9 characters. 3 syllables. 1 terrifying word.
Rejection. The sinking heartache, the tightening in your chest and the clenching of your jaw to restrain the tears that want to seep when you sense rejection looming. And you don’t just feel it when you send your manuscript to an agent or publisher. It’s with every beta reader. With every paragraph you edit. It’s in every word you write. It’s there, ready to spring at any moment of weakness.
It cripples you. You say, “One more edit. Then I’ll send it to beta’s.” (But you never do.) You don’t finish writing the chapter. Then, you don’t write any words. It convinces you that you’re not good enough. You will never be a best-seller, so why even bother.
It’s strange that one little word can cast such immense fear and put an almost immobilizing effect on progression. But it’s true. As writers, our fear of rejection is more prominent than I think any other field because we’ve bled our heart and soul onto the pages of our stories. When our story gets rejected it’s like we, personally, are being rejected.
We need to stop letting the fear of rejection overwhelm us and take control and I’m here to tell you that even your favorite author was rejected. But the difference is they didn’t let rejection stop them.
As a source of inspiration, I’ve compiled a list of 5 Best-Selling Authors who faced rejection and won.
1.) J.K. Rowling
Rowling was told that she shouldn’t quit her day job and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone went on to be rejected twelve times. One rejection even told her to take a writing course. But each rejection made her more determined and now the Harry Potter brand is worth $25 Billion (Yes. That’s with a ‘B’!)
2.) Stephen King
“By the time I was fourteen the nail in my wall would no longer support the weight of the rejection slips impaled on it.” Rejection didn’t stop King. Over and over it tried to take him down, but he persisted. Even after he shelved his first novel, The Long Walk. Even after his manuscript, Carrie was rejected thirty times and publishers told him that science fiction with negative utopias didn’t sell. King was persistent and it paid off with over 1 million copies of Carrie being sold the first year alone.
3.) C.S. Lewis
C.S Lewis was rejected for years before publishing his first novel, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Now, The Chronicles of Narnia has been translated into forty-seven different languages and sold over 100 million copies.
4.) Stephanie Meyer
5.) James Patterson
After being turned down by thirty-one publishers, Along Came a Spider, won the Edgar Award for Best First Novel.
Use their stories as inspiration to push you through and don’t let the fear of rejection hold you back from achieving your dream. You can be like them. Work hard, never stop learning and persevere.
The main piece of advice I hope you gain from this article is to view every rejection as a sign that you tried because that proves you are a hell of a lot braver than most.
I hope you have a wonderful week and as always if you have anything you would like me to talk about in a future blog tweet me @shauna_philp.
Thank you for stopping in. I hope this article has inspired you and if you liked what you saw don’t forget to like and comment below and tell me who your favorite author is.