I once heard a very successful writer say that she had gotten so many rejections for her work that she had enough rejection slips to wallpaper her entire office! Of course, I laughed at the comment, but as I thought more about it, I realized something.
Let’s assume that this writer got one acceptance for every forty-nine rejections. That may be stretching it, but maybe not. So, for every fifty manuscripts she submitted, only one was accepted.
Now let’s assume that she needed 49,000 rejection slips to paper her office walls. That means she had to have submitted 50,000 manuscripts in order to have enough rejection slips to cover all four of her office walls.
That’s a lot of rejection slips!
Remember I also said she is a “very successful” writer. This means that she eventually published a lot in a lot of places. It also means that she did not let rejection slips deter her from fulfilling her dream.
Rejection happens to all of us. But it’s not what happens to us that matters; it’s how we respond to what happens to us. Rejection is part of the writing life. An occupational hazard, I like to call it.
If we allow rejection to get us down, then we won’t make it as writers. But if we view rejection for what it is—an editor’s decision to decline our writing, not a statement of our worth as a person—then rejection can actually become a steppingstone to our writing success.
The way you handle rejection will have a profound effect on your success as a writer.
What about you? How do you handle rejection slips? How do you handle rejection in general?