Blog Post

How to Handle Rejection

Have you asked a beta reader or critique partner to read your writing and received disappointing feedback? Did you cry? Yell? Throw things? Question if you should ever write again?

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1. You are not alone!

We all deal with rejection or negative feedback. None of us are perfect. I’ll tell you when I got my first negative comment, I cried. I second guessed myself and thought I’d picked the wrong profession. I kept thinking I wasn’t good enough. Then, I read an article like this one and it changed the way I thought about my writing.

Don’t freak out. Cry if you need to and yell if you must. Our writing comes from the deep inner vulnerable place that we dare to share with the world. When someone tears it apart or tells us that it needs fixing, it hurts. But, we must remember that you can always work on it and it will be better in the next draft.

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2. Find Support

Whether you want to vent to your mom or tell your best friend, let your feelings out. Lean on someone who will support you and allow you to fall apart. Don’t vent on social media, please. You may regret posting a vent and looking unprofessional. So, vent in private or with a friend. Also, if you have support, you’ll feel better when they reaffirm that you’re not an awful writer.

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3. Keep Writing and Don’t delete

When I got my negative feedback, I was tempted to delete it and never look at it again. Instead, I gave it a day or so and read the comments I received with fresh eyes. I read my work over and started to implement changes pointed out to me. If you need a breather, start working on something else. When you return to your original work, you’ll feel better.

Don’t let a critique or negative feedback paralyze you. If you queried to a literary agent or an editor and you were declined, don’t fret. It’s not because you are a bad writer. The competition is high and you may need to rewrite your query. There are a million reasons to get declined.

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4. Spark your creativity

Go out and do something fun. Get out of the house and walk in the sun, talk to people face to face, go hiking, or do something you don’t normally do. Experiences fuel inspiration. Think outside the box and you may spark something. I try to get out and do something fun during the week. It helps me avoid cabin fever, and a different environment usually helps to fuel my inspiration.

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5. Remind Yourself Why You Love Writing

Why did you become a writer? Do you remember? Remind yourself why you love to write. It could be the expression, outlet, love of stories and adventure. It could be an array of things that make you fall in love with writing every day. Don’t forget. Keep at it and keep creating.

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6. Connect With Other Writers

Right before Christmas, I joined Twitter to connect with writers. I needed motivation and I wanted to find people to help me. So, I joined and I am so happy that I did. Not only did I get support from writers, but I also met some amazing friends. I joined the Creative Misfits page and they’ve been the most supportive group of people. You can find them here if you are interested in finding people to support you as a writer and as a person.

7. Use rejection/negative feedback fuel you

It can be a good thing to be rejected. Yes, I said that right. You can use the comments to become a better writer. If you get honest feedback from writers who are interested in helping you, it can be invaluable. You will push yourself to grow and to open to learning. We can always improve. So, let the critique fuel your learning and your writing.

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8. Read

You will become a better writer and learn coping strategies if you read books and learn what other writers are doing. Read books because you like them. Read books about writing and educate yourself. If you didn’t major in English or you don’t know about different writing styles, take a look around the internet. Poke around and learn more about it. You may incorporate something in your writing that stands out.

There are my suggestions on handling rejection or negative feedback. It’s normal for us to get frustrated and upset about our work being criticized. It’s okay and happens to us all. Just learn to deal with it and let it fuel you. Don’t let it hinder your process.

Happy Writing!

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