It’s Good to be a Reject

To be a writer is to be rejected. You can quote me on that. I need it on a T-shirt.

My name is Julie and I am a REJECT.

Rejection only stings the first few dozen times. Think of it like bikini waxes. Eventually, you get numb to it. Build a tolerance. Take it in stride. You will understand rejection is part of the process. Today I want to make you feel hopeful, warm, fuzzy and in good company. Here are a few reasons why rejections is nothing to stress about.

1. E-V-E-R-Y-O-N-E gets rejected. EVERYONE. EVERYONE. EVERYONE. From the creator of Twilight to Stephen King. Rejection is a fact of our lives as writers.

2. Think of rejections as war wounds. Battle scars. Evidence you weren’t afraid to try. You FINISHED a NOVEL. I mean OMG but finishing is *SERIOUS* stuff. DO you have any clue how many people are “going to write a novel“…someday..TONS! You didn’t talk about it. You got busy and you DID it! Good grief, please pat yourself on the back people! If that wasn’t awesome enough, you stood tall, chin up, shoulders squared AND sent it out! Go You! Go You! How about some celebrations?

3. Rejections mean you’re learning, becoming an old pro at this business. You’ll learn about response times, agents who like your voice or hate it, and if you’re lucky and didn’t get a straight-up form letter rejection, you might have some golden input in there. I’ve gotten hundreds of form letters. BUT once in a while agents or editors will add a little note complimenting something you’re doing right or better still, tell you why they’re rejecting. Parlay that into an improved manuscript. So, with that twist, you can stop calling those “rejections” and consider them “free advice from a real live agent/editor etc” Score! Free advice Woot!

4. A rejection grants you entrance into the big girl/big boy club. Welcome aboard! We’re glad you’re here. Thanks to the Internet, there’s literally a world of writers sharing the experience with you. You’re not alone. You’re in amazing, witty, funny, super-smart and creative company. And that’s just me! LOL KIDDING. But so true. No. kidding.

5. Finally, and this is what it’s about….once you’ve been rejected, you’re in a position to give back. You did it. You wrote the novel in your heart, polished it, rewrote it, edited it, sought advice, revised again, learned about query writing and penned one to make your manuscript irresistible….you stalked agents, emailed and waited…..Now, look at all you’ve done. YOU are now ready to tell us about it. Tell aspiring writers about your journey. Share what you learned. Mentor someone. I don’t care how little you think you have to offer….three years ago, I opened Google and typed in “Write a book.” I needed a mentor.

So, celebrate your hard work and perseverance today. Wear your battle scars with pride. You, my friend, are the real deal. CONGRATS! You’re a Reject!

6 comments to It’s Good to be a Reject

  • LOL! I feel like I should be standing in a room before a bunch of strangers saying, “Hi. I’m Devon. And I’m a reject.” Not everything comes back as rejected but sometimes it sure does feels that way, huh? :) I started this whole process about three years ago as well and can honestly say I learned the most from the peeps I made over at Absolute Write. Finding some writer buddies to help you beta and learn the mumbo-jumbo of this world certainly helps!

  • Yay I’m a reject too… but has it stopped me no! I still write……. and I will continue to write otherwise my head will explode!!

    Most agents say yeah great but not for us, good luck etc etc… in other words I am too much of a risk..not a celeb not a guaranteed fortune.

    I’ve put my book on kindle, i’ve printed 100 copies myself (wanted to see it in a proper book format and believe me it was SO exciting opening the box and holding it in my hands for the first time!) Of course I would like to earn enough to become a writer full time, who wouldn’t, but if it doesn’t happen I will still write.


  • Hooray for rejects! I’m so happy I’m in a club :D
    Thanks for the post! (and you’re absolutely right).

  • Glad to be a Reject, I’m not going to give up and I am proud t be a reject as it will lead me to better things I am sure :D
    Great post, you’ve put a smile on my face.

  • I can’t wait to be a reject. Can I wear one the shirts now anyway? I think it might be just the inspiration I need!

  • [...] Tonya Kappes advises how to write through the emotional baggage, and Julie A. Lindsey gives us 5 reasons to celebrate rejection. Meanwhile, Julie Musil explores the connection between publication and “being enough,” and [...]

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