Thursday, April 25, 2024

Growing Beyond Rejection

Rejection. It happens to all of us. We hate it. Rejection can test our resolve, create self-doubt, and could lead to depression. And considering agents and publishers are often overwhelmed with submissions, the form letters that writers often receive don't provide desired feedback to propel them forward. 

So, how can writers grow beyond the pain of rejection? Here are a few tips to help you look forward instead of backward.

Give yourself time to grieve, just not too much.

You spent months, maybe years crafting a manuscript you felt ready for submission. Then the swift rejection comes, and it hurts. Instead of that Sally Field, "you like me" Oscars moment, you feel like your work never even garnered the attention of the nominating committee. 

It's okay to grieve for a day or two. Show yourself some compassion, just like you would to a friend if the same shoes were on their feet. Then it's time for action.

Write a letter about how you feel or journal through the experience.

After one recent rejection, I opened my online journal and just let it all out. Taking the time to write or type out your true feelings allows you to express them without judgement or repercussions. 

Take time to write down or journal about your writing strengths. This allows you to focus on the positives. 

Switch gears.

Maybe you need a couple of days away from this manuscript. What can you do in the interim so you come back to the project energized? Write something new. Exercise. Take walks and observe nature. Have breakfast or lunch with a friend. 

Look forward.

If the rejection letter provides feedback, consider those comments. What can you glean from them? Is there still work to do? Put together a plan to accomplish that work. 

Make sure you continue to research new markets where you can submit your manuscript. Revise your query letter so it is ready for those new submissions. 

A rejection doesn't define you or your writing. Growing beyond the rejection by finding an outlet for your feelings and putting together an action plan will put you on a forward path.


Cheryl C. Malandrinos is a freelance writer and award-winning editor. She is the author of four children’s books including, A Christmas Kindness, released by 4RV Publishing. A blogger and book reviewer, she is a member of SCBWI and lives in Massachusetts with her husband and three adult children. Visit Cheryl's website at or her children’s book blog at

No comments:

Post a Comment