Monday, May 7, 2012

Guest Post by Nadia Jones

Please try again: A call for writers to brave rejection

I may be preaching to the choir here when I say this, but writers don’t have it easy. Sure, it’s a job that requires little to no physical exertion and pop culture has a knack for glamorizing the profession to look like a dream gig, but any real writer will tell you that it’s no picnic to do what we do. All day we try to make something from nothing, not only putting thousands of words to paper (or word document), but also combining those words in such a way so as to elicit specific responses from a potential reader. We inform, we entertain, and we (aspire to) provoke the most inspiring thoughts with our writing.

For all the work and effort put into it, writing is an enterprise fraught with rejection and drawbacks, mostly when writers want to get their work published. Countless novels, manuscripts, articles, and essays get rejected from publishing houses, magazines, and production companies every day—the pieces rejected daily could fill whole houses. Hundreds of hours might go into an author’s construction of a piece of writing, and most understand that their work has a better chance of getting rejected than any other outcome.

Yet writers continue to write, pressing on because there’s always a chance that the next submission will be the one that gives them their big break. This is the best advice I can give you on the subject of rejection: please try again. If you don’t, then you’ll never allow yourself the chance of getting published.

The stories of famous writers continuing to submit their work despite constant rejections are legion. When trying the initial volume of her now infamous Harry Potter series published, J.K. Rowling was famously rejected on multiple occasions by big-wig publishing companies like Harper Collins before landing with the relatively small and quiet Bloomsbury publishing house. Stephen King was similarly rejected by numerous publishing companies when he first began submitting manuscripts, and now he is one of the most prolific and well respected writers in his genre. Even the literary darling of a novel Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov was roundly rejected for its controversial content, only to become a great success later.

If there’s anything to learn from these authors, it’s that they persevered to get their work published despite the chorus of naysayers. It’s easy to see how these giants of fiction were published now that we know there work, but it’s not as easy to imagine them as destitute writers just looking for a way to share their stories with a wider audience. I try to keep things in perspective whenever my work faces rejection; I tell myself that (probably) every writer in the history of the craft has experienced rejection and even ridicule at one point or another. Rejection is merely an opportunity to hone your craft and try again.

So I challenge you, my dear fellow writer, to think of the failed starts and drawbacks of your predecessors whenever you experience rejection. I challenge you to not think of it as the end of the world, but as a temporary detour from a grand future that could happen if you persist.

Author Bio: This is a guest post by Nadia Jones who blogs at accredited online colleges about education, college, student, teacher, money saving, movie related topics. You can reach her at nadia.jones5 @

1 comment:

madcapmaggie said...

As writers we have to believe in ourselves and our work, and have a clear picture of when we need to simply persevere and when we need to fall back and regroup.