Fear of Rejection

As many of you have probably already realized, I am a writer. I don’t care if my books may never make it into the public eye, but I still claim the title. I spend my free time writing. Either I’m writing articles here or at Geeked Out Nation, then other times I’m writing and working on my novels. It can take a lot out of me. One of the biggest things that comes with writing and any other creative outlet that comes with some sort of a gateway that must be crossed, is rejection. Whenever there is a threshold that needs to be crossed and things aren’t entirely in your power there is rejection.

Fear of RejectionI wrote one novel to completion. Then I edited it twice through. I took notes from betas and revised the story and went through another set of edits. I thought It was ready to go out. In retrospect it wasn’t. Sure, the story was unique and interesting. It just wasn’t solid enough to stand a chance. It made it to agents and only a couple requests came in and none of them turned into anything. It happens. I shut off and not a single rejection actually made me upset. There were no tears. There was no agony. I simply put the manuscript away to be looked at later.

The string of rejections did have an effect on me. I didn’t realize it until recently. Since I stopped querying that first story that made it into the wild, I’ve worked on an written a few more novels. However, not one of them has made it to the query stage yet. Sure, a couple of them are so close I could taste it. I could at least look for betas. Instead, I’ve pocketed my stories, fearful of facing rejection from any one. Sure, the initial rejections hadn’t deterred me. I even went back and started working on fixing that first novel I queried. However, it has made me weary to sharing any more of the work.

I’m sure many of you have faced rejection just the same. A rejection isn’t something that should stop you. It shouldn’t make you doubt what you are capable of. However, a rejection should make you question everything else. It should make you critically re-evaluate. It should make you strive to improve. It shouldn’t take away your heart and drive from the story. It can be tough when a rejection often feels like an insult. Some people take rejection personally; they shouldn’t. Some people recognize that a rejection is just for the work. But one should never become fearful to continue to put one’s work out there.

How do you handle rejection?

3 thoughts on “Fear of Rejection

  1. I don’t think I’d handle rejection very well. I can barely handle rejection among people in real life and online as it is. If I’ve ever received a rejection letter, it must have been a long time ago and I’ve blocked it from my memory, and these days I’m still working on that great novel of mine, so the querying and the girding of loins will have to wait.

    Your post did make me look up famous authors who were rejected by numerous publishers before one took the chance on them. One of them, from the examiner.com article I found, was Rudyard Kipling:

    “I’m sorry Mr. Kipling, but you just don’t know how to use the English language.” – These were the words used by one of the editors of the San Francisco Examiner newspaper when rejecting one of Mr. Kipling’s short stories. Mr. Kipling is now a revered author and the San Francisco Examiner is….

    • Rejection builds character. Most people face it in some shape or form. Those who don’t often end up being sociopaths in some way. Heck, the vast majority of the people many idolize have their tales of anguish and rejection.

      I now just need to learn to crawl from my little den where I’ve been hiding from rejection.

  2. Fear of Rejection is so common and that fear is a powerful motivator. Unfortunately, it motivates us to avoid, run, or hide, as if there was some real threat to our survival. Acting against the fear, doing what we are afraid to do, again and again, despite the fear, can often reduce or eliminate the fear. We miss too many rewarding results when we give into our fear.
    I have also often found fear is behind procrastination.
    I have accumulated a large number (over 50) tools and techniques to conquer my fear of rejection and other fears (fear of public speaking, fear of heights, fear of speaking up, fear of asking for what I want). They work.
    It takes some practice using these tools but conquering the fear of rejection is attainable. Don’t give up too soon.

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