At the beginning of the year, I submitted to the CBC Nonfiction prize. I had never submitted to anything like it before, but it was important to me to do so. “Let them say no to you, don’t say no for them” is something I have to tell myself a lot. I’ve always been afraid of rejection, but I had to stop rejecting myself. I was proud of the piece I submitted, and I thought there was a chance I’d at least get the long list.
Because there’s always a chance. Every time you submit anywhere, there is a chance of acceptance and that’s huge!
The results came in today and my name wasn’t on the list.
Rejections suck, even if it’s part of the biz.
But guess what? I wouldn’t have even had a rejection if I didn’t submit, so that’s win #1. I have more clarity on the story I want to share with the world. That’s win #2. I know my story continues to have value. That’s win #3.
Rejections seem negative, don’t they? At its very core, it’s saying “no”. Here’s a positive: I am now free to shop my piece around to other publications.
Yes, my shoulders slumped when my name wasn’t on the list. Yes, I wondered for the briefest of a second if I was actually good enough to continue down this path, but the moment passed as quickly as it appeared and I am left with hope. I am left with encouragement.
This wasn’t my first no and it won’t be my last and that is win #4. Why is it a win? In order to get rejections, I have to keep writing, and keep submitting.
Kim’s Tips to Keep Writing after A Rejection
Mourn. It’s part of the process and we’re allowed to feel sad.
Re-read what you wrote. You’re in a different place now than when you initially wrote it. Maybe there are changes you’d like to make, or maybe there aren’t. Re-reading will help you feel proud of your accomplishment.
Read a book. We write because we’ve read a book or two (or more!) that inspired us to do so. Reading a book will get you back in that state of mind.
Tell a Friend. Keeping the negative emotions inside gives it a change to grow. Tell a friend and suddenly it doesn’t seem so debilitating. Plus, friends are the best hype people. Let them hype you up!
Write Down What You’re Proud Of. Did you have amazing alliteration? Was it breaking past your comfort zone? Was it the very fact you submitted something in the first place? Write it down! Keep it close. You deserve to feel proud of yourself.
Take a Break. We are not machines. Just because you’re a writer doesn’t mean you have to write till your fingers bleed. Go for a walk, drink some tea, watch TV, cuddle your dog, get your nails done, or whatever it is that gives you a break. Breathe. Experience life, because life is what we write.
Finally, remember: every no gets you closer to that yes.
Should your piece be reviewed before submitting? Book a discovery call with me today to talk about your options.