Sunday, January 15, 2012

Moving On From Rejection

failure and not giving up quote

I recently submitted a short story for an anthology and got the e-mail today letting me know that it was not selected. I'll admit, it stings a little. Although I have had a regular article published in a monthly magazine on the subject of health, the writing I would like to see published is my fiction writing. In my first attempt at getting my fiction published, I was rejected. It would have been helpful if a reason had been stated in order to help me to hone my craft, but I wasn't expecting one anyway.

So what am I going to do about it? Am I going to wallow in defeat and decide that my writing isn't worthy enough? Am I going to take it as a sign that I should never even be attempting to write fiction and that I'll never make it as a fiction writer?

Of course not! I will take another look at the short story I wrote and think of ways I can improve it, and then I will move on to the next project in my list of writing projects.

Some points that I think all writers need to learn from rejection are this:

1. All writers receive rejections. Even some of your favorite authors have had their work rejected. That didn't stop them from getting published later.

"No one is asking, let alone demanding, that you write. The world is not waiting with bated breath for your article or book. Whether or not you get a single word on paper, the sun will rise, the earth will spin, the universe will expand. Writing is forever and always a choice - your choice." ~Beth Mende Conny

2. A rejection doesn't mean you are not a good writer. It just means that your writing was not what they were looking for at the time. It might mean you need to improve your writing, but it doesn't mean that your writing has no value.

"If you don't allow yourself the possibility of writing something very, very bad, it would be hard to write something very good." ~Steven Galloway

3. A rejection does not mean that you will never be published. Again, every writer has had their writing rejected at some time. It happens even to the best of writers.

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail." ~Confucius

4. You can learn from failure and grow from it. Take another look at the story you wrote and see if you can figure out where it could have been improved.

"Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning." ~Benjamin Franklin

5. You have only truly failed if you give up. Your writing career is never over until you stop writing, so don't give up!

"Any man who keeps working is not a failure. He may not be a great writer, but if he applies the old-fashioned virtues of hard, constant labor, he'll eventually make some kind of career for himself as writer." ~Ray Bradbury


Justin Bogdanovitch said...

Sorry to hear Rebecca -- some small solace, for us readers, anyway, is we get to read this thoughtful Post on rejection. Your words are inspiring and I hope they inspire you as well . . . The more famous quotes about life, facing adversity, are icing on the cake. Just keep writing: said by Dory's writerly sibling, Tory, who didn't get cast in Finding Nemo, and also suffers from short-term memory loss. May your rejection be forgotten just as quickly!

Becky Fyfe said...

Thanks, Justin! you always know how to make me smile. :)

Nick said...

I get a lot of rejections. Not just in writing, but in jobs and love life. You get used to it. I tell myself that it's not that I'm bad, just that they found someone better. There's always someone more experienced, with higher grades, more handsome, or fewer spelling mistakes. It happens.

So, I dust myself off, take a look at what went wrong, and figure out how to get better. I'll get there eventually.

Becky Fyfe said...

Nick - Exactly how I try and look at it. It is all a learning experience to help me grow in my craft.

Hannah Holt said...

Sorry about your rejection. That always stinks. But I love this post. Thank you and keep on writing!

Becky Fyfe said...

Thanks, Hannah. I couldn't stop writing even if I wanted to anyway. Writing is too much a part of me. :)

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about the rejection but I want to thank you for writing this post, it's an inspiring reminder.

Annie Q.

Julie Hedlund said...

I'm sorry about your rejection, but thank you for writing this inspirational post. I don't know a single writer who has never been rejected. It's not easy, but it's definitely the badge of a "real" writer.

Rena J. Traxel said...

I'm in the same situation. I've made it a goal in 2012, to submit something every week(eventually someone will say yes).