Hit Me Baby, One More Time: The Art of Rejection

You think the last rejection you got was bad? Well, yeah, it probably was.

Rejection sucks no matter how you think about it. Some people put a positive spin on it, declaring each rejection is one step closer to a yes. And they’re right.

Other might look at rejection as spirit crushing. And yeah, they’re right too.

Let’s face it, no one likes being told their work doesn’t measure up or in publisher/agent speak, it’s not a good fit, whatever that means. It hurts. At the very least it gives one pause, evaluating their career choice. Which I honestly have to say is not the brightest, wealthiest, worthwhile path one could take.

I bet no one has ever told a doctor, that kidney you're putting in me...well, it doesn't quite fit. We're going to pass on the transplant. But good luck on your future endeavors.

Throughout the writer’s career rejection is a constant. Even the bestsellers get rejected. As an added bonus, once a book hits the shelves, readers start to review it. 1-star ratings appear.

How does a writer face so much rejection and not throw up their arms, screaming, “I quit!”?

Surprisingly a number of writers do quit. Finding the price far too much. Others, like me and you, continue with our delusions. Mind you, our delusions might not be all that deluded after all. Every rejection is one step closer to a yes. Every review, as painful as it might be, means a reader found reason enough to comment.

Recently I managed to get reviewed and rejected within an hour of each other. I considered quitting, giving up on my bestseller dream. Then I remembered why I do this. It isn’t for the fame, for the money, for the yes. It’s for the words on the page. The stories in my head. I write because it gives me pleasure. It makes me happy.

That’s the true art of rejection. Facing it. Accepting. And finally moving on.

How do you deal with rejection? Or poor reviews? What steps do you take to get over it?

J.A. (Julie) Kazimer
J.A. (Julie) Kazimer is a writer living in Denver, CO. Books include The Junkie Tales, The Body Dwellers, CURSES! A F***ed-Up Fairy Tale, Holy Socks & Dirtier Demons, Dope. Sick. Love. SHANK, Froggy Style, The Assassin's Heart, The Fairyland Murders & The Lady in Pink - Deadly Ever After Mysteries.

5 thoughts on “Hit Me Baby, One More Time: The Art of Rejection

  1. It takes awhile to develop that crocodile hide a writer needs to throw off rejection, but it sure helps to keep us writing. When I first started, every little criticism hurt my feelings. Now (decades later) I don’t spend much time fretting about it. No agent rejection or bad review will make me stop writing as long as I have my wits about me. I read them, and then I let them go.

  2. I love the kidney analogy. My go-to response involves chocolate (a LOT), a hot bath, and reading a best selling book, muttering cruel comments out loud every time I find a typo or the characters don’t behave as I would have written them. Then I put on my big girl panties and start writing again. So far, it’s worked. Just hope I’m never sitting next to that author (or their agent/editor) in a coffee shop.

  3. A very famous author (whose name I won’t drop because that’s douche-y) once told me that he made it a goal to see how many rejections he could get. Every rejection he got in the mail he shouted, “Yay!” and pegged it to a dartboard with all the others. He said it didn’t really fool the deeper part of himself that really was disappointed, but on the surface by acting excited about the rejections he was able to stuff the depression deep down and not let it keep him from writing. Denial in reverse, you might say.

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