Why Rejections Are Good

Wait. Say that again? Rejections are good?

As ludicrous as this sounds, I have found that the statement generally holds true. As good as publishing is, or being accepted for study, or any such acceptance is a boost to the self—it makes us feel like we’ve done something worthy—, rejection plays an equal role. If you never failed, or were never rejected, how odd would your life be? What lessons would you have not learned? Rejection and failure forces us to rethink our paths.

Dostoevsky says, "In Russia, you make rejection cry!"

As a writer, I know rejection is “part of the job.” And part of that job, too, is to become the best writer that I possibly can.I’ve had stories rejected, poems rejected, and I’ve been told two years in a row by schools, that they have found better candidates for study. I have not given up. But what does rejection have to do with anything? I’ve learned from a lot of my rejections where my weaknesses as a writer lie. I’ve learned to write better as a consequence, to force myself into rethinking what I’ve written. When I thought a piece was finished, I’ve picked it up after a rejection, and shaken my head. How could I have thought this was ready? often enters my mind.

All rejections can be seriously crushing. So before you think of giving up, let a few friends read it. They will often tell you (if they aren’t writers themselves—unless they are cheerleaders) that they like what you wrote. Get a confidence boost. I’ve had severe issues with confidence as a writer, but that hasn’t forced me to give up, yet. I know it takes time, and effort, to work at the craft of writing, and I know that I have so much to learn.

I’ve let the moment of frustration and anger in, I’ve felt the pain, and then I’ve let it go. What does this rejection mean? Often I find myself agreeing. Yes, this writing can be better.

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