As a newbie, I definitely saw my share of rejections. Story ideas that an editor didn’t think had merit. A script that a professional TV writer thought was absolute drivel. And, oh yeah, the teacher who said I absolutely would not be a writer (HA!!).
Each and every one of those rejections were upsetting and felt like a major setback at the time. After all, if my teacher (this was either in college or high school and possibly both, but for entirely different reasons) thought I wasn’t good, and someone who worked as a writer thought I wasn’t good, what chance did I have? If people who worked in the industry didn’t think I had any redeemable writing qualities, was there a reason to continue? If every idea that I pitched someone else had already done, should I keep pitching?
Luckily for me, as much as I listened to them and was saddened (OK, totally devastated) by their criticism and even doubted my skills, something inside me kept pushing me forward. Come up with a new story, a new idea, keep writing, keep revising. Maybe it’s not any good, I thought, but writing makes me feel good. Telling stories, both fictional and non, makes me feel good.
So I kept going, and going.
And, thank G-d, I have made a career out of it. I’ve been fortunate to write some amazing stories, interview some incredible people and, in my fictional stories, create worlds to enchant readers.
Yet, even know, rejections are a part of my writing world. In fact in the three weeks leading up to Pesach, I got just as many rejections. Yes, that’s right, even established writers can get the old “thanks, but no thanks” brush off.
While my writing skin is a bit tougher now, and I don’t take rejections as the be all and end all of my career, I still don’t like getting them. But since I think some of the stories do have merit, I’m going to keep trying to sell them. One, though, was a Passover story so it may need to wait until next year to have any salable viability.
In the meantime, I’ve come up with some nonfiction article ideas after a couple of conversations with a good friend and written a few pages in a new children’s story.
The best response to rejection it seems is to just keep going.