Writers spend hours, days, and even longer crafting works they believe will be right for publications, hoping to avoid rejection by editors. Research, redrafting, and following the submission guidelines to a tee by writers are also a part of the whole process of avoiding a rejection. Writers then submit their works to editors hoping to garner acceptances instead of rejection slips. Hope and anticipation for those treasured acceptances fill the ensuing wait time of the scribes.
Days or weeks later, a message that every writer dreads seeing in their mailbox or email in-basket arrives: “We’re not interested.” My first reaction upon reading these words, after the initial blow to my feelings, is sometimes one of wanting to quit writing altogether. But the answer doesn’t lie in taking the easy way out. I have to decide how I am going to cope with my work being turned down again. Here are some ways for writers to make the most of a door to potential publication being closed:
1. Keep a list of publications you can immediately send the piece to if a rejection slip or email arrives. As a result, you won’t be wallowing around in self-pity. If possible, don’t let your article be contingent upon the acceptance of just one publisher. Your writing submissions are a lot like the lucky numbers you choose when playing for the big Powerball jackpot. Would you play the same set of lucky numbers for just one drawing, or would you have your ticket validated for several drawings? Eventually you will get to the pay window with your article if it has been written well, is within the publication guidelines, and is targeted to the appropriate markets.
2. Send your article out to at least one other publisher concurrently as long as the publications you submit to doesn’t forbid simultaneous submissions. This way, if you get a rejection from one publication, you already have the article out elsewhere. If the second publication accepts your work before you hear back from the first publication, you can inform the editor of the other medium that your work has been accepted elsewhere.
3. When you receive that dreaded notice, go over the work again and see what improvements can be made. I’ve found that I am not the same writer who wrote the article days or weeks earlier. I can always find a little bit better way of getting my point across, and may have a better insight on the subject matter of the article than I did when I first submitted it.
Writers having their work turned down can be looked at two ways. They can look at it as a sign to just give up, or they can see it as an opportunity to not only improve their writing, but also as the potential to score a more lucrative sale. Writers may even forge new relationships with editors they wouldn’t have otherwise come into contact with had rejection not materialized!