“It isn’t defeat, but rather your mental attitude toward it, that whips you.”
This goes back to what an earlier post said about the attitude of the writer. It’s all a matter of perspective. Instead of looking at a rejection slip as failure or defeat, view it as simply the revelation of one publication that didn’t want what you wrote right now. You’ve eliminated one potential market, which means you are that much closer to finding the right market and the right readers for your work. And it’s only one editor’s opinion. A different editor with the same publication at a different time might have accepted it. Keep searching until you find that editor.
2. “No man is ever whipped, until he quits–in his own mind. . . . Failure seems to be nature’s plan for preparing us for great responsibilities.”
This statement, too, takes us back to the earlier statement on attitude. It’s all a matter of perspective. View a rejection as bringing you one step closer to finding the right publication and the right editor. Edison was not discouraged when an experiment with a particular filament material failed; he said that it just proved one more material that would not work, bringing him that much closer to finding the material that would.
3. “If the thing you wish to do is right, and you believe in it, go ahead and do it! Put your dream across, and never mind what ‘they’ say if you meet with temporary defeat, for ‘they,’ perhaps, do not know that every failure brings with it the seed of an equivalent success.”
If one of your manuscripts gets rejected, don’t give up on it. If you’ve done your best writing, chosen your markets carefully, and otherwise done “due diligence” in seeking a publisher, send it back out to a second publisher. Or, if necessary, a third or fourth or. . . . Never give up on it. Even if it’s never published, you haven’t wasted time; the experience will have made you a better, wiser writer.
4. “The greatest cure known is work. . . . [Emotions] do not always respond to logic and reason. They do, however, respond to action.”
5. “There is a vast difference between failure and temporary defeat. There is no such thing as failure, unless it is accepted as such. . . . When you view adversity as nothing more than a learning experience, your successes in life will far outnumber your failures.”
One rejection does not a failure make. Was Theodor Geisel (aka Dr. Seuss) a failure? Certainly not, but his first book was rejected by 42 publishers before being accepted by the 43rd. You are a failed writer only if you quit. Don’t give up! Keep plugging away. Even “successful” writers get rejections, just as batting champs fail to get hits about 65-70 percent of the time.
6. “The average person would have quit at the first failure. That’s why there have been many average men and only one Edison. . . . [A]nything worthwhile never comes easily; if it were easy, anyone could do it.”
Writing is hard work. Good writing is even harder. Getting good writing published is harder yet. It is the writer who perseveres, who keeps writing and submitting even after having his or her work rejected time after time who is the real success. Be that person! What matters is that you don’t take the rejection personally; it’s not you but your words that have been rejected. What matters is the you keep writing and keep submitting. What matters is that you, true to your calling, enjoy your work. Put your thoughts on your next project, not on the last one.
7. “Failure is not a disgrace if you have sincerely done your best. . . . [I]f you are satisfied that you’ve done your best, don’t waste time reliving the past. . . . If you consistently do your best, your temporary failures will take care of themselves.”
Copyright (c) 2018, Dennis L. Peterson