Rejected Not Dejected

One of the first things I was told by a published author upon declaring myself  a writer was, “Expect to be rejected 90% of the time.” 

I was offended. I thought he was telling me that he’s a better writer than I. Not so. He was mentoring me. He was warning me to toughen up if I wanted to see my writing published. He was right. Rejection is not only a reality in the publishing world it’s a  fact of life. It happens as often as sh*t happens. Survivors carry on. Writers who believe in themselves continue to submit their work. You probably understand that intellectually. That doesn’t stop it from hurting. It doesn’t keep the self-doubt at bay. 

What  may help is an occasional reminder that even those blessed with success face rejection in one form or another.  I invite you to drop in each day, starting July 5, 2010,  to share a bit of schadenfreude with me as I find hope in the knowledge that someone, somewhere, is dealing with a rejection worse than the form letter lurking in my  mailbox.

“I take rejection as someone blowing a bugle in my ear to wake me up and get going, rather than retreat.”


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4 Responses to “Rejected Not Dejected”

  1. Kathy Otten Says:

    Hi Bobbi,
    I think sometimes that fear of rejection keeps me from stepping out of my comfort zone and trying tougher markets.
    I guess the worst rejection I ever got was to have ‘No Thanks’ scrawled across the back of my SASE and mailed to me eight months after my query.

  2. amandacrossley Says:


    I got two form letters. But my writer’s group is way tougher than that. I felt like I had had my skin peeled off slowly when they were done. That is not to say that they were not correct and didn’t shed light on the two previous rejections. But your right you have to put the feelings aside. I really had to work that night for “they are talking about the work not me.” Because I take things too personally most of the time. But you can’t survive that way.
    I realize that publishers and agents are looking for a certain thing give or take a little. The question then becomes to you write what sells, stay to your vision or find something in the middle.
    I write epic fantasy a genera I have been told numerous times is bloated and not taking on much new material except YA which I’m not interested in. But I know that like me there are readers out there who like the whole story not just a quick romp. So, I listen to my group and I read other people’s stuff to keep in touch but I’m not turning YA just because its hot. I know I can sense the authors dedication and integrity when I read and I can also tell who chopped their work for said number of words.
    Hummm…rambling a bit. To bring it back. I think if you care about your work rejection will always sting but it doesn’t have to erode your self worth or belief in your abilities. You have to know that it is just a part of the job. I taught high school for seven years before deciding to write full time. My first year of teaching I cried when the kids cursed me out or said I was a bad teacher. But I grew and realized that teenage emotions had nothing to do with me teaching ability. Its the same thing.

  3. Jim Rada Says:

    When I started writing, I used to get form letters as a form of rejection. When I started getting short, handwritten notes on the form letter, I considered it progress. Then I started getting rejection letters specifically tailored to me. Again progress. Finally, I started getting accepted. I wonder how many trees died just to tell me, “no”?

  4. 218 Words and the Bedpost Spike – Guest Blog « The Schizophrenic Writer Says:

    […] Rejected Not Dejected ( […]

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