Monday 19 July 2021

Writing and Resilience

It's a tough one. There is inevitably a lot of rejection with writing. But just as writing is a muscle that needs to be exercised to strengthen, you also need to work on how you deal with rejection. You have to get so used to rejection that you form a callus. Take heed, work out what you're doing wrong, improve but don't give up. 

I have a couple of friends who wrote books and at one point or other both decided their books weren't any good. One is deciding to give up sending it out, just because it's been rejected a few times.  I am trying to push him along, make him realise that one or two rejections is nothing. Stephen King's Carrie was rejected 33 times, and he threw it in the bin. His wife dug it out and insisted he persisted and we know how the story ends.

I enter a lot of short story competitions. That is the easiest way to learn to be unfazed by rejection. You don't have to put in a year's labour, and you get relatively quick feedback. A few pats on the back make a huge difference, but when rejected, you learn and grow.

In Age against the machine, a podcast I mentioned last week,  Marcia Hines talks about what causes Imposter Syndrome. "Somewhere along the way someone told you you'te not worthy, and you believed it". She concludes, 'You should never believe it'. 

I learnt from Art Spiegelman in Maus, 'Why not me?' Look at the logical statistical outcomes and then set out to do everything necessary to make it happen.

I am in two book clubs and read a broad range of books. Not all of them are good. Not even the best sellers. So don't think you have to be good to get published. You need a hook, you need a market, you need appeal. Listen to feedback and criticism and work with it. Get it out there, in front of as many eyes as possible. 

See it more as a challenge or a game than the rejection of your baby, and you.

And write a few quick shorts to get your confidence back before returning to the big labour of love.

How do you deal with inevitable rejection as a writer?

Linking with #WritersDen and #FriendshipFriday


  1. I'm an avid reader and I'm most impressed with good books. I'm sure there are many that never saw the light of day because they were tossed. Never give up.

    Have a fabulous day and week. ♥

  2. People hqave different tastes, a book and its author just need to find the right audience / right publication / right editor

  3. I have always enjoyed reading#mischiefandmemories@_karendennid

  4. I suffer with Imposter syndrome so badly, in all aspects of life. I would love to write a book about my experiences growing up autistic but I convince myself not too because it won't be good enough- I'll never know if I never try though!

    Katrina x

    1. It doesn't have to be 'good enough'. Get that out of your head. It has to have a market. Two hugely different things. Get writing!

  5. I love your tenacity! It can be applied across many disciplines. I don't write for publication but I do other things that require the same perseverance and belief in ourselves. Thanks for the encouragement.

  6. I do love a good book to escape with x. #mischiefandmemories

  7. Hmmm, sounds like this line of thinking would work for quilt contests, as well.

  8. Smiling at your thoughts on rejection. Writing has definitely built up my callouses!

  9. Thank you for sharing this on Traffic Jam Weekend, Lydia. It had the most views during last week's linky party! Therefore, it is a part of this week's party features that will go live on Thursday at 5:00 pm CST.

  10. I have loved reading since I was a child#kcacols@_karendennis

  11. I just move on. I am not for everyone. I will keep writing because I know I have something important to say, and someone, somewhere, needs to hear it. I will be an agent in my own right. Good for you encouraging others! I hybrid published my first book, but am looking for agents for future books and considering fully self-publishing. We shall see. Thanks for linking up #KCACOLS

  12. I'm glad I've read this. I'm thinking of writing a book, but the thought of not getting anywhere is putting me off! Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS.