Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Rejections and New Beginnings

When I downloaded the list of email messages this morning that arrived while I was snoozing last night, my eye skipped right to the two labled Submission. My heart skipped a beat. What editor had sent them? Was it acceptance or rejection? I opened the first one to find that the children's story I'd sent to Cadet Quest in February had not been accepted. Same with the second one.

Not the way to begin my day. That was my first thought. Second thought was I really hate rejection!

I have written many a blog post about how we need to learn and grow as writers when our work is rejected. I've written that maybe the story had great merit but just was not right for the place it was sent or the editor had recently published something similar. I've written that we must not take it to heart when we are rejected. That we should spend some time reading our submission again and see if we can figure out why it didn't make it. Then, we should try to do some revising and editing to make it a better story.

Yes, I wrote all those things and I believe them but rejection still puts a pall on our day. It tells me I've failed in some way. That's the clue but not the answer.

As for revisions and editing the failed submission, my best advice is this. Don't do it the same day as the rejection arrived. Your outlook is bound to be 100% subjective at that time. Give it a rest and do your review several days from now, even a week later. You'll be past the Oh, poor me! stage and can look with a more objective eye.

After you do your revisions, you can start looking for a new market. Or you can file the story and wait until a market pops up that might fit what you've written. We all have mental files of the pieces we've written. When we note a new market in a writer's newsletter, our mind flips through those files to let us know that we have something that might fit.

The one thing you do not want to do is to give up on the story that was rejected, to not ever send it out again because one editor didn't want it. That's giving up! In your writing journey giving up should not be a factor. We all need to meet those bumps in the road, then move past them and keep going.

Each time you do that, you have the possibility of a new beginning. Yes, keep those older stories in circulation as often as you can but move on to starting somethng brand new. There is nothing more inspiring to a writer than beginning a brand new project. Our enthusiasm is tenfold that of marketing some of our old things.

What new beginning will you have during this month of May? Have you been inspired? Are you mentally working on the project before you actually start writing? Does the new project excite you? Does it scare you because of its enormity? Are you eager to get started?

If you have a new project in mind, you're one of the fortunate writers. It's exciting to take those first steps on something new.

Maybe I need to start a new story to soothe the double rejection I received earlier today. Push it behind me and get excited about something brand new. Later, I'll look at those stories that didn't make it and see if I can figure out why they were rejected. Not today!


  1. Word! I recycle, recycle, recycle...and the orphans finally get adopted. Thanks for this piece. I've had those "two rejections in one day" several times...and then I submit again.

    1. Yes, many of those rejected end up being accepted later. Just gotta find the right place!