May 17, 2010

Surviving Rejection Week! -- An Introduction

Throughout my life on this beautiful green Earth, I have faced dozens upon dozens of rejections. Hundreds of rejections! Thousands of rejections! Entire mountains of rejection!

(Okay, maybe I'm being a tad melodramatic, but you get the drift.)

Let's face it. Rejection has been a major theme in my life. Case in point:

In elementary school, I was rejected by the cool kids.
In middle school, I was rejected by my crushes.
In high school, I was rejected three times from the super awesome show choir.
In college, I was rejected by my crushes. Again.
In my adult life, I was rejected from three super awesome graduate schools.

Hey, it happens. Rejection is a part of life, right? And so, I tried to take each rejection in stride--and I got pretty good at brushing off my wounds.

But I had no idea how much a rejection could hurt until I became a freelance writer. Yeah, with each rejection I received, it felt like somebody had pulled a giant bandaid off my heart. Ouuuuucccccchhhhhh.

When I first started freelancing, I made a subconscious decision not to blog about my rejections and dejections. Frankly, I didn't want to spread around my misery--and I was too embarassed to do so. I didn't want to be seen as a failure. A loser. A nobody. Because, sometimes, that's how I felt.

So why dedicate a whole week of blogging to "Surviving Rejection"? Because I said so!!! Bwahahaha!

In all honesty though, I want to share my numerous rejections with y'all because rejection is a big part of my life--and I don't want to hide from it anymore. All writers face rejection. Hell, all people face rejection. Nothing to be embarassed about, eh?

I also hope that these posts will push some of my readers (all ten of you!) to keep striving for your own goals. When I was in the midst of finding an agent, it really helped me to read other writers' blogs who went through the same thing that I was. I felt their pain. I felt their sorrow. And I felt their happiness when they finally succeeded. These blogs buoyed me up when I wanted to throw my hands in the air and turn to knitting or cat-breeding.

So...whether you write or paint or dance or bake pies, you will face rejection at some point along your career path. Inevitably, you will cry and scream and cry and stomp your feet. (Which is fine.) But the most important thing is this: DO. NOT. GIVE. UP.

Believe me, if a so-so writer like me can do it, then you can too. But you'll never taste a drop of the success if you let those rejections get to your head and make you quit. Not a drop!

Stay tuned this week as I recount the various rejections that I've received in my own career! In three short years, I've collected countless rejections from major newspapers, small-town newspapers, national magazines, religious magazines, kids' magazines, small literary journals, various websites, awesome editors, and really fantastic agents. So many rejections!

But somehow I survived them all. AND YOU CAN TOO!


  1. Lovely post!

    Rejections suck the life out of anyone, but it's important to stay positive. Thanks for making my day!

  2. I so feel you - getting rejected so many times made me face the 'give up or dig in' choice. It's made me bolder in 'real life' as well, because I've had to realize that rejection is not the end of the world, and that no one but me can tell me I've failed.

    I do have to quibble with one thing you said, b/c if you're repped by Jim McCarthy you're NOT so-so! :)

    Thanks for a great post.

  3. Thanks, Amparo! You're definitely right that staying positive is such an important part of writing.

    Lynn, I feel the same way, too! In the past couple months, I've had to repeatedly ask myself if I wanted to 'give up or dig in.' I blame it on my stubborn streak for sticking with writing for so long. Haha.

    And thanks for the vote of confidence! Even though sometimes I still think I'm rather so-so... :o)

  4. I'd have to agree with the "NOT so-so" comment :) I'm loving all the posting you're doing lately, and I'm so excited to hear the horror stories. From someone who has yet to submit anything, I can vouch how scary rejections can seem.

  5. I have about 1000 blogs to write before I get to the rejection phase of writing, but I promise to share my BUCKETS of tears, too.

    Man...buckets I tell ya.

  6. Great topic to post about--I signed on to follow!

  7. Wow, I really feel the encouragement coming from your heart and your typing fingers. A recent rejection had me down, but I jumped right back in (within hours, but after a few tears and feelings of so-so-ness). Thanks for sharing your tales of woe and your successes!

  8. Each time I feel like I'm finally okay, I suddenly get a rejection popping up in my inbox. Then reality hits. It sucks no matter how much you understand it. I got one on Mother's Day. Happy MD to me. When I finally get a "yes," it'll all be worth it.!

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  10. I feel like I'm prepared for the rejection, until I receive a new one!

    I read on QueryTracker that you've landed an agent. Now that is NOT a rejection, but reason to celebrate. Congratulations!

  11. Lisa, so glad you're visiting my blog!

    Ruth, thank you so much for following the blog! I appreciate it!

    Vicki, aw thanks for such a sweet comment! I totally agree that one of the best ways to deal with rejection is to dive back into the querying again.

    Angela, Ack! A rejection on Mother's Day? Ouch! I wish I had tougher skin as well. I was born with tissue-paper skin. :o)

    Julie, thank you! Sometimes, I still can't believe that I have an agent! I hope you visit my blog again!

  12. Aimee, haha. Oh yeah, I've cried buckets of tears as well! Sometimes it's a little embarassing to me how much I can cry... It's like a secret talent!

  13. Great post. The fear of rejection is really hard. But wonderful blogs like yours keep me going.
    Congratulations on getting an agent. :)

  14. Looks like you have more than 10 readers...