Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Advice on Rejection for Writers

Question: How should the rejected writer deal with it?

Answer/Quote: “Rejection, sad to say, goes hand in hand with writing. We all have to deal with it, and it smarts no matter how many times you’ve experienced it. No doubt you’ve heard these stories: Richard Bach’s best selling Jonathan Livingston Seagull was rejected more than 20 times before getting published.  Chicken Soup for the Soul, the first in the phenomenally successful Chicken Soup series, struck out more than 100 times before winning a contract. And, Pearl s. Buck received a rejection slip for a short story in the same week she learned about her Nobel Prize for literature.

“It’s hard not to take a rejection personally, but it’s important to remember that editors aren’t rejecting you—and they may not even be rejecting your work. In ‘How to cope with rejection’…writer and consultant Moira Allen suggests that the first thing to do when an editor says ‘no’ is to separate yourself from your work. ‘You may pour your heart and souls into your writing, but you must also establish boundaries between yourself and your creation. … Success will become impossible if you cannot bear failure.’ ” Jeff Reich, Editor, The Writer.

Comment: Part of teaching writing is helping students deal with rejection.  The problem of rejection is worth a good discussion on how to deal with it, whether it’s the teacher’s criticism or an editor’s. The Writer is a magazine by writers for writers and the theme of dealing with rejection is constant and uplifting. The Writer is also a source for articles on creative writing, whether poetry or fiction or nonfiction. The magazine is a good source for teachers who teach writing. RayS.

Title: “When Editors Say ‘No.’ ” Jeff Reich, Editor. The Writer (April 2011), p. 6.

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