Writer, Reject the Rejection
By Martin Wiles
He was a washed-up, rejected shoe salesman.
In the Andy Griffith episode, Those Gossipin’ Men, Aunt Bea and a
friend sat in the local drug store, enjoying a cool drink. A stranger startled
them when he came in and timidly, but unsuccessfully, tried to sell them a pair
of shoes. Little did he know he would start a war between the ladies and the
men of the town over who were the worst gossipers.
How do we as writers deal with rejection in a healthy way?
Accept Rejection as Inevitable
Rejection will come. Even best-selling authors have weathered it. As we are turned down for promotions, teams, dates, marriage proposals, jobs, projects, clubs, and community organizations, so we will be turned down for writing assignments and book proposals. And if we’re seeking an agent, the stakes are high that we won’t be accepted by the first one we query—or perhaps on the first time we query them. If we don’t expect rejection, our writing careers will end before they ever begin.
Learn from the Pain of Rejection
Rejection hurts. And since acceptance is one of our basic needs, rejection really hurts, especially when it comes at the hands of those who have the power to move our writing endeavors forward. Not every publication will accept our devotions, articles, or manuscripts.
Unfortunately, most rejections do not come with an explanation. Sometimes, only the silence lets us know. This makes them like other life rejections. We can take heart that most rejections relate to the number of submissions an editor has received or because they have recently published something similar to our topic. Although a rejection could say something about our writing, this type is probably rare.
When we’re fortunate enough—as I have been on only a few occasions—to have an editor give us tips, we should accept them, learn from them, and improve our craft. Rejection makes acceptance more exciting by giving us something to compare it to.
Move Beyond the Rejection
If God has called us to write, He will never reject our writing—even if He only sends it to the person beside us or into our souls for catharsis so that we become healthier people emotionally and spiritually. When we stay the course, God will open the right doors at the right time. And we’ll understand that a rejection of our writing has nothing to do with our worth.
Let your writing glorify God, even if it never sees the light of publication.
(Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net, digitalart, and sattva.)
Martin Wiles is the founder of Love Lines from God (www.lovelinesfromgod.com) and serves as Managing Editor for Christian Devotions and as a copy editor for Courier Publishing. He has authored six books and has been published in numerous publications. He is a freelance editor, English teacher, author, and pastor.