Writers need to deal with rejection. The industry we work in is subjective and competitive. Striving for greatness comes at a cost, usually to our pride.
Recognition is important for everyone. Unfortunately artists tend to get the least amount, unless you’ve made it to the top. I haven’t I’m still way down in the trenches, striving for that elusive goal of being appreciated for my craft.
I submitted my debut novel to ten agents. At the time my writing was the best I could achieve. So I sent my book baby off and used my excited/ anxious energy into creating the second in the series. Four months later, that driving force of anticipation had manifested into book two of The Shadow Knight Series. Amazing.
When all of the submissions came back with a polite ‘Not what we’re looking for.’ or ‘We don’t think your material is the right fit for us.’ I took a look at my submission package.
I was surprised to find my writing had improved. I cringed at my old material. The rejections morphed with my inner critical voice and attacked. We’ve all been there and it’s brutal. Rejection hurts. We get stressed out, upset and frustrated. That’s a useful tool.
This is where rejection can actually be useful. The driving force behind the hurt and disappointment allows us to re-evaluate and try again.
Remember: Successful people have made it because they didn’t give up.
Fear not, with the right mind-set and some initiative and introspect we can turn things around. By taking control of the situation, we can turn that negativity into something positive. Next time we’ll do better, or learn to be better. This isn’t the end of the road, it’s a bump in the path.
To paraphrase Samuel Beckett: fail again, fail better.
I revised the first 10,000 words, three more times. I’m confident that at this moment in time I have done my best. Who knows, maybe after revising book two, I’ll realise that I’ve grown some more. That can only be a good thing.
Keep going. Have faith and above all else believe in yourself.
Have you learnt any valuable lessons from rejection? If so, tell me about them. We’re all in this together and I’d love to hear from you.