The Power of Thick Skin

If I were to name the one key necessity for a writer, I would say “thick skin.”  What do I mean? I mean the ability to view rejection not as a sign of failure but as a steppingstone to success. 

All writers will eventually encounter rejection. It’s part of the business, an occupational hazard. If a writer is not prepared to face and handle rejection, she will have a hard time making it as a writer. 

But what if you are a very sensitive person by nature? What can you do to develop thick skin? 

Well, first of all, most of writers are sensitive people. Sensitivity usually goes with being an artist.  But all writers can develop thick skin by applying the following points:

  • Do not equate rejection of your writing with rejection of you as a person.
  • Do not view rejection of your writing as an indication of your writing future.
  • Do not think of rejection as a sign that you are not cut out to be a writer. 

We’ve all heard the dictum, if you’re going to do something worthwhile, do it well.  I would posit another dictum: If you’re going to do something worthwhile, don’t be afraid to do it poorly at first.  

No writer I know started out as an outstanding writer.  Each one had to learn through practice. We too have to pay our dues as we learn to master our craft.  Part of paying our dues is enduring rejection. 

As you apply the tips above, you will find that your skin has grown thick and rejection doesn’t hurt as much.  You will know that you have developed thick skin when you receive a rejection and think, “Wow!  I’m another step closer to an acceptance!” 

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2 thoughts on “The Power of Thick Skin

  1. Thank you for the post. It’s a great reminder. Your three points are great but unfortunately, rather hard to do! It’s so hard to disconnect writing from your person when you have poured so much into it. But as you say, it’s important to look upon rejection as a chance to grow and get better and come that much closer to your goal!

    December 7, 2011 at 3:40 PM

    • You are welcome, Gillian. Thank YOU for your valuable comments. Yes, it can be difficult to disconnect writing from who you are, but once you do so, you will experience amazing freedom in the face of rejection. You have worth simply because God created you, not because you are a writer.

      I pray His blessings upon you as you keep pursuing your dreams and goals.

      December 7, 2011 at 3:51 PM