1. It enables you to improve on your work.
When I look back at some of the short stories I submitted to magazines three
years ago, I can see why they were rejected. I made silly grammatical errors,
my sentences were way too long, plus my stories were a trifle cliched. Since
then I've taken several creative writing classes, locally and on-line.
Tip - Join a creative writing
class or critique group.
2. Rejection doesn't necessarily mean your
article/story is no good. It may be simply that the editor has just published
a similar piece to yours, so it could be just a matter of timing. Try
submitting to other markets and if you get rejected more than a few times then
try revising your piece. Another reason for rejection could be that you
haven't studied the magazine/website's guidelines or style. This is an
absolute MUST. If the editor asks for articles of between 600-800 words then
DO NOT submit a piece which is 1200 words in length, no matter how good it is.
Check that the article is the right style for the magazine. If it's a dog
magazine then write about dogs!
Tip - Always study the
guidelines before submitting anything.
3. Rejection makes your writing stronger. If
my earlier pieces of work had been accepted I would have thought they were
quite good, as it is now, I revise and edit my work more than ever. Pruning
out unnecessary words, to make a stronger piece, without losing my 'voice'.
Tip - Read your work out
loud, any words that jar or stop the flow of the piece, change, until the
piece runs smoothly.
4. Rejection is all part and parcel of being a
writer. To have received a rejection letter/e-mail is proof that you have
worked to submit a piece of writing. How many writers are so afraid of
rejection that they don't submit anything for fear of failure?
Tip - It is better to have
been rejected 100 times than not to have submitted even once. Keep trying,
your persistence will pay off.
5. Rejection of an article/story is not a
rejection of you personally. Unfortunately, anytime we have a rejection in our
lives, it can remind us of other times when we were rejected in the past. It
can knock our self-esteem and our confidence waivers, making us feel like
Tip - If you find yourself
feeling like that, then keep a journal of your thoughts, so you can have some
insight into what is causing you to feel that way.
6. Rejection helps us perform our 'groundwork'
as a writer. How many times have you heard someone say "I've always wanted to
be a writer, can you give me some advice?" They seem to expect you to tell
them all that they need to know in about five minutes flat. It may have taken
you months or even years of 'sweat of the brow' to where you are now as a
writer. Yet they try to persuade you to tell them your secret. There is no
secret. Writing is hard work. It may have taken you many rejections before you
have one article or story published.
Tip - Tell yourself that
every rejection you receive is a step closer to your goal of getting
published. You are doing your groundwork.
7. Being rejected can help you pick up tips
from editors and/or find new markets for your work. Not all editors send out
standard rejection letters. If you are lucky, you may be told what was wrong
with your article/story and how you can improve on it. Some editors will even
suggest other possible markets for your work.
Tip - If you find yourself
receiving standard rejection letters and don't know why your work is being
rejected, write back to the appropriate editors and ask. If they have time to
reply they may be able to explain that you hadn't followed the guidelines or
your story was full of grammatical errors etc.