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Every once in a while, I’ll get an e-mail from writers who say they’re having trouble with rejection, or scared of rejection, or getting tired of rejection, etc. These are feelings, I think, that just about every writer can identify with. After all, rejection is never easy to handle, especially over and over and over again.
Unfortunately, if you’re a writer, that’s too bad.
I hate to sound callous or cold, because I get it. I do. I’ve dealt with close to a decade of writing-related rejection and I expect more in my future. Rejection sucks. It’s exhausting and eats away at your confidence and motivation and it’s really hard.
It’s also inevitable.
The truth is, for writers, rejection never goes away. Not after you get an agent. Not after you get your first book published (or publish it yourself). Not after you publish five, ten, twenty novels. Rejection will always be a part of the writing life. Always.
Before you get an agent, rejection will come from agents in answer to query letters. Many writers see hundreds of rejections before they sign with an agent. It’s normal. It sucks. It’s reality.
After you get an agent and you go on submission, rejection will come from editors in answer to submissions. Many writers wait for months and see rejection after rejection before they sell their book. Some writers don’t sell their first book on submission at all. It’s normal. It sucks. It’s reality.
After you get a book deal or self-publish your first book, rejections will come from readers in the form of bad reviews. All writers get bad reviews. Many of them. It’s normal. It sucks. It’s reality.
It doesn’t matter how successful you are, or how many books you publish, or how popular your books become—rejection doesn’t stop. And yes, it’s hard, but the truth is, one way or another, writers just have to learn how to deal with it. That’s really all there is to it.
The good news is other writers understand. When you get agented, your agent understands. There are people around you who you can go to when rejection starts to feel like too much, when it weighs you down and makes it hard for you to continue.
But most importantly, I think, is to remember you’re not alone. All writers deal with rejection over and over and over again. And while it’s absolutely hard to handle, I like to think that with a little support and a lot of determination, it’s manageable. Eventually, at least.
What do you think?
"The truth is, for writers, rejection never goes away." (Click to tweet)
Having trouble with rejection? @Ava_Jae shares her thoughts on this inevitable part of the writing life. (Click to tweet)