How to Survive Rejection

OMG, They Hate Me! How to Survive Rejection
Alexa Ann Martin

You’ve poured your heart and soul into your novel. You’ve cried with your characters, watched them try and fail, then cheered with them when they finally got what they so desperately wanted.

Lovingly, you print out the manuscript, put it in a mailer, and send it off, your heart full of hope. You tell no one about that secret daydream of becoming a celebrated, best-selling author.

You wait, anxious and afraid, for days, then weeks, sometimes months. You wonder if they actually got your manuscript, even though you got the delivery confirmation. Then, an eternity later, you get not a happy phone call, but a letter:

Dear Author…

Blah, blah, blah.

Best of luck in all your future endeavors.
The Publisher Who Just Destroyed Your Life and Doesn’t Care


Yep, that’s right. You’ve been rejected.

Now what? Clearly you aren’t meant to be a writer, because if you were, you wouldn’t have been rejected. Right?


It takes a few things to survive as a writer. Handling rejection without wanting to lay down and die is a big part. Other parts include talent, and a penchant for masochism. You have to find a way to believe that there’s a place for your work in the bookstores. You have to keep going in the face of adversity.

You only lose if you give up.

Jack Canfield, co-author with Mark Victor Hansen, of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, was rejected over 140 times. Richard Bach, author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull was rejected 18 times.

J.K. Rowling was rejected 12 times before selling the beloved Harry Potter series. Stephenie Meyer received 14 rejections prior to finding a publisher for Twilight.

You get the idea.

The very successful Jack Canfield wrote a book on how to be successful, The Success Principles. Basically, he says to surround yourself with successful people who support your work, believe that it’s possible, take 100% responsibility for your life, and visualize yourself as successful.

Writing is not easy. Selling is not easy. How do you stay positive while racking up the rejections? By taking it one day at a time and choosing to continue to believe. Yes, you can take a moment to cry, whine about the way publishers are treating you, or throw something at the wall while shrieking obscenities. You can do that. After you’re done, though, you must turn your focus back to getting published. Find other publishers, find literary agents looking for new clients. The point is to keep looking for a home for your book. Keep going. Tama Kieves self-published her first book,

This Time I Dance. She’s now a best-selling author and life coach who teaches people how to be successful. She made a conscious choice to make her dream a reality.

You can too. The choice is yours.

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