Dealing with Rejection When You’re a Writer

You didn’t get the loan. We’re giving the job to someone else. I don’t think we should see each other anymore.

We’ve all dealt with some form of rejection in our lives. So what gets us down but keeps us going when we get one of those paper-thin envelopes from a publisher?

Easy. When a publisher says, “No,” it’s not a rejection. It’s a phrase worth repeating. When a publisher says, “No,” it’s not a rejection.

A “rejection letter” isn’t a direct slap in your face. You’re not being rejected. Your work isn’t something they’re looking for. It’s that simple. It has nothing to do with you as a person. Many people lose sight of their goals because they feel they’re not worthy as a writer. Ultimately, they give up. Big mistake.

First, you have to consider that a publisher’s needs varies so many times throughout the year. While they may be looking for a mystery manuscript today, tomorrow they might be searching for a good romance.

Your book being published doesn’t depend solely on the right time, right place theory, though. But it’s a definite factor to keep in mind.

Next, you should take an optimistic approach to getting your book published. When you receive a letter, it’s a verified form that you are – indeed – a writer. Your work is worth submitting and you’re taking the appropriate steps to make your publishing dream come true. Persistence really will pay off.

Don’t let temptation win. Many writers don’t send out their work because they’re so afraid of getting that loathed form letter in the mail.

A lot of a writer’s challenge is completely mental. Just remember, every published author was – at some point – an unpublished author.

There are plenty of reasons you might not get a wonderful piece of news from a certain publisher. Perhaps your manuscript isn’t in tip-top shape. Your work may be too short or too long for the publisher’s needs. Maybe you went one direction and they preferred the other.

It doesn’t mean your work stinks or belongs in a lit fireplace. The reasons should drive you, not discourage you.

One way to avoid the pitfalls of not knowing what a publisher likes to take on is to do a little digging. Research the types of books they like to publish, how many titles a year they put in print and even what types of authors they publish.

You may send your manuscript to 20 publishers (or more) before you see your work in print. But it only takes one. Just one publisher can turn your manuscript into a published book.

Still pessimistic? Sure, it’s easy to avoid submitting your work. Why bother? Publishers probably just laugh at your envelope when they read your return address, right?

The less you submit your work, the less chance you have of seeing it in print…unless you’re the next Einstein and your work is discovered after your death. Highly unlikely.

Failure keeps most writers skeptical and skittish. Too afraid to send out their work. Having your work on someone else’s table makes you feel vulnerable.

But feelings have to be shelved when you submit your manuscript. It’s the people who have a long-term desire to succeed who will become the next great author.

Writing is just like any other craft. The more you work at it – through reading, writing and submitting – the more capable and prepared you are to submit a manuscript a publisher will snatch up!