Daley has some inspiring advice about dealing with rejection, something every writer has to face at some time in their career.
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It doesn't matter if you’re Bill Shakespeare or just starting out: Sooner or later, every writer has to deal with rejection. This can be in the form of a formal letter of rejection in response to a magazine submission or simply by a generic email response when you've sent a short story off to a competition.
It hurts. There's no getting away from that. Rejection makes you question everything you've been taught, everything you believe in and everything you’ve been working towards in your career as a writer. Many a strong individual has been reduced to tears or fury by rejection, but there are ways to deal with rejection that can make you feel a little better and help you to understand that, in some cases, it's not you, it's them.
Watch or Read Something Terrible
This is a little bit subjective, as one man's Citizen Kane is another man’s Grindhouse, but watching something that you know is an absolutely travesty - or reading something that is trashy and badly written - is the best way to get over rejection. Consider it the equivalent of eating ice cream and listening to sad songs when your boyfriend or girlfriend has just broken up with you. It makes you feel a little warmer and fuzzier inside. Just remember to take off the onesie and get back to work before the rot sets in!
Get Back To Work!
The best way to deal with being rejected is to get back on the horse and improve your writing. It’s the only way to turn that 'no' into a 'yes'. Keep writing, reading other works, reading advice articles and blogs online; there are lots of ways to improve your writing skills and get over that rejection. The good thing with writing is that – unlike athletes – writers improve with age, so long as they continue to write, to learn from their mistakes, and to push themselves to improve.
Know How The System Works
There are thousands of examples of novels, films or plays that have been rejected right, left and centre, then gone on to become the biggest thing on the planet. Take J.K Rowling's Harry Potter series for a really good example. Had she taken rejection badly and walked away back to her ordinary life, would she have been the mega-million selling author of the most successful book and film franchises the world has ever seen? It's highly doubtful.
Rejection is a part of the publishing world. Nobody likes to dish it out, and nobody likes to receive it. The truth is, rejection is an important part of a writer's life. How you deal with it can shape not just your career, but your relationship with the arts in general. You don't want to become a bitter person who has forgotten the very reason they started out in the first place. Write, write and write some more, until they are bashing down your door to get your signature on the contracts. Believing in yourself and improving is the only way that the barrier of rejection is going to fall and let you pass.
Daley James Francis is a Creative Writing and Journalism graduate who loves to write about the process of writing and help other writers out with advice. He keeps this advice at www.writetoday.co.uk
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Thank you to Daley for some inspiring advice.
It's absolutely true that writers need a thick skin at times. Writing is a very personal thing, and having your book or script rejected after you have laboured over it for months or even years is hard to take for all of us.
But, even though it may be easier said than done, you should never take criticism or rejection as a measure of your writing skills. Just regard it as one person's feedback on your work.
When you get negative comments, it's essential to evaluate them carefully. Not all criticism is fair or even valid. But if you think the critic is right, at least in part, resolve to learn from this and improve. As a wise man once said, praise is nice, but it's only through criticism - and even rejection - that we learn to improve.
If you have any tips or advice for dealing with rejection, please do post them below!