#JulyWritingRomp – Day 23 Rejection – ACK!

James Moran, a screen writer with credits for Doctor WhoTorchwood and other successful BBC shows, wrote on his blog ‘the pen is mightier than the spork‘ about the rejection that even ‘successful’ writers experience.

People often ask me how to deal with rejection, and I’m never quite sure how to respond. I don’t have some magic formula to minimise the pain. It still bothers me, it still hurts. I don’t think you ever really become immune. 

I just wanted to show that rejection doesn’t stop when you “break in”, whatever that means. You are going to get rejected, many, many times, even after you start working professionally. But they can’t hurt you, they won’t kill your career, they’re just part of the process, an essential part of being a writer. Yes, there’s a reason I’m posting this now that I’ve got several movies and other things happening. Yes, it still hurts. But having lots of stuff in the pipeline soothes the pain. So, make sure you have plenty of projects on the go, don’t give up just because of what one person says, and collect rejections like badges of honour.
Each one is a vital step towards the next success. Wear them with pride.

And try not to take them personally. Even though we all do.

When we write, we give birth to something.  No matter the genre, they are special and precious to us.  Then we send it out to the world.  The old adage holds true – we can please some of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all the time.

I’m currently on the hunt for an agent.  The process is a gnarly combination of frustration and exhilaration. Sending out the query, then waiting for the selected agents to respond.  When the rejection comes, does it feel personal?  Yes, but I’m not willing to be bitter about it.  It’s my job to sublimate the pain and see clearly the messages being given to me.  Separating the critical nuggets of information I need to better my work, and the jealousy, mean-spirited poking that can come from people who covet my determination.

As a writer, our job is to be the best writer we can possibly be.  Letting ourselves grow through adversity and celebrate our successes.


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