How Many Times Has Your Writing Been Rejected?

Last night, one of the members of my writing group got married. Love-marriage-weddings-39211-l

All but one of the current members of the group were there, and a couple former members turned up as well. 

Talk turned, as it will amongst such groups, to rejection.  Soon we were attempting to outdo each other with how many rejections we'd each received.

  • I allowed as how I'd sent out Emma Jean at least 50 times.
  • My retreat partner said she'd sent out her book of cat photographs well over 100 times.
  • And yet another writer told me he'd submitted his novel 120 times.*

Lest you think we're all just bad writers, consider this:

  • My novel will be published by Vagabondage Press in February of 2013.
  • My retreat partner just got word yesterday that the cat book will be published next year as well.
  • And the other writer's earlier novel has been made into a movie that will be released in September.

Rejection.  It is part of the writer's life.  To become a successful, published writer, you have to steel yourself againt rejection.  You have to learn to live with it.  And you need to be able to bounce back from it and submit again, as the numbers above testify.  Too many writers stop after getting two or three rejections.

Here are some posts I've written about rejection:

7 Steps to Handle Rejection

A 5-Step Process to Deal With Rejection

Handling Rejection

Getting Your Work Out in the World: The Mindset

Getting Your Work Out in the World: The Mechanics

That ought to keep you reading for awhile.  While you're at it,

Create a successful, inspired writing life: Submit something.  Maybe it is something that's been rejected before, maybe it is something new.  Doesn't matter.  Just do it.

Please, please, comment.  Care to admit how many times you've been rejected?  How do you handle it?

*Names have been omitted to protect the rejectees.

Photo by clshearin.

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11 Responses to How Many Times Has Your Writing Been Rejected?

  1. Patrick Ross 05/22/2012 at 04:10 #

    An important post for any creative to read. I resonate with the notion of overcoming rejection. I also resonate with the notion of creatives trying, in a friendly way, to one-up each other on rejection quantity! :)

  2. Charlotte Dixon 05/22/2012 at 08:05 #

    Thanks, Patrick.  I think it is important to share our rejections so we know we're not alone!  But I seem to have scared people off, judging by the lack of comments.  :-)

  3. Zan Marie 05/22/2012 at 13:08 #

    Some author, whose name I forget, says that until the 32nd rejection, you haven’t started. ; )

  4. Charlotte Dixon 05/23/2012 at 07:33 #

    Love it!  I'll have to remember that.  I wonder if the number 32 has special significance.

  5. Belinda 05/23/2012 at 17:05 #

    You got me thinking, Charlotte. I’ve not submitted anything unsolicited. That can’t be good, right?

  6. Sandra / Always Well Within 05/23/2012 at 19:38 #

    Wow, this is really a reality check! It’s so clear that if you stop after 2 or 3 rejections you’ve created a hopeless situation yourself. I haven’t been rejected much as I do a different style of writing so I can’t stun you with my numbers. But if you count chasing clients…well that could add a few in there.

  7. Charlotte Dixon 05/23/2012 at 20:13 #

    Belinda, it does sound as if you've gotten solicited to submit, so that's good.  You might want to stretch yourself to do some more soliciting.  It is not as bad as it sounds!

  8. Jessica McCann 05/24/2012 at 11:31 #

    Oh my. Rejection. Yes, I’ve had more than my fair share. If you total up my novel with my handful of short stories, I’m definitely in the triple digits! That’s just how it goes. It’s a numbers game and the more your open yourself up for rejection, the better your odds at getting to “yes!”

  9. Charlotte Dixon 05/24/2012 at 12:30 #

    Jessica, the more we writers can think of our submissions as a numbers game, the better off we'll be.  But instead, we get wrapped up in the emotion of it.  Natural, of course, but still not necessarily helpful.  Thanks for commenting.

  10. Nicole M Leafty 02/28/2015 at 09:55 #

    This is an incredibly helpful comment.

  11. Charlotte Dixon 02/28/2015 at 09:59 #

    And it is true, Nicole! Thanks for commenting.

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