How to Handle Rejection

On top of blogging and freelance work, I have been working on books throughout this year. I have received three offers of publication, but each time I have been offered split cost publishing, something I am not interested in.

About two weeks ago, I sent my latest piece to agents and publishers. I was (and still am) really proud of it and I had received incredibly positive feedback from the friends and fellow writers I let read it. I sent my pitch and the first three chapters off feeling excited, only to wake up the next day to two rejections.

It stung.

I know that rejections are part of being a writer, that writing is subjective, that publishing houses are reluctant to take on new authors who don’t have a huge online presence and that these days it is harder than ever to get your work noticed at all, never mind published, but it still hurt. Having such high hopes for something and knowing how much time and effort you put into it makes rejection hard to take.

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We get told to be grateful for rejections, that they are meant to happen for a reason. I have tried to tell myself things like they might not be the right agent or publisher for me, something better might come along, there are many replies I am still waiting on and so on – but, to be honest, the words felt empty. I didn’t want to pick myself up… I wanted to feel sad.

I think it’s important to allow yourself time to be upset about rejection. So often we get advice like ‘chuck it in the fuck it bucket’ and told that we should ‘get over’ things, and eventually we should, but not without processing your upset first.

Because let’s be honest – rejections hurt.

For me, it was important that I allowed myself time to be upset. I needed to sit with my disappointment before pulling myself together again. We can’t be happy and motivated all the time. Sometimes, life’s bullets strike deep. That’s not something to gloss over or ignore, but something to deal with.

Since I had my wallowing moment of upset, I have carried on. I have continued to write for pleasure and for work purposes. I have sent my work off to more agents and publishers and am waiting on responses that can take up to 90 days. There are many publishers and agents I have still to hear from. If every single reply is a rejection I’ll be crushed, but at least I’ll have gone for it… how many people can say that about their dreams?

So the next time you get a rejection or go through a hard time, don’t push yourself to ‘get over it’ because you think it’s what you’re meant to do. If you’re sad, be sad. If you’re disappointed, be disappointed.

But eventually, you’ll see it as just another part of your story. Eventually you will get over it, dust yourself off and try again. That’s the beauty of rejections – they’re just new opportunities in disguise.

If you like what you have read, why not follow me at @thegoodineverydayblog?

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