by Jennifer Bozell
Dealing with rejection is part of life for writers. No matter how brilliant your project is, not everyone is going to like it. But there’s an important distinction writers must make. When do you press on, keep submitting your work, knowing that the right producer will spark to it and want to work with you? And when do you take a hard look at your project, and decide it needs some re-writing before you send it out again?
For writers struggling to make this decision, there are a few things to keep in mind. The first thing to remember about rejections is that they are largely subjective. It’s someone’s opinion. This doesn’t mean it’s bad or wrong or has no value. You’re likely dealing with informed opinions, but opinions just the same. Rejections are proof of your efforts. Be proud to have them. Just as the adversity and pain and challenges of life can make you stronger, so too can rejection. We all get knocked down in life. What matters is that you get back up and keep going. Having that attitude as a writer will serve you well. Rejections can be a badge of honor and make your eventual success that much sweeter!
However, it’s also smart to analyze the patterns of your rejections. One rejection is not as meaningful as a basket of them. But all the rejections of a single project can definitely be meaningful. A picture starts to emerge when you start examining the reasons for being rejected. What are the commonalities? If you’re consistently receiving similar feedback on a project, it’s probably worth noting.
As upsetting as the rejection can be, it can sometimes lead you to a much needed realization. Other times, you can come to a sad truth: That your project just isn’t good enough.
But this doesn’t have to be the depressing end of the story. It can actually be a powerful moment in which you have a choice. Your choice is to make your story better, which is entirely within your power. You can’t change the opinions of others, or control the market, but you can change and improve the quality of your story. If you can do that, rejection can serve to make you a better writer.