Perseverance & Rejection

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Writing is fun. Writing is in your blood. You don’t know what else you would do. Writing sucks. It’s repetitive, lonely, sometimes even soul crushing. You wonder if you will ever sell your work. Welcome to the roller coaster that is life as a writer.

Every writer deals with the same emotions. We have a need to write but are also driven crazy by the process. Of course, writing is just the start. Rewriting is much more important. “Persevere,” we tell ourselves. There is light at the end of the tunnel. Which, if you are writing a novel, is unfortunately quite a long ways indeed.

Let’s say you wrote something. Great! Now you have to sell the shit out of it. And you thought writing was hard? Selling is worse. The bigger the project – or the bigger the publication you pitch – the higher the likelihood of rejection. Over and over again, like the world’s worst wash cycle. All that work and it might end up as nothing? “Ugh,” you think. What a waste.

My advice to writers is get used to it. Form letter rejection is just a fact of life for writers. If you do get feedback, parse every word because that means the reader valued what you were doing. Maybe it was not what they cover or maybe they had just published a similar story. Timing is just as important as quality of work – sometimes you  just have to be lucky. The key to success is developing the thick skin needed to bounce back from rejection. We won’t all end up like J.K. Rowling, to cite one famous example of repeated rejection, but all writers can appreciate her dogged devotion to publishing Harry Potter.

Just stick at it and let the no’s slide off your back. You just need one yes!

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On November 8, 2015

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