Rejection. As writers, we are more than familiar with the term. It happens often to many of us, but never loses its sting. Rejection is never fun and never welcome. We tend to take it personally. We allow it to ruin our ambition, to make us feel as if we have nothing worthy to offer. It wraps us up in the blanket of "oh, woe is me" and won't let us go. It comes in many forms, from the well-known letter from a publisher or agent to a less-than-stellar book review. So, how do we unfold ourselves from rejection's grip and learn to use it to our advantage?
Wait--did I say "to our advantage?" How is that even possible, you ask?
Negative feedback doesn't have to hold you back. The next time you find yourself staring into the face of rejection, try these tips:
Rejection Letter--The publisher says you don't have what they're looking for. So, what? There are plenty of others out there! Take the time to read the letter carefully, tweak your manuscript accordingly, and submit it to other companies. Let each rejection you receive become a challenge to keep pushing onward. Don't throw out your dreams of publication with the letter!
Negative Review--These always hurt, no doubt, but it's unrealistic to believe everyone will love your work. Try to keep in mind that a review is simply one person's opinion and does not reflect the opinions of everyone. Like the rejection letter, read the review carefully and take note of any ways you might be able to improve your writing. Again, keep moving onward--for every one person who isn't satisfied by your work, there are probably ten or more who are!
Rejection from Readers--There will be times in your writing career when a reader gives negative feedback on your work. Again, you can't expect everyone to love what you do. People like what they like--it's as simple as that. Keep that thought in mind and thank the reader for his/her input. Unless you are getting the same feedback from a large number of readers, simply take it as a grain of salt.
What other types of rejection have you faced in your writing career? How did you handle it? Please feel free to share in the comments!