Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Rejection letter? Here's a Recovery Plan

Let's imagine you've worked on a story for ages. You've made sure the format is exactly what the editor requires. You've practically become cross-eyed looking for typos, misspelled words, and redundant words. You've checked the publisher's guidelines carefully. Finally, you slipped your manuscript into the mailbox, confident that you've presented your best work. Now you've been biting your nails for a couple of months waiting for a response. Today, the letter comes. You open it and you read the dreaded words, "We regret that we cannot accept your manuscript." Your heart sinks. I don't blame you one bit. We've all had that feeling and it's no fun. So what happens next?

  1. Put things in perspective: Okay, it's a huge disappointment, but you're still here. Look out the window. Did the sky fall? I'm pretty sure it's still there. Did the editor tell you to develop the conflict more? Did he/ she say that the plot is good, but the dialogue is boring? You might find some hints about where to start with your revisions. In any case, you can get a fresh start and overhaul the weak areas. 
  2. Take a break: You've suffered a setback, but that's all. The best thing to do is take a short break from writing so you can regain your energy and zest for your work. Remember, if writing is your passion, rejection is part of the  learning process. My dad used to say that no matter how long we rode horses, there was always more to learn. He also knew falling off was part of the deal. That's how you learn what to do to stay on the horse.
  3. It's not a personal insult: The editor only offered his/ her opinion. That's all it is. You know everyone has a right to his/her own view. But it doesn't mean the next person will feel the same. Don' t become discouraged and feel that you have no talent. Sometimes revising a few small things can bring a different result.
  4. You are capable of much more than you ever imagined: I firmly believe that each of us is  capable of accomplishing much more than we believe we can. Think back on all you've done already. You may have overcome all sorts of obstacles and you've endured.
  5. Remember Dr. Suess: Did you know that Dr. Suess received dozens of rejection letters for The Cat in the Hat? It's true. He had to keep searching for the person who recognized his genius. He became world famous for his talents because he believed in his work and he persevered. You can do the same because perseverance is the key to success!


  1. This is great advice! Rejection is never fun, but it's awesome that you can make a positive out of something that seems negative!

    Thank you for the award :)

  2. You're most welcome, Samantha! I'm very happy that the advice was helpful. I think it's important to try to find positive aspects to things. We're much more likely to succeed if we can do that.

  3. Rejection can be hard but it is important to keep going if you believe in your work. You never know what the next agent/publisher might say.

  4. That's very true, Suzanne. You must believe in your abilities and anything is possible.

  5. I didn't know this about Dr. Suess! It's amazing to know how many classics were initially rejected.
    Very inspiring post and great advice for what is definitely one of the hardest things to learn to deal with as writers!

  6. Very true, Julie. Can you believe that when" It's a Wonderful Life" was first released, people didn't respond well to it? Now, it's highly regarded as a classic. We have the DVD and watch it every year.
    Thanks for the compliment on my blog. Rejections really do make us dejected. It's hard to overcome that feeling, but it can be done.

  7. Hi Deanie, it's so nice to meet you on Pinterest. Rejections are always tough, and there is only one antidote: to keep writing and submitting/publishing. Our stories are too important to be silenced by rejections.

  8. Thank you for stopping by my blog, Claudine! It's nice to meet you as well. I also believe that we must persevere if we are to succeed. Best wishes

  9. Loved this post!
    The sky didn't fall ( I think I snorted when I read this line :D)

    Rejection is very difficult to deal with but your wise words really put things into perspective. We must persevere!

    Have a wonderful weekend ;)

  10. So happy you enjoyed it, Katherine! Yes, we must persevere if we want to succeed. Whenever I have a frazzling day, I check on the sky too! D We have to be sure Chicken Little and her friends aren't falling in on us when we're not looking!
    Wishing you a lovely weekend.

  11. Some great advice, is hard but if we look at it as a learning curve, it seems better. Thank you for coming over to my site. It's really nice to meet you :)

  12. You're very welcome, Louise. I like stopping by new sites and meeting new people. Thank you so much for visiting here as well. So glad my advice was helpful. The way you perceive things is so important because if you have a negative view, it's much harder to prevail, I think.