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5 Strategies to move your writing forward after rejection

Rejection can be devastating and even crippling for a writer after pouring hours, months, or even years into a manuscript. Having strategies in place to help you cope with the sting of rejection will help move your writing forward. Here are five such strategies to use:

  1. Allow yourself to be upset. No matter how far you are in your career, rejection will always hurt. The key here is to only allow yourself a short, defined amount of time to be upset. Take the afternoon off. Go for a walk. Sit at your favorite coffee shop and read. Talk to a colleague. Whatever it is you have to do to feel and let go.
  2. Focus on another writing project and start working on it immediately. Focusing on a new project, or another project that was in the works before the rejection, will help you stay in the writing habit and focus your attention away from the rejection and on to this other piece.
  3. Recap all that you have accomplished to this point. Reminding yourself of all your past successes will help keep you positive and ease the emotions of rejection. Make a list or a file full of accepted papers to turn to anytime you need motivation or receive a rejection letter. If you are yet to be published, look at all of the comments from professors or colleagues that have been positive.
  4. When you are ready, create an action plan for revisions. When you can approach the reviews less emotionally, read through them and determine how you can use them to make your work better for resubmission.
  5. Join a writing community for support from follow authors that know what rejection feels like. Belonging to a writing community can help ease the sting of rejection, offer encouragement, and ways to address the reviewer comments for revising.

What are your strategies for coping with rejection and moving your writing forward? Please share them with me in the comments below.