Let’s talk about rejection

J.K. Rowling got 12.

John Grisham got 25.

Stephen King, “dozens.”

Kathryn Stockett, 60.

Don’t you know the people who sent those rejection letters are kicking themselves every single day? But it’s just one of those unavoidable things — authors get rejected. In King’s book, “On Writing,” he describes how he saved his letters.

“โ€ฆ 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 kept on writing.”

Author/speaker/blogger Kristen Lamb explains the difference between aspiring writers and authentic writers in her recent blog post, “Don’t Eat the Butt #4 — Real Writers Never Struggle.” She says it’s a myth that “real” writers are brilliant enough to produce fantastic work without ever second-guessing themselves. On the contrary, writers who struggle are real writers because the struggle is part of the process.

My goal is to start querying literary agents at the end of the summer. I fully expect to receive rejections, and when I do I will save them because they will be badges of honor. I’m not just talking about being a writer. I AM a writer.

The collection is already started:

My first rejection. I should put it on my fridge.

I found this while organizing my filing cabinet this past weekend. I’d forgotten all about it. Now it will wait to be joined by the others to come. And one day, if I’m lucky, the people who send them will be kicking themselves.

Tell me about your artistic/creative struggle. What’s your badge of honor?

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8 thoughts on “Let’s talk about rejection

  1. Pingback: Let’s talk about fear « stefawrites

  2. When I submitted a story for the first time and it got accepted I started to think all these other writer types must really suck. Oh man, I was wrong.

    Since then I’ve gotten a couple more stories published but only after being rejected a ton of times. For me, the rejection letters always suck but they don’t suck enough to make me want to quit.

  3. I guess one of my badges of honor was getting my Master’s Degree. I knew it was going to take a lot of creativity working full time, taking care of the family, and accomplishing my degree in 1 year.

    Another badge of honor was the time I had no idea I could do art work, and within a year was selling some of my work.

    Approval is so subjective. It WILL happen for you, you just have to try to ” light the bulb 10,000 times before it works”.. You can do it, kippy! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. rejection letters are excellent. it means you are submitting your work, which means you are actually WRITING! I wish I had some rejection letters…

  5. you are so right-you have only failed when you quit trying…good for you keeping the record of your first attempt…now to enjoy the time when you can get into ‘club’ of successful rejected authors…you go girl…so proud of you

  6. What a great post! The thing about acting is they never actually TELL you when you don’t get a role. You figure it out for yourself when no one calls you. For this reason, I don’t have any tangible badges of honor, per se, but I do have faith in the power of my pursuit and the things that are lining up for me that I can’t even see. I put my mental efforts towards being excited about each day and what might unfold. ๐Ÿ™‚

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