Rejection is one of the most painful aspects of everyone’s life. Being rejected by others no matter the sphere of life hurts, but it is also unavoidable part of life. And one need to not only learn how to avoid rejections but also how to cope with them, since sooner or later, expected or not, rejections will knock on our doors.
Writers very often face rejections. It might sound strange to non-writers, but writers more often face rejections than acceptance of their pieces. Some of them learn how to cope with them as time goes by, but for the others, rejections remain the most unpleasant thing a writer deals with and often they discourage writers from writing and submitting articles to magazines, journals etc.
All writers will agree that rejections from editors are unpleasant but many writers also believe that the more your write and the more you submit and the more rejections you get, the better you cope with them. It makes sense if those rejections are tool for improving your writing. If you don’t become desperate and you continue writing always trying to do a bit better and to follow the editors’ (who rejected your piece) advice, you will learn that rejections are not too bad. They are just a stepping stone to becoming a better writer.
I have always looked at the whole process of submitting your articles to magazines, getting accepted or rejected as the way a school system works.
At school, you learn a lot of things. You mostly focus on the subjects you like and which are interesting to you, but you also have to learn other maybe a bit boring things in order to improve your general score. A writer’s life is similar. You mostly focus on writing things you like (short stories or poems etc.). However, in order to become respected and attract more readers of your pieces, you need to do a bit of research and see what people like reading and what is popular and requested. Then, you might want to adjust your writing to the needs of the audience. It doesn’t mean you should write only things that are fashionable, but in order to get more readers, you will have to make your articles more interesting and beneficial to the others. If your stubbornly stick to your own way, without evolving and growing as a writer and you constantly get rejected, you will have to admit that it is only your own mistake. At school, if you only learn one or two subjects you like, and fail all the others you find boring, you will fail the whole year. But if you put effort into learning other things and do some research that would bring you better grades, you will have better general score. In the writer’s life, if you read a lot of different articles, and find out what is popular and what people like to read, you might adjust a bit your writing to those needs and get more acceptance than rejections from editors.
Of course, it doesn’t mean that all rejections from the editors come just because your piece is not good enough. Many of them will reject your piece because it doesn’t fit current needs of their magazines and journals. But again, if you go through their publications in detail and learn what kind of pieces they publish (topics, tone of articles, style) and you really want to be published in those magazines and journals, you might try to rewrite your article or write a new one which will suit their needs and resubmit it. Writing is a continuous process of learning, researching and then putting your own ideas down.
At school, instead of giving up the subjects we don’t like and dropping off, we usually ask for help from those who are good in these subjects. Writers also look for tips and workshops on writing those articles they are not very good at. Or they search for advice about improving their own style and language. Only if you learn new things, attend workshops, read a lot, will you grow, innovate and expand your horizons. Knowledge helps you develop a better perspective about things and keep you always on your toes. The best way to cope with rejections is to always look for ways that help you improve as a person.
As a writer, rejection is inevitable. But it is not always necessarily bad. Rejections will toughen you as a writer, push you to learn more and eventually make you a better writer.