Sunday, 21 November 2010

Rejections and Writing Confidence

What is the procedure for rejections?

I ask this because there seems to be three camps about them.

  • There are people who don’t talk about rejections. You only ever read about the achievements, the good times, the glamour side of writing.
  • There seem to be people who talk about rejections on their blogs. They say that it doesn’t matter about rejection. It’ll make you a stronger writer (which I agree with) and seem to still praise the editor who rejected them. Do people do this because they don’t want to upset the editor, just in case they come across the blog entry?
  • There are also people who write about rejections and use it as a way to slag off the magazine, etc. They take it personally and just let rip with the swears.

I suppose I am thinking about this because I have recently had a few rejections. A story for a lit magazine was rejected, I didn’t make the short-listing for the novel opening competition and not winning a writing competition.

I am probably in the second camp. But I have probably been in the first camp too. Keeping quiet, not wanting to admit. Is it all down to writing confidence?

for me, yes. Getting hit after hit of rejection can take its toll. I think, am I good enough? Do I have the authority to keep a writing blog? Emails to other writers seems to slow down or stop because I can’t keep emailing saying, oh I had a rejection and I have run out of ideas.

Another aspect of aspect of this loss of writing confidence is the novel. I keep wondering if I can still write short stories? Will there be another idea? Have I used up all of my writing juice? Then more doubt creeps further, crumbling at the writing confidence.
Then I write this blog post and laugh at myself from being so silly.  
Then I remember I have achieved my writing goal – write a novel.

I am now off to unpack my copy of Writing Down the Bones. Its my go-to book when the writing gets tough. 


Sophie Playle said...

I've been feeling the same recently. Maybe it's these long winter nights that are having an effect on us writerly lot?

I love 'Writing Down the Bones' - fantastic little book.

Mairi said...

You should check out

I started it this year as I felt there has to be a more positve way of dealing with rejection than there already is. A lot of people don't want to talk about it, but I feel its part of the process, and unhealthy not to.

Jessica said...

Hi Sophie
I think its the winter too - maybe its the hibernation gene?

Hi Mairi
I will definitely check out your website :)

essygie said...

I for one appreciate you being in camp two and blogging about rejection. I think it's the realistic point of view - rejection is part of life for any writer, but taking it personally is counterproductive.

I know it's hard when you've had a run of them (I'm in the same boat) - but keep slogging at it. The only way you can fail as a writer is to stop trying.

:-) said...

We all get it and more often that we'd like.

There's some posts on my blog with some ideas on how to deal with it.

I really like this one - it's a cartoon.

You might like to check out ch 1 of my YA fantasy novel, Lethal Inmheritance, while you're there.