My philosophy regarding rejection is pretty simple: submit widely, and you’ll probably get a taker.
Let’s say your acceptance rate is 1% (it’s likely not going to be that low, but this is just an example). If you submitted to 100 places, that means one is going to take it. And that’s all you need — that one.
Writers can get kind of weird about rejection. Logically we know it’s impossible for everything we submit to be accepted. But yet, in our fantasies, we’d like this to happen.
I was talking to a writer friend the other day about this subject. We said it’s easy to feel discouraged when we get a rejection, to feel sorry for ourselves, to want to throw a pity party. But if we look at the successes we’ve had in the past year, or three years, or five years — those are the types of success that would have made us elated when we first started writing. And they did make us happy, but how quickly we forget.
I came across a couple of good reminders regarding rejection in the past couple of days. One was a post on the Facebook group for women writers. The author of the post said as soon as she gets a rejection, she gives herself five minutes to send it somewhere else. It forces her to quickly turn that moment of rejection into positive action.
A recent Brevity blog post also addressed the topic of rejection. Kathleen Siddell writes:
“Check Facebook. Wonder why you ever started following so many up-and-coming writers. Writing. Publishing. Book deals. Getting paid. Getting paid? Certainly not wading through an inbox of rejection.”
It’s hard not to compare yourself to others. This applies to any endeavor. The truth is, the competition is really within yourself. Can you keep improving? Can you keep getting better? Honestly ask yourself: Is your writing better than it was a year ago, three years ago, five years ago? If the answer is yes, then you’ve succeeded.