Tips to Overcome Fear of Rejection
The life of a writer is quite a fun challenge. Writers get to use their imagination to create fictional stories that will entertain readers. But, that's only the beginning. To get their stories in front of readers, writers have to eventually submit their stories to magazines, literary journals, editors, or publishing houses. The indie route of self-publishing is also a respectable way to find readers.
To make it in the publishing industry, writers need to develop a thick skin. Sitting in front of your computer and clicking on an acceptance letter is awesome. Signing your name on the dotted line, then actually seeing your short story in a magazine brings joy to anyone. However, sitting in front of your computer and clicking on a rejection letter stings. Depending on how you handle the bad news, rejection can be a learning experience, or it can be a hindrance to your confidence.
I still remember my first rejection like it was yesterday. In actuality, it happened in 2013. My writing buddies and I had given ourselves a short story challenge. We were to write and edit three short stories in three months.
Everyone fell in love with my dramatic story called Room For Two. I just knew someone had to publish it. I had submitted Room For Two to the online literary journal Switchback. A couple weeks later I received a formal rejection.
Keeping my head up high, I submitted Room For Two to another literary journal. Months later I received an acceptance from The Write Place At the Write Time, and my story was published in spring. My first official writing credit!
That Switchback rejection could've destroyed my writer's confidence, but I refused to let it. This is how I overcame my fear of rejection during the submitting process:
1. Believe in Yourself.
Know that showing vulnerability makes you strong. If you don't believe in yourself, then no one will. Writers are brave because they share their words with the world. Writers want their voices heard.
As writers, we tend to put editors on pedestals. But, we have to remember that editors are normal people just like us. If you email them with respect and show professionalism, then you should get the same treatment in return.
2. Keep Busy With Other Projects.
Some writers can only focus on one story at a time. Other writers can multi-task. After you submit a story, it's best to focus your attention on another project. If you keep yourself busy, then it will help you not obsessively check your email, waiting for an acceptance or rejection. Also, staying productive will help you stay on your writing schedule.
3. Famous Writers Experienced Rejection
Remember this interesting fact-famous writers experienced rejection as well, especially during their early careers.
What if Stephen King had quit writing after his first rejection? What about Anne Rice? Or Agatha Christie?
The more you write, the better your writing style will develop. Some writers have received over one-hundred rejections, but it only takes one yes.
4. Believe In Your Writing
Believe In Your Writing Style But Be Open To Constructive Criticism. This goes back to understanding that editors are normal people. They are only doing their professional job. Giving out rejections isn't personal. It's only business. When you start to understand that, then it'll be easier to put yourself out there and submit your stories.
If you get any feedback from an editor from a personal rejection, then you should consider making those revisions if you agree. It's great for writers to have confidence, but they also have to consider listening to advice from people with an objective eye.
5. Have a Support System.
Receiving rejections can be hard, especially if you don't get a particular reason from an editor. That's why it's important to keep in touch with other writers. You could share your venting sessions with each other, and help each other stay motivated. I don't know what I would do if I didn't have my writing buddies. Being a writer doesn't have to be a lonely adventure.
To all the writers out there, good luck with your publishing journey! All dreams are worth fighting for. Don't give up.
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