Rejection Equals Success

This week I received my first rejection of 2014. This may sound odd, but I hope it’s the first of many.

You see, receiving rejections means two very good things. First, my work is out there in the world being read. Okay, maybe it’s not liked. Maybe it’s not quite right for the publication pitched to. Maybe it needs some work before it makes its way somewhere else. But it can’t be considered—or rejected—without existing. Rejections, for me, are synonymous with productivity.

Second, sometimes rejections come with feedback. While a lot of publications still use form rejections, some will take a more personal touch and actually suggest criticisms for your story. These are invaluable. A free opinion from an editor about how to make your work better—that’s a gift no writer can look in the mouth.

If you’re receiving rejection after rejection and feel like giving up, I have a one word advice column for you:


Rejections will make you better.

They will make you tougher. They will make you a pro at shaking off the dust and standing up and starting again. They will make you see your work as carrion to be picked over and dissected until the best bits have been digested and the rot discarded.  They will make you hone and polish until what you send out finds its literary home quicker.

Rejection will make you successful.

But a manuscript in a drawer can’t be rejected. Send your work out there. Let it go to the party and ask out the popular kid and get its heart broken. Then heal it and let it find true love.

Don’t let fear of being rejected hold you back. Embrace every let down as a chance to grow.


Helen Dring is a fiction writer from Liverpool, England. She is studying for an MA in Creative Writing and is currently writing her first novel. She likes fairy tales, ghost stories and modern history.

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