(Re)Framing Rejection Slips

 

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image from Pixabay

I got an email rejection letter today. It’s not the first. 

I printed it out for posterity. Stephen King tacked all his rejection slips to the wall. He thought it was important to keep them, so I will, too. (Not that I’m in the same class as Stephen King.)

“By the time I was fourteen, the nail in my wall would no longer support the weight of the rejection slips impaled upon it. I replaced the nail with a spike and went on writing.” from On Writing 

By the time I was fourteen…

Wow! I need more rejection slips!

They are proof that I’m actually writing and submitting. Rejection letters are not signs of failure, but records of my effort. 

Not dead ends, but detours to different paths.

Stories abound of famous writers who were rejected but persevered, winning literary prizes and becoming best-selling authors. Hemingway. John Grisham. Madeline L’Engle. Rudyard Kipling.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was rejected twelve times before publication. (Not that I’m in the same class as J.K. Rowling either.)

Rejection letters can be excellent motivators, unless you consider them the last word on your manuscript’s value, which you should not do. And they should never be used as an excuse to quit altogether.

Dean Wesley Smith wrote a great post titled “Only You Can Kill Your Writing.”

“…it is always the writer who makes the decision to quit. The failure is always self-inflicted.”

The entire article is worth a read. Here’s hoping you are enjoying the process of writing and collecting your rejection slips with pride.

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