Hello, author friends,
If you’re here, you probably need to hear two things. One: Rejection sucks. Two: I’m sorry.
I share my rejections with precious few people. Mostly because I know there are precious few people in my life who’ll understand what it feels like. This is part of why I decided to write this post. If you take only one thing from it, let it be this: your writer friends are going to be the only people who understand what it’s like. They know – really, truly know – how much rejection sucks. They won’t patronise you with a ‘it’s part of what you’ve signed up for’ or tell you ‘it isn’t the end of the world’. They’ll tell you that rejection does suck, and that they’re sorry.
Though those other people aren’t wrong.
Rejection is part of what we sign up for. It isn’t the end of the world. It will make you stronger and takes you one step closer to finding the right path for your book.
But you know what it doesn’t do? Make you a real author.
If you’re writing, you’re an author. All through those moments when you’re checking your email, refreshing it the same hour you’ve submitted something, you’re an author. When you see nothing relevant for weeks, you’re an author. When weeks turn into months, and finally, when the resignation that the hope you still harboured is futile sets it, you’re an author. You don’t need a rejection ‘badge of honour’ to tell you that.
Rejections don’t make you an author. You do.
This is particularly helpful to remember when, if you’re like me, you see rejections as failures. Not forever, but for long enough that it affirms my secret belief that I’ll never be a self-sufficient author. My writing is an extension of myself. Extracting my personal worth from the words I created – and other people have rejected – is tough. Not everyone can handle rejections well. It takes longer for some of us to bounce back. And that’s okay. You’re not abnormal if a rejection gets you down. You don’t have to immediately pump yourself up and move on.
But you do have to move on. You have to move past the fear and the diminished hope. Because ultimately, this is how you’ll succeed. So, take a moment to wallow in the sucky rejection. Then, dust it off and sit down in front of your computer.