

28 thoughts on “ten ways to overcome rejection – #WhatImWriting

  1. mummyshambles

    Loved this!
    I’m not a ‘writer’ but I love to write, well, type stuff lol
    My son is an actor and he has to deal with lots of rejection. Hard at first but he’s OK with it now. Rejection is part of life. It’s not a nice feeling to be rejected, whether it’s for a job or anything else but it has it’s purpose.
    It also helps to remember that a rejection (or many) isn’t always a measure of talent.
    “We are not interested in science fiction which deals with negative utopias. They do not sell.”
    This was one of numerous publishers who rejected Stephen King’s novel, Carrie.
    I rest my case. :)
    Good post. X

    Reply
    1. Maddy Post author

      What a brilliant quote – thanks so much for sharing! JK Rowling was rejected loads before finding a publisher for Harry Potter too. I guess the overall message is to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and never give up.

      Also, for what it’s worth, you have a blog and you love writing – I think you can call yourself a writer! Thanks for commenting. xxx

      Reply
  2. Mummy Tries

    Love your stance on this one Maddy! Ahhh mulled wine, I could console myself with that all day long if I got half the chance (which I don’t very often as hubby HATES the stuff). I’m sure someone will snap up your fab work soon enough my dear xxx

    Reply
  3. Adria J. Cimino

    I love this post… It is hard to deal with rejection even after you get used to it! We put so much of ourselves into our writing that rejection often feels like a slap in the face. But I think these tips are really smart and fun. I’ll keep them in mind.

    Reply
    1. Maddy Post author

      Thanks Adria – yes, thats exactly it – you can’t write without putting your heart and soul into it (not something that you’re happy submitting anyway) which makes a rejection really hurt! But that’s life – no use giving up! Thanks for commenting. xx

      Reply
    1. Maddy Post author

      Thanks Chrissie. I have to admit I was chuckling away over the ‘satsuma’ thing. I was delightfully drunk at the time! Putting something out there is hard, so rejection is too but ‘that which doesn’t kill us makes us stronger’… xx

      Reply
  4. Rachael

    Lol! Brilliant post. I actually expect rejection (oh I’ve had a few…!) so if I get any sort of feedback other than ‘No, sorry,’ I do a happy dance!

    The best TV for me is Scandal. Makes me forget everything as I get so involved. And Shona Rhimes’ writing inspires me.

    By the way, I have a poem called ‘I dream of tangerines.’ It’s not a euphemism but everyone thinks it is. So I get the satsuma thing, I think..! ;-)

    Reply
    1. Maddy Post author

      Oh I like the idea of useful feedback accompanying a ‘no’ making you happy! I’ll take that on board. And I’ll check out Scandal and Shona Rhimes.

      I’d love to hear/read your tangerine poem! I genuinely do love a good juicy satsuma – and they’re full of vitamin C which is good for you. But I can’t help but giggle at the words ‘good juicy satsuma’, it just sounds so euphemistic so I can see why people might think that of your poem! Thanks for commenting and I’m so glad you’ve linked up with #WhatImWriting for the first time! xx

      Reply
  5. Iona@redpeffer

    I find pretty much any alcohol helps the pang of rejection slightly easier to take! And I’m in total agreement about music and friends/family too. No is just a small setback, it’s not the final word-at least that’s what I tell myself at any rate :)

    Reply
    1. Maddy Post author

      You are right Iona – it is certainly not the final word! Imagine all the books that would never have been published if every writer decided to give up at the first rejection! We’ll get there! Thanks for commenting. xx

      Reply
  6. MrsRobinson

    I’m a new writer and expect that point 3 is the most important to remember – it’s just one person’s opinion of one thing you wrote – I’m convinced that rejection of a piece of writing is most often to do with the piece not fitting the taste/requirements of the editor which is perfectly understandable. Anything we send off usually has to fit the context in which we want to publish.

    Reply
  7. Carol Cameleon

    Oh yes the good old ‘comfort’ list for when rejection strikes! Mulled wine though… eugh, no thanks. I don’t do booze anymore but then again I could possibly be persuaded by a baileys ;) Dam you rejection! #whatimwriting

    Reply
    1. Maddy Post author

      Baileys is too sweet for me… although that makes no sense since mulled wine is sweet and I love that! Rejection sucks but at least there are plenty of comforts around. Thanks Carol. x

      Reply
  8. Sophie Lovett

    Awesome post. Lessons for writing and for life I reckon. I am such a hopeless perfectionist that I have to give myself a stern talking to whenever I’m facing any kind of rejection, but certainly in this writing journey it is an inevitable and very necessary step on the journey to success! That’s what I’m going to keep telling myself anyway… Now where’s that mulled wine..? xx

    Reply
    1. Maddy Post author

      Thanks Sophie! Yes we have to expect rejection but we also have to hope, otherwise we could never make any submissions, and unfortunately hope leaves us open to feeing slapped in the face by rejection. But there’s no other way! I like the idea of rejection paving the way to success though – nice one. xx

      Reply
  9. Nicola Young

    It is horrible to think that you put so much of yourself into your writing and then you spend ages plucking up the courage to show people only to have them turn you down. What a thing to put yourself through – we must be crazy. Pour me a glass please!
    Love this tongue and cheek look at the whole process though. Well done you.

    Reply
  10. Emily Organ

    Yes to all these. And don’t forget that even when you get accepted and then that dream book deal and get published – you’ll then get bad reviews! You need very thick skin to be a writer (which many writers don’t have) and your list of coping strategies is great. Mine is pretty similar. And I love Parks and Recreation. I watch Father Ted and Blackadder as pick me ups too.

    Reply
    1. Maddy Post author

      So true about the bad reviews thing! Yes, we need to be able to cope with all manner of criticism of our literary ‘babies’. I love Father Ted – one of my all time favourite comedies! Thanks for commenting Emily. xx

      Reply
  11. Helen

    Lovely and honest and affirming and heart-warming, thank you. I particularly like the advice to look at what you would say to loved ones in this situation – of course you would still think they were the best thing ever. No stranger’s rejection of me (ok, my work) can take away from my children’s devotion to me and conviction that I’m the centre of the world – that’s such a useful perspective.
    I also like the sound of the mulled wine syrup – this may be what I need.

    Reply
    1. Maddy Post author

      Thanks Helen! I have to say, the comments on this post – such as your lovely one – are very good for helping rejection-blues too! The mulled wine syrup is from Lakeland and it’s really good. Thanks for commenting, I’ll pop over and visit your blog. x

      Reply
  12. Pingback: The highs and lows of writing | Emily Organ, writer

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