You took the chance and submitted that piece of writing to a magazine, contest, agent, editor, or other publication venue. You patiently waited the requisite amount of time, hands tingling in anticipation, to hear whether you’d be published.
The excitement was high, and you sent good vibes into the universe hoping beyond hope for some good news.
Then the reply email came in.
You opened up that message as if it were a pond in a desert and you a hapless traveler in desperate need of hydration.
Except the pond was only a mirage, and now your mouth is full of hot sand.
It stings the ego, makes you question your skills as a writer and storyteller, and may lead to thoughts of quitting.
I’m not cut out for this.
Writing and storytelling are skills anyone can learn with a little practice, the right mindset, and a bit of help. And rejection isn’t the end of your literary road as long as you keep driving ahead.
That’s because rejection is a powerful tool for growth — if you let it be one.
But to grow, you must first squash that fear of rejection so you don’t become trapped in a downward spiral of perceived ineptitude.
Kicking off the writing advice for this week is 100 Days Of Rejection by Garry Rodgers for Killzoneblog.com, who shared his personal story of rejection, which — let’s be honest — takes guts. And his article includes a link to a TED talk I highly recommend you take the fifteen minutes to watch.
As hard as it may be to imagine, the most successful people are often those who were rejected the most.
And if you need some tips to help gamify your rejections, even just to get comfortable with the idea of rejection, check out 3 Ways To Soften Rejection by Sue Bradford Edwards for WOW! Women On Writing Blog.
Now, I love collecting rejections, putting them in a place where I can see them because it’s a showcase of my hard work. Sue seems to agree!
While she uses a different collection method than I do, collecting rejections — even setting a rejection goal for yourself — can help make the process a little less daunting and a little more fun.
And in case you still need to hear this, you don’t need to quit on your writing dream because a few folks weren’t jumping out of their skins to publish your work right away. Not even close.
Give yourself a pep talk by reading 12 More Reasons Not To Give Up On Your Writing Dreams by Meg Dowell for A Writer’s Path. The post is a numbered list of reasons to keep driving along that literary road to become a writer.
And I love Meg’s positivity about meeting your own goals, even if they don’t feel groundbreaking or life changing — or whatever other buzzwords folks are using these days — to others.
Own your awesomeness.
Now, while you’re growing in confidence and character, don’t forget to look for valid and actionable advice buried within those rejections. Sometimes, the respondent delivers a banger of a piece of feedback, and you won’t want to miss it.
For example, perhaps your rejection response referred to flowery writing. That may be a sign you have underdeveloped prose. If so, check out the video, Stop Blaming Adverbs! This Is The 1 Trick To Fix Your Writing by Tim Grahl for Story Grid. Tim covers a lot in a relatively short video, focusing on ways to enhance your writing to reduce redundancies and better show what’s happening in your story so readers have what they need to picture it.
And if you’ve any questions about why flowery writing may be tanking your publication chances, or if you’ve received feedback that your work is skimmable, read Tightening Our Prose: Too Much Information by D. Wallace Peach for Story Empire.
One of the most common bits of feedback I give authors is that there are far too many details — about the setting, the characters, the event. And Diana covers how to assess your descriptions for relevance to the immediate scene at hand, which is critical to delivering the right information at the right time.
And perhaps your feedback included confusion about the fictional world you created for your characters. If that’s the case, the video World-Building Mistakes New Writers Make — Avoid These Cringeworthy Cliches by Abbie Emmons will help you avoid that mistake before your next submission. Abbie talks through delivering exposition through character actions and experience, rather than info-dumping all over your reader at the onset.
Because it’s the characters that make the world matter, so find things about the world that actually matter to your characters.
Remember: whomever you’ve submitted your piece to probably received a whole pile of other submissions too. And since there are a limited number of hours in a day, most folks have simple ways to decrease their potential reading time.
So, don’t overlook the all-important self-edit before you submit, because a submission riddled with grammatical errors may result in an automatic rejection. Check out How To Polish Your Final Draft by Brenda Copeland for Career Authors, whose tips will help you eliminate unnecessary bits from your story that no longer serve your work or your readers.
The next time you submit your current piece or another piece you haven’t even dreamed of yet, remember that rejection is part of the business of writing. So pick your method to handle rejection with grace, and keep driving ahead on your path to literary greatness.
As always, there was a lot of advice I couldn’t share this week, so check the links below to grab what you need.
I’d love to hear your feedback on this week’s writing advice.
Did a piece of advice stick out as particularly useful?
Was there something you didn’t like this week?
Share in the comments below.
More Productivity Advice for the Week
- 10 Ways To Survive Your Day Job by Phoebe Quinn for A Writer’s Path
- 100 Days Of Rejection by Garry Rodgers for Killzoneblog.com
- 12 More Reasons Not To Give Up On Your Writing Dreams by Meg Dowell for A Writer’s Path
- 3 Ways To Soften Rejection by Sue Bradford Edwards for WOW! Women On Writing Blog
- Video: Basically Screaming At You To Finish Your Book by Ana Neu for Ana Neu
- Choose Less, Write More by Rochelle Melander for Write Now Coach!
- Do More By Using The Power Of Subtraction by Ann Gomez for Publication Coach
- Fear: The Brick Wall Every Writer Dreads by Sarah Sally Hamer for The Write Conversation
- Five Characters In A Writer’s Life by Tim Suddeth for The Write Conversation
- Goal Setting: Help Or Hindrance? by Hilary Linnertz for Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers
- How To Deal With Writing Milestone Hangovers by Nathan Bransford for Nathan Bransford
- How To Make Writing More Fun by Daphne Gray-Grant for Publication Coach
- How To Write Your First Book by Angela Ackerman for Writers Helping Writers
- Keeping Up With Writing And Business by Elizabeth Spann Craig for Elizabeth Spann Craig
- Looking Back Before Moving Forward by Candyce Carden for The Write Editing
- Master Your Mindset As A Writer With These 6 Powerful Japanese Productivity Techniques by Lucy V Hay for Bang2write
- Mindset: The Stubborn Elephant Vs. Writer by Sue Coletta for Story Empire
- Nine ‘Mind Tips’ That Will Help Your Writing by Daphne Gray-Grant for Publication Coach
- Video: Setting Goals And Building Habits With Marc Reklau by Mark Dawson and James Blatch for Self Publishing Formula
- Stages Of Change And Creating Your Writing Success! by Margie Lawson for The Write Conversation
- Stumbling by C Hope Clark for FundsforWriters
- The First Rule Of Writing Is Writer’s Block Does Not Exist by Alexander Lewis for Jane Friedman
- The Power Of The Prompt by Gwen Hernandez for Writer Unboxed
- The Practice Of Writing: How Much And What Kind Is Needed? by Diana Stout for Writers In The Storm
- Tips To Divide Up Your Writing Time Into Valuable Chunks by Lynn H. Blackburn for The Write Conversation
- Tips To Help You To Get Back Into A Rhythm Of Writing Regularly by Edie Melson for The Write Conversation
- Video: Writing Retreats by Craig Martell for Successful Indie Author
More Craft Advice for the Week
- Tightening Our Prose: Too Much Information by D. Wallace Peach for Story Empire
- Should Mom Be Capitalized? & Other Uppercase-Lowercase Conundrums by Dana Isaacson for Career Authors
- Can I Include Fight Scenes In Cosmic Horror? by Oren Ashkenazi for Mythcreants
- How To Describe Clothing In A Story by Jordan Kantey for Now Novel
- This Is Why You Hated The Ending To That Book by Meg Dowell for A Writer’s Path
- Podcast: Pacing With Guest Fonda Lee by Dan Wells, DongWon Song, Erin Roberts, Howard Tayler, and Mary Robinette Kowal for Writing Excuses
- Video: How To Write A Book In A Day In 2024 by Jason Hamilton for The Nerdy Novelist
- Video: Stop Blaming Adverbs! This Is The 1 Trick To Fix Your Writing by Story GridTim Grahl for Story Grid
- Video: Forged For Battle: Change Your World With Elite Warriors by Marie Mullany for Just In Time Worlds
- Video: Author Tools To Help You Write A Novel by Nicole Broussard for Nicole Broussard
- Writing: Confuse ‘Em And Lose ‘Em by Linda S. Clare for Linda S. Clare
- Video: World-Building Mistakes New Writers Make — Avoid These Cringeworthy Cliches by Abbie Emmons for Abbie Emmons
- Video: The Secrets Of How Successful Authors Create Characters You Can’t Forget by Shirley Jump for Write Better Fiction with Shirley Jump
- How To Show Emotion In Characters Who Hide Their Feelings by Eldred Bird for Writers In The Storm
- How To Polish Your Final Draft by Brenda Copeland for Career Authors
- The Antic Muse: Is There A Place For It In Your Writing? by Barry Knister for Writer Unboxed
- Podcast: Our Best Advice: Conflict + Cast Design by Valerie Francis and Melanie Hill for Story Nerd
- How To Get Useful Ideas For Stories by Doug Lewars for A Writer’s Path
- Genre Expectations: Writing Romantic Fantasy And Fantasy Romance by A.C. Williams for The Write Conversation
- Creating A Scene Plan To Make Your Draft A Success by Chris Winkle for Mythcreants
- Video: Story Editing With Fictionary And Generative AI with Kristina Stanley by Mark Leslie Lefebvre for Draft2Digital
- Video: 3 Steps For Writing Conflict That Doesn’t Suck by Brandon McNulty for Writer Brandon McNulty
- Video: I Studied Over 200 Scenes… Here’s The Top Writing Tips I Found! by Tim Grahl for Story Grid
- Video: Should A Writer Think About Adaptations When Writing? by Stephen Aryan for Stephen Aryan
- Character Type & Trope Thesaurus: Wallflower by Becca Puglisi for Writers Helping Writers
- Why Rough Drafts Should Never Be Perfect by E. S. Foster for A Writer’s Path
- Fight Scene Edit: Embrace The Red by Carla Hoch for Writer’s Digest
- Five Abandoned Arcs From Popular Stories by Oren Ashkenazi for Mythcreants
- Video: Here’s How Many Characters To Include In Your Story by Stavros Halvatzis for Get Writing
- Video: 20 Sentence Mistakes New Fantasy Writers Make by Jed Herne for Jed Herne
- Video: I Trained A Fine-Tuned Model On My Books (Demonstration) by Jason Hamilton for The Nerdy Novelist
- Podcast: Fantasy Drugs by Chris Winkle and Bunny for Mythcreants
- “A Little Less Conversation; A Little More Action, Please” — Don’t Overdo Dialogue In Fiction by Anne R. Allen for Anne R. Allen’s Blog… with Ruth Harris
- Busy-Ness: Demonstrations Of Character by Andrea Lundgren for A Writer’s Path
More Business Advice for the Week
- 5 Reasons Marketing Is Hard For Writers by K. M. Weiland for Helping Writers Become Authors
- Podcast: How To Be Successful On Kickstarter With Paddy Finn by Joanna Penn for The Creative Penn
- Laura’s Big Guide To Conference Networking by Laura VanArendonk Baugh for Writers In The Storm
- 66 Calls For Submissions In February 2024 – Paying Markets by Erica Verrillo for Publishing … and Other Forms of Insanity
- Podcast: The One Where Literary Agent Lucinda Halpern Explains The Essential Element To Getting Published by J.D. Barker, Christine Daigle, JP Rindfleisch, and Kevin Tumlinson for Writers, Ink.
- Want To Improve Your Amazon Ranking? Improve Or Update All Of Your Book Descriptions by Penny Sansevieri for Jane Friedman
- Indie Author Bookstore Launches Funding Campaign by Dan Holloway for Self Publishing Advice
- A Guide To Welcome Emails For Authors by Grant Shepherd for Written Word Media
- How Much Do Ghostwriters Make? Common Rates by Jason Hamilton for Kindlepreneur
- Three Things I Wish I’d Known Before Self-Publishing by Debbie Burke for Killzoneblog.com
- Video: Marketing Your Book On Amazon | Storiad Walkthrough by Dale L. Roberts for Self-Publishing with Dale
- Video: Pay To Promote Your Free Books On Kindle? by Dale L. Roberts for Self-Publishing with Dale
- Video: Author Interview With Fantasy Author Zack Argyle About Self-Publishing, Kickstarter, and Special Editions by Stephen Aryan for Stephen Aryan
- Amazon Book Marketing: 4 Powerful Ways To Boost Your Pre-Order That Won’t Cost A Dime by Penny Sansevieri for Author Marketing Experts, Inc.
- Author Planning 2024 With Audrey Hughey by Sacha Black for Sacha Black
- Writing Hasn’t Won Me Fame Or Fortune, But It’s Brought Me Friendship by Liz Alterman for Jane Friedman
- Writers Guild Of Canada Calls For AI Legislation As Partially AI-Written Novel Wins Prize by Dan Holloway for Self Publishing Advice
- Podcast: Direct Sales Mindset — The Advantages Of Personal Sales, With Joe Solari: Self-Publishing Conference Highlight by Joe Solari for Self Publishing Advice
- Book Marketing Overwhelm: How To Avoid Being Crushed by Sandra Beckwith for Build Book Buzz
- Who Else Wants To Know How Many Copies Novels Actually Sell? by Gary Smailes for A Writer’s Path
- Sleep In Your Guestroom And Other Random Thoughts For Authors by Terry Odell for Killzoneblog.com
- Video: Running Amazon Ads For Your Book With Book Launchers Ad Expert by Shane Vigeant for Book Launchers
- Video: Avoid These Major Mistakes When Querying Your Book by M.K. Williams for M.K. Williams
- Video: How To Write A Book Description With Ai… And Why You Should by Hason Hamilton for The Nerdy Novelist
- Innovative 2024 Tactics For Amazon Ads: A Guide For Authors by Laurence O’Bryan for #PublishingReinvented
- Podcast: How And Why Readers Buy Books by Penny Sansevieri and Amy Cornell for Author Marketing Experts, Inc.
- Video: Myths & Truths Of SEO For Authors With Troy Lambert by S.D. Huston for S.D. Huston
- Video: YA Fantasy Author Katie Cross Talks Building Readership And Sales by Wendy Vella, Trudi Jaye, and Cheryl Phipps for Self Publishing Info with the SPA Girls
- Ai-Generated Text Wins Major Award With Implications For Copyright And Creativity by Dan Holloway for Self Publishing Advice
- What Authors Need To Know About The Recent Gmail And Yahoo Updates by Michael Hourigan for Written Word Media
- Video: 7 Tips (And A Warning!) For Authors On Email Newsletter Building In 2024 by Julie Broad for Book Launchers
- Video: How Ai Can 10x Your Book Publishing Business by Dale L. Roberts for Self-Publishing with Dale
- Video: What Is The Process For Designing Book Covers? by Stephen Aryan for Stephen Aryan
- Podcast: Get Signed! Why You Need An Agent with Lucinda Halpern by Mark Desvaux for The Bestseller Experiment
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Edited by Melody Friedenthal