Life After Rejections

As writers, rejection is a hand we have to shake often. When you are at the beginning of your freelance writing career, and receive rejections, it is hard not to turn up your eyeballs and wail. Here, you had written this wonderful article or poem, and no one appreciated you. Sniff!

But if you are looking to be a working writer, get real. Experienced writers get rejections too. The difference is that they don’t shrivel up and die. They toss aside the rejection note with elan, or simple press delete on the keyboard. And then they write another piece.

For developing a long term relationship with your writing Muse, the rules are simple:

1. Think positive – having an upbeat attitude really helps. Don’t think the publishing world has blacklisted you if some of your work has been rejected.

2. Don’t wait for her – the Muse has lots of house calls to make. If you wait for her to show up, she may never come. Just get in front of the computer and do your thing. She’ll visit when its time.

3. Keep your spirits up – sagging spirits will result in lack lustre writing. Believe you have the best job in the world and don’t let that flow of enthusiasm in your writing slow down for a minute.

4. Write regularly in your journal – this buddy is yours for life. The more you keep writing in your journal, the more seasoned a writer you will be. All your motivations and emotions, the craft and art of the written word will be clear to you.

5. Love the sound of the keyboard being busy – you’ve got to develop a taste for instrumental music. In this case, it means the music of your fingers on the keyboard.

6. Join a writing group, online, or the one in your city – if you’re getting hit hard by rejections and must have a shoulder to cry on, find a writing group where you can let your tears flow. The members have all been there, done that. Their advice on life after the big ‘R’ is genuine.

7. Look at your writing life through binoculars – step back for some time and ask yourself where you went wrong with your writing. Did you slant it to meet the particular publication’s needs?

8. Maybe it’s time for a refresher course in writing – we’re not all born being smart wordsmiths. Consider if you can take a course to hone your craft. Or read a few good books on the writing process.

9. Do more research before sending your pieces – submitting poetry to a small business magazine will naturally garner a rejection. Don’t submit your work as an attachment if the editor has asked for it to be pasted into the email.

10. Get busy – there are many ezines, magazines and newspapers in the world. So what if a couple have said no. Don’t stop following your dream.

Moushumi Chakrabarty is an author based in Canada. She has written more than fifty articles on topics as varied as parenting, the craft of writing, the environment and humour. Her ebook, Positive Thoughts For Writers – Tips and Resources to Jumpstart Your Creativity and Make You Smile, is available . Get in touch with her by emailing

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