Learning to Love Rejection



Those of us who’ve been in the writing game for a while remember the days when you came home at the end of a long day and saw a fat letter or envelope in your mailbox. You grabbed it only to see your own handwriting…the dreaded Self Addressed Stamped Envelope, into which an editor or publisher stuffed your rejected submitted manuscript, along with a photocopied polite “Thanks but no thanks.” Nowadays, of course, since most publications accept only electronic submissions, writers no longer see that SASE sticking out of the mailbox, returned like the Prodigal Son.

But then as now, any time you get a personal rejection letter (or probably email) it’s a big deal. If the publisher or editor thinks your work has merit but for some reason isn’t a fit, a personally worded, kind rejection notice is an implied invitation to “try again.”

There are a lot of reasons one’s writing might get rejected. The editors might have published something in a recent issue that’s similar to your submission. Or they might just think that particular piece isn’t the best fit for them. In any case, after a short self pity break, the best strategy is to crack our knuckles, sit down, and get back to work.