Writers Tell All: How We Overcome Rejection

We’ve all been there. That time our dream agent turned down the manuscript we worked on for years. Or when a beta reader said the book wasn’t worth publishing.

Some days it’s hard to hold on to the dream.

Looking for encouragement? A reason to keep writing? You’ve come to the right place. I asked members of the writing community to share how they overcome discouragement and rejection.

“By writing. Thousands and thousand of words, sometimes another two or three novels. Five, ten thousand words per session. Immerse myself — tune out the writing world. Then go back and reread my rejected stories and love and lose myself in them all over again. I write for me.” –J.J. Pitts

“I keep writing. Acceptance is not my goal, writing is my goal. Every time I write I succeed.”  –Brian Lee Meyer

“The road to becoming a published author is a long and winding one, and every author knows that it is all about embracing the journey. This journey includes the rejections, but the rejections can be a positive if we allow them to make us better; it’s all about growth!” –Tamara Canty

“I balance it out with encouragement. Also, I search for anything constructive I can find in the rejection. Failure makes a great teacher for those with thick skin.” –Shiloh White

“You just have to keep working on it. You can take a break, rant, have down moments, but you also have to continue going at it. Practice, practice, practice.” —Krystle Kwiatkowski

“Tempting though it may be, I’m not writing for the recognition. Pay, applause, awards. Sure, it might be fabulous. It also might not be. I’m writing because it’s in my heart to do it. My teacher once said, ‘The yoga is not better closer to the ground,’ and ‘So you did a handstand; don’t congratulate yourself for it.’ We’re here for the journey, not the destination. That way, I could be rejected forever and I would still have lived my dream.”–Hannah J. Fritz

 “Attend at least one writers conference a year. Be around other writers, learn new things about your craft and publishing. Stay connected and energized so you keep writing.  Always.” –Jess Witkins

“Put the project down, work on something new and then come back.” –James C. Glass

“I put the rejection in my rejection file folder, close the folder and put it away. As for rejection emails, well, I keep meaning to make a folder for them (probably a good idea), but as it is now I just let them disappear into the feed.” –Gillian M. Kendall

“I like to remind myself of how subjective this industry is and check out litrejections for motivation — because even the best writers have gotten tons of rejections. I also re-evaluate if I need to, and try to improve somehow before making my next move.” —R. A. Campbell

“I put away whatever rejection I got and I go eat chocolate and take a bubble bath. Then when I’m feeling okay again, I revisit the rejection and try to learn from it. It’s tough sometimes, but there’s usually *something* to get from it.” –Sofiya Pasternack

“I just remind myself that what one person hates, another loves. And when that doesn’t work, I read through some of the positive comments and love I’ve gotten in the past. Takes the sting right out.” –Amanda Witow

“I just keep going. If it seems one MS isn’t getting anywhere, I put it aside and start a new project, and with everything I write, I try to better myself.” –TK White

How do you overcome rejection? Share in the comments! 

4 thoughts on “Writers Tell All: How We Overcome Rejection

Add yours

  1. Yesssssssss. I love all of these, but I think I most agree with Tamara Canty. I think rejection is just something that’s a part of this writer life. And it can be constructive! Always something to learn.

    Gillian M. Kendall keeps her rejections. I like that. I have an email file folder called “Risk Nothing, Win Nothing.” And I try super hard to celebrate a rejection. Why? Because someone took the time to actually tell me that I was rejected. It’s the silence (no response) that echos loudest for me.

    Liked by 1 person

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