Dealing with Rejection: Really Useful Links by Lucy O’Callaghan | Resources | Essential Guides | Links for Writers
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Lucy O'Callaghan

Dealing with Rejection

Being rejected is part and parcel of being a writer. Not many writers get accepted on their first submission. Many now-famous writers were rejected many times: J.K. Rowling, George Orwell, Dr. Suess, and Agatha Christie. But what these writers didn’t do was give up. They kept on writing and kept on submitting. So how do we deal with rejection? I have put together some articles, YouTube videos, and a podcast that all have really useful tips on how to deal with rejection.

  1. What I’ve Learned from Dealing With Rejection as a Writer | by Pritika Rao | The Writing Cooperative

Rejections can get really discouraging. The proportion of published writing to drafts and rejections can be very, very small. Don’t wallow in self-doubt, know that you’re in good company. Many great authors like Stephen King and JK Rowling were rejected many times before they went on to be published. Think of dealing with rejection as a skill that you need to master. It’s critical to develop a sense of resilience. Don’t let rejection define you as a writer. Keep believing in your work. Review, rework, and resubmit your work. Focus on your craft- not the wins or the losses. Finding some unbiased editors who can critique your work with honesty and kindness can help, as can taking advantage of simultaneous submissions, and don’t stop. Keep submitting. Believe that your work will become polished, that publishing is a possibility, and work towards that goal instead of getting sidetracked by the pitfalls along the way.

  1. How to Deal with Rejection: 4 Tips From Author Neil Gaiman – 2024 – MasterClass

Writers are subject to rejection on a regular basis, making the ability to accept constructive feedback and bounce back from rejection an integral part of the writing process. This article discusses rejection and famous literary rejections before moving on to share 4 tips for dealing with rejection from Neil Gaiman. He tells the writer not to take the rejection personally, to share your feelings, that it’s okay to take a break – concentrate on something else, keep writing, and establish and maintain a writing ritual in order to promote self-worth after the sting of rejection. This includes creating and sticking to a project timeline, managing productivity with goals, and rewarding yourself when daily goals are met.

  1. Dealing with Rejection as a Writer: 12 Tips to Get Through |

Writing is an extremely vulnerable act, and when we then submit that work for publication and have it rejected, it can feel like being karate kicked in the heart. This article from shares 12 tips for dealing with rejection as a writer. These include, allowing yourself a grieving period but not letting it go on forever, not taking it personally – it’s not you they are rejecting, it’s your current project. Learn to tell the difference between useful criticism and useless criticism, edit your work, remind yourself why you love writing, learn from the rejection, work on another project, and consider joining a community of writers.

  1. Rejection as a Writer: How to Deal with It | The Writers College

It’s difficult not to take a rejection personally. You pour your heart and soul into creating your work, so when the rejection email lands in your inbox, it takes strength to pick yourself up and carry on. It’s important to separate that it was your work that was rejected, not you. Look at the rejection, does it come with constructive criticism, can you use it to make your writing better? Edit, edit, and edit again. The hard truth is that writing is an art. As with visual or music, it’s subjective and not everyone will like your story. Rejection is an unavoidable part of the writing journey. The only way to guarantee that you won’t get rejected is never to submit anything, and then what’s the point of following your dream?


Fiction Writing Made Easy: #42: 10 Reasons Why Novels Get Rejected on Apple Podcasts

In this episode, Savanah walks you through 10 common reasons why manuscripts are rejected by publishers.


Rejection is one of those unavoidable parts of being a writer, and it’s certainly not the most pleasant part either. Luckily there are ways to frame rejection in your mind to turn it from something negative to something productive!

Anyone who writes or publishes a book will encounter rejection at some point in their journey. It can be a tough pill to swallow, especially because your writing is so incredibly important and personal to you. This video talks about how to deal with the rejections you will inevitably face so you can reframe these experiences and stay optimistic about your publishing journey.

It’s important to remember the reason you write, why you do it. You have to because you have a story you need to get on the page! So, although rejection is tough, don’t take it personally. Learn from it, learn to deal with it and move on. Keep on writing. I hope you have found this week’s column useful. As always, get in touch if there are any topics you would like me to cover.

(c) Lucy O’Callaghan

Instagram: lucy.ocallaghan.31.

Facebook: @LucyCOCallaghan

Twitter: @LucyCOCallaghan

About the author

Writing since she was a child, Lucy penned her first story with her father called Arthur’s Arm, at the ripe old age of eight. She has been writing ever since. Inspired by her father’s love of the written word and her mother’s encouragement through a constant supply of wonderful stationary, she wrote short stories for her young children, which they subsequently illustrated.
A self-confessed people watcher, stories that happen to real people have always fascinated her and this motivated her move to writing contemporary women’s fiction. Her writing has been described as pacy, human, moving and very real.
Lucy has been part of a local writing group for over ten years and has taken creative writing classes with Paul McVeigh, Jamie O’Connell and Curtis Brown Creative. She truly found her tribe when she joined Writer’s Ink in May 2020. Experienced in beta reading and critiquing, her debut novel, The Lies Beneath is out now, published by Poolbeg.
Follow her on Instagram: lucy.ocallaghan.31. Facebook and Twitter: @LucyCOCallaghan

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