Recently, I received a request to submit a guest post to one of my other blogs. I do not use guest posts on that blog and this particular e-mail did not display any sense of proper grammar or use of the English language. I politely wrote back that I do not use guest posts on that blog but I appreciated their offer and wished them luck with their writing. About a day later, I received another e-mail from this same person saying that they had great knowledge on the topic of the blog and I should really consider their offer and let them write for me because they were a great writer. This time I just ignored the e-mail. I had already taken the time to answer politely the first time and didn’t want to bother stating the same fact again. I then received a third e-mail saying that I was an idiot for not wanting this person to write for my worthless blog and they would find a better blog to write for. Oh, well, my loss.
I’d like to say that this was the only time I’d ever had this happen, but it isn’t. Many times, when faced with a ‘no’ answer, no matter how polite it is, some people overreact by either telling me off or begging in successive letters to give them a try and let them write for me. But honestly, if I’ve already said no thank you, then I’m not going to change my mind just because you beg or yell at me. If anything, I won’t even answer your e-mail and will probably block your e-mail address. Writers, no matter what form of writing you do, need to learn how to take rejection gracefully.
Rejection is Just Part of the Job
Every writer gets rejected at some point in their career. It doesn’t necessarily mean you are a bad writer or that you have no talent and should quit right away. A rejection could be because the publication couldn’t use your idea at this time, your article/story is not right for the place you sent it to or they just do not accept queries/articles/manuscripts from people who are not already writers for their publication. Even rude rejections do not necessarily mean that you are a hack. Sometimes a particular editor may become frustrated because a writer hasn’t done their homework and submits an article/manuscript which does not follow along with their topic. The editor may write “Not for us!” or “We don’t accept this type of work” or a flat-out “No!”, because they are tired of writers not checking their publication out before submitting. That doesn’t mean your submission stinks – it means you need to do your homework and find a more suitable place for your work. The main point is: rejection is as much a part of the job of writing as actual writing is. If you are a writer, you will be rejected as much, if not more than your work is accepted, so don’t take it personally. It’s just part of the process.
How to Handle Rejection
If you have a submission rejected, just mark it off as being one more step toward acceptance and continue to submit your work. Don’t send a nasty reply to the editor – just leave it alone. You never know if you will get a chance to work with that editor again, so you don’t want to ruin your chances by being remembered as a disgruntled writer.
If an editor has taken the time to critique your submission before rejecting it, don’t go out of your way to write a scathing e-mail or letter to them saying that they are wrong. Instead, swallow your pride and take their critique into consideration. Editors rarely take the time to give advice on how to make your article/manuscript better, so if one has, then it means they thought you were good enough to spend some time on. (Unless they told you your submission wasn’t worth anyone’s time or that it was the worst thing they’ve ever read. Then you have a whole other set of problems.) Really consider the editor’s critique and don’t send them a note telling them what you think of them – unless you are thanking them profusely for their help.
What about the editor who says your work is junk? You may want to look over your article/manuscript again (and have someone else read it) and consider if it really is your best work. If, after careful review of your work, you still believe in it, ignore what the editor said and continue to send it out. Just don’t send that editor a nasty note – it may come back to bite you in the end.
Writers get rejected all the time – whether you are a freelancer or novelist, rejection is just part of the process. The best way to handle rejection is to make sure you have written your best work, carefully researched the right places to send it and continue to send it out. Hopefully, you will turn that rejection into an acceptance.