Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Dreaded Rejection Letter

Couple of days ago, I got a dreaded rejection letter for a fantasy short-story. URGH!! Coming home from work and looking at post, that's the last thing you want to see. Of course, no one wants to see rejection. Yet, every book published on writing says that unless you can handle rejection, you shouldn't get into this industry. So how do I feel about receiving rejection?
  • Fortunately, I happen to be creative but also practical (in some things) and stubborn, so when I see a rejection letter, I don't fall into despair. Of course I do feel bad, and for a short while I do feel a bit down, but it doesn't effect my general happiness level. Though mind you, I have only seen a couple of rejection letters so far so not sure what might happen if that lasts too long.
  • I am realistic about the magazines I submit too. This particular story was submitted to a top magazine so obviously chances of rejection are higher.
  • This letter was typed, but not form rejection. So for some strange reason, that felt slightly better.
  • Generally though, I am of the opinion that as an unpublished author this is a learning stage. Each rejection letter also says that I managed to sit down and complete a story. I found a market and I submitted it.
  • And of course now there is nothing stopping me from revising it and sending it to another magazine and see how things go...

How do you handle rejection?


  1. I won't go on about how I handle it, since I did a post recently. But I'm sorry it happened to you. Keep your chin up and keep submitting.

  2. I haven't had the "pleasure" yet - sorry to hear about yours.

    When I was in sales, we were taught that we should actively try to get 100 "no's", because the next answer would statistically be a "yes". I don't know how true that is, but that's the attitude I'm going to try to adopt with rejections. I have a wall picked out to hang my rejection letters on - my goal is to collect 100. :-)

  3. I'm afraid of rejection. Shoot, I'm afraid of everything! That's why I don't even use my real name. :(
    I'm having a hard time submitting let alone being rejected.
    Keep up the good work. You're my inspiration!

  4. Eric, great post on your blog. sorry read it in a hurry in lunch time so no time to comment.

    Jamie, I like the idea. I have read similar things that the more you submit, higher your chances. That of course makes sense, because I believe with each story you complete, you are improving your skills. That's the idea behind the monthly challenge.

    more...assuming you are not writing something people would want to kill you for, work up the nerve to use your real name. There is a great satisfaction in seeing your name in print.

  5. Which magazine? I submitted some Science Fiction short stories recently. No word back yet, but I'm hopeful (probably too much so).

  6. Great attitude! And the right one.

    How do I handle it? Usually know that either my story wasn't good enough or that it simply wasn't what the ed was looking for.

    Still makes me sad sometimes though, but as you rightly mentioned, it is part and parcel of the industry.

    Great blog btw!


  7. "Each rejection letter also says that I managed to sit down and complete a story. I found a market and I submitted it."

    This is the first mountain, for sure. Rejection becomes easier the more you send out. And there is that day when a different letter arrives. Not often, but every once in a while. Sounds like you are on your way.