Friday, May 11, 2012

Rejection Survival Essentials

As writers, we all have to deal with rejection. It's kind of a given. First you get rejected by agents, then editors, then reviewers, and, ultimately, readers. So how do we deal with rejections? I've compiled a list of rejection survival essentials.

1. Comfort food. For me this usually includes Cafe Rio and frozen yogurt, but chocolate, frosting, and tagalogs also work. Find the comfort food that works best for you.

2. To offset the comfort food, exercise. Go for a run. Getting some aerobic exercise, even if it's just for fifteen or twenty minutes, will make you feel much better after receiving a rejection. It ups your energy and balances your emotions.

3. Watch crappy TV for a while, so you don't have to think.

4. Find your person. Every writer needs someone to vent to when they get a rejection. I sometimes talk to my critique partners, but I also vent to my mom.

5. Space. Don't think about the rejection for a few days, especially if the rejection contained a critique.

6. Once you've given yourself some space, brainstorm. The critique may hold merit. Try to think about things from an outside perspective, and come up with ideas to make your story better.

7. Print out an extra copy of the rejection and burn it. Take vindictive pleasure in doing so.

8. Be grateful. These rejections will make your ultimate acceptance so much more satisfying.


  1. The inner pyro in me will likely do #7 first and repeatedly. :)

  2. Ooh. Printing and burning. I haven't done that since burning my Humanities text in college. Am pondering...

  3. Haha. these are great my dear. I've never burned a rejection before but that could work... :)

  4. I want to do #1 without a rejection...maybe while I do #3. I love this list :)

  5. This was great advice, and I completely agree, Kate. I loved the one about finding your person. It's not easy to take rejection, and it's even harder to do it on your own, so it's good to have somebody there. Wonderful post!

  6. Love this - it's just what I needed to read this week. Thanks Kate! Also I am subscribing to your blog ASAP - don't know why I wasn't before :-)