3 Critical Steps After Rejection

Author:
Publish date:
Image placeholder title

Just released from Writer's Digest, Writer's Digest University is part market guide, part boot camp, offering keys to getting your work published.

I am honored to have written the introduction to this book, which you can read in full here.

In the intro, I share 3 steps you should take after receiving a rejection—since it's what you do AFTER that counts. (For more on why you might be getting rejected, read this post from me.)

1. Keep submitting AND keep writing.
Persistence is essential. Keep sending your work out. But most importantly, you should keep writing.

Once you finish a manuscript, the first thing you should do is start work on another project. Why? Because it helps create distance and perspective from the project you just finished—which will inevitably need to be refined and approached with a more critical eye once you begin to market it.

Don’t neglect this step! You need to be able to evaluate your work from a sales perspective, and with as little emotional attachment as possible. This often only comes with time, or with the assistance of a good editor or critique partner.

2. Develop relationships and connections with people who can help you.
More progress than you might think will depend on the willingness of others to help you and advise you. One of the most effective ways to develop relationships is to attend conferences and meet other writers, as well as editors and agents.

One of the most difficult aspects of getting published is querying cold. But once you’ve established a relationship with an editor or agent, then it’s no longer a cold contact, but a person who may be compelled to pay attention because you made a good impression on them. Or, if you develop good connections with published authors, they can offer hard-won advice, even referrals to agents, if they believe in your work.

3. Don’t get bitter.
I meet many writers who ask, often at a moment of frustration and desperation, “Read my writing and tell me if I should keep trying.”

I empathize if you’re looking for some reason to continue in the face of rejection. It’s tough to continue doing something when you receive no recognition or encouragement for it.

Strive for an attitude and approach that’s defined by:

  • Seeking feedback from people you trust or respect
  • Loving the writing process
  • Taking advantage of every possible growth opportunity
  • Being in control of your own destiny (not waiting to be discovered)

You’ll experience frustrations, and sometimes disagree with the feedback or direction you receive along the way. But take note of everything, take away what is useful and suitable for your core mission, and ignore the rest.

--

In addition to receiving a 1-year sub to WritersMarket.com as part of this book, Writer's Digest University also features a DVD with recordings of four popular WD webinars:

  • How Do I Get My Book Published? (delivered by me)
  • How to Land a Literary Agent (delivered by Chuck Sambuchino)
  • How Writers Can Succeed in the Future of Digital Publishing (delivered by me)
  • Freelance Basics (delivered by Chuck Sambuchino)

It's a high-value package. I encourage you to check it out.

WD-Poetry-2020-WinnerGraphic

The 2020 Writer's Digest Poetry Awards Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the 2020 WD Poetry Awards!

GettyImages-163437242

Your Story #113

Write a short story of 650 words or fewer based on the photo prompt. You can be poignant, funny, witty, etc.; it is, after all, your story.

E.J. Levy: When Your First Draft is Your Best Draft

E.J. Levy: When Your First Draft is Your Best Draft

Author E.J. Levy discusses her journey with drafting and redrafting her historical fiction novel, The Cape Doctor, and why her first draft was her best draft.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 569

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write an "In the Name of Blank" poem.

Writer's Digest July/August 2021 Cover

Writer's Digest July/August 2021 Cover Reveal

The July/August 2021 issue of Writer's Digest features a collection of articles about writing for change plus an interview with Jasmine Guillory about her newest romance, While We Were Dating.

Lacie Waldon: On Writing What You Know ... But Keeping it Interesting

Lacie Waldon: On Writing What You Know ... But Keeping it Interesting

Debut novelist Lacie Waldon discusses how her agent encouraged her to write what she knew, but then her editor made her realize that what she thought was boring might not be the case.

Pedal vs. Peddle (Grammar Rules)

Pedal vs. Peddle (Grammar Rules)

Learn when to use pedal and peddle with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.

Marissa Levien: On Pinning Down Your Novel's Middle

Marissa Levien: On Pinning Down Your Novel's Middle

Debut author Marissa Levien discusses how she always knew what the beginning and the end of her science fiction novel The World Gives Way would be, but that the middle remained elusive.