Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Writer's Wednesday: Coping With Rejection

Over the summer, my family traveled to Las Vegas (and SouthDakota) to visit family.  While I was in Vegas, my mom asked me to sing with the women’s ensemble at her church.  Funnily enough, the sermon was about coping with rejection.

Of course, as a writer, my mind immediately connected the pastor’s points to writing and all the rejection we deal with as writers.

He gave three ways to cope with rejection: Realism, Reinforcements, and Refuge.

Realism:  Rejection happens.  It happens to everyone—even the best of the best.  I mean, if J.K. Rowling got rejected?  Then, yeah, I’m pretty sure EVERYONE can expect some.  So, expect it.  It is coming in some form or fashion, and you will have to deal with it.

Reinforcements:  You can’t do it alone.  Every successful writer out there had help.  Just look at a few Acknowledgement pages in your favorite novels.  All those people the author mentions?  REINFORCEMENTS.  Become part of a community or critique group of people who can help you get better and see your work more clearly than you can by yourself.

Refuge:  Sometimes the rejection becomes too much.  It’s okay.  Everyone has had a rejection that hurt more than the rest.  Or got overwhelmed by too much of it.  So take refuge.  Get away from the rejection for a while.  Go participate in another hobby.  Get out of the house.  Or, you know, watch all five seasons of PSYCH on DVD.  ;)

So how do you cope with rejection?  I tend to be fairly pragmatic, so Realism seems to be my default, although I have had to turn to my reinforcements or my refuge.  Or PSYCH.  :P


  1. All three of these things are so important - great post, Larissa!

  2. Great points. I think I'm at times hesitant to draw on the support available from my two crit groups, worrying that I'll be thought a whiner. But even our friends can't always tell that we're huring unless we let them know.

  3. Yep! I'm right there with all of these. It's curious isn't it that writers (generally) are sensitive, caring, often quiet souls and yet they put themselves into path of Rejection all the time. Glad you sang in the choir.

  4. Yeah, I got a bunch of rejections this summer and I actually DID watch all 5 seasons of Psych to cope. Thank god for Netflix!

    The other thing I do when I get rejected is immediately work on my query letter to prepare for the next agent. I know that it can always be improved, and that the best way to get published is to push myself to keep going. No point in moping.

  5. I go the realism route. It still hurts, sure, but I know we all have different opinions. And I frequently remind myself of that :).

  6. I tend to be realistic, too. I'm never really crushed by a rejection--okay, maybe once in a while. But mostly I know I'm going to get rejections before I find an acceptance. I just keep writing and working on other things so I don't stress over any one MS.


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