Revisiting rejection

Photo by Jakayla Toney

I have returned to the subject of rejection for The Literary Consultancy’s blog this month – thinking about how as writers we can start to try and see this in a more positive light.

I’ve drawn on interviews I carried out a few years ago with writers such as Bernardine Evaristo, Alison Moore, Jenn Ashworth, A. L. Kennedy and Stephen Gallagher – all of whom gave an insight into their own experiences with rejection, as well as advice on how to deal with it. To have a read of the blog post, please click here. All of the original interviews are also available under ‘Archives’ on the right of this page should you wish to see what people said in full (look at the posts in 2016 and 2017 to find them).

Rejection is such a thorny subject for most writers and yet it’s something we all experience throughout our writing lives. It never ever goes away – no matter how successful we may or may not become. And so I think we need to make peace with it.

That’s not to say we should give up at the first hurdle – we definitely shouldn’t. We need to try our hardest to get our work out there and keep submitting it until it hopefully finds a home, the right home. But if that doesn’t happen after a number of attempts (and we’ll all have our own limits on how many times we should try), then maybe it’s something we need to accept and move on from.

But what are your thoughts on this? With my own first novel, for instance, it was rejected a number of times – I don’t know how many although I know it was quite a few – but I would never have wanted to self-publish it or link up with a vanity publisher. I want a traditional publisher for my work and so these routes into publication wouldn’t be an option for me. I would rather the work never see the light of day. But we’re all different and I have no issues at all with others writers self-publishing – it’s whatever feels right and works for you. What are your thoughts though? I’d love to hear from you. And if you’d like to share your experiences of rejection – as well as any tips on how to embrace or accept it – please leave a comment.