turning rejections into success


In my last post, I talked about surviving criticism and disappointment. Today, we explore another way to grow from setbacks.

Case in point: I was so sure my WIP was a perfect fit for a certain small but prestigious publisher. This will be my big break!

Then I received the typical, canned auto-rejection.

At this point, I had barely submitted anything and was naive enough to believe that if you’re rejected by one or two publishers, you must be a hack.

The frustrating part of querying is that they never tell you exactly why it’s rejected. It may have nothing to do with your writing.

Maybe they just accepted a similar story. Maybe your story included elements that weren’t suited for their audience. Maybe the editor didn’t have their coffee yet. It’s like throwing darts in the dark.

But the next time I submitted the story:

  • About 6 months later, I got an acceptance from a cool indie publisher.
  • A year later, the story made it to the semifinals of two large competitions.
  • Last year, it was published with a cover by a wickedly talented designer and two blurbs from legendary writers.
  • Recently, it has been acquired by an exploding indie publishing house.

If I had let the initial rejection bury me and keep me from submitting, the manuscript would be sitting in a file somewhere being read by no one.

So, don’t let the ups and downs of the submission process get to you. Keep working, keep submitting, keep your eyes open for the next opportunity!


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