As an author you have to have a thick skin. You have to be both patient and persistent. You have to be brave. Lacking in any of those qualities is sure to leave you feeling inadequate and even paralyzed to get words on to the page. It is imperative that you remember, as Greg Daugherty reminds us, “rejected pieces aren’t failures; unwritten pieces are.” If you finished a marathon but didn’t win, are you a failure? No. You put in the hours, you showed up, and you finished. If you fall, you get yourself up, dust off, and continue—just as you should with any rejection you receive in your writing career. The only sure way to fail is to not try at all.
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:
Rejection can certainly be discouraging, but it doesn’t have to mean the end of a project. It is important to move forward after your work is rejected and there are some steps you can take to avoid rejection altogether.
Overcoming disappointment is often one of the first things an academic author must face after a rejection. Dannielle Joy Davis, an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership, Policy, and Law at Alabama State University and a new co-editor for the journal Learning for Democracy, recommends setting aside a finite amount of time to feel disappointed before moving on and taking steps to resubmit. “I always send [a rejected paper] back out to a refereed venue and do not dwell on disappointment for more than 24 hours,” she said.