Rejection Reflection

“Often we allow ourselves to be upset by small things we should despise and forget. We lose many irreplaceable hours brooding over grievances that, in a year’s time, will be forgotten by us and by everybody. No, let us devote our life to worthwhile actions and feelings, to great thoughts, real affections and enduring undertakings.” Andre Maurois ~ 1885-1967, Writer

I found this quote in my inbox this morning, courtesy of  It was the epitome of what I felt yesterday and still, a bit this morning.

Rejection. That sting of not winning a contest, or not getting a reply from an editor or getting a reply that says “you suck.” OK, not exactly those words, but it feels  like that is what they’re saying, right?


Then, yesterday, another blow to my writer’s ego. The “Silent Character Contest” judge should have emailed me to announce that I won the Grand Prize. Alas, after obsessively methodically refreshing my email, there was no winning message. There was no message from this judge at all. My heart sank when I read on their website that the Grand Prize winner was…not me. I worked on this short fiction piece for weeks, editing, rewriting, eliminating unnecessary words, letting it sit and then coming back to bleed on it again. My efforts were not completely unrecognized; my story did make it past the 2nd round of judging.  But it was a rejection, just the same.

What did I do? You’re expecting a ballad to play here as I triumphantly declare, “As God as my witness, I will never go hungry again!” OK, enough of the Gone with the Wind melodrama. I didn’t cry, but felt like I could. I shared the news with my husband who was most sympathetic. I also posted on my writers’ group blog, my support system, the wind beneath my wings…Seriously, though, just typing how I felt, I knew these writer mamas would understand. Family and friends are wonderful, but a fellow writer truly feels your pain in rejection.

These wonderful women sent me virtual Frappachino’s, chocolate and hugs. But most effective were their words of encouragement. The “it’s OK to feel this way, but get back on that bronco and rein in an acceptance, cowgirl!”  Things I knew but needed reminding. I cannot say enough about the positive chi that comes from a writers’ community, whether local or virtual. Go get yourself one!

And, for more words on how to handle rejection, check out the last two posts & comments on Stories of life: one mom’s odyssey. Then come back and share your sorrows of rejection here!



Filed under Advice, Believe, emotion, Perseverance, writers

4 responses to “Rejection Reflection

  1. You say it so well, Mary Jo. My rejection process mirrors yours — feel bad, share the news, eat something, and attempt to get back on the bicycle. I find that the sooner I get back on the bicycle, the better. It also helps me to have more things submitted at once so that if I do get a rejection, I can think, “Well…maybe that other piece will be the one…” So thankful to be part of your writing community!

    • Thanks, Liz. Great minds think alike! You are so right to jump right back on, I’m researching horror/fantasy markets now, hope to send my story out again by the end of this week. And I am proud to be a part of your writer community, as well.

  2. Julie S

    I often wonder if I would be trying to be a writer anymore if I didn’t have my online writing friends. Maybe, but I would have a much less healthy attitude about the whole thing.

    Absolutely we all need support from others who are like us!! Great post.

    • I completely agree, Julie. Writing is lonely enough without the added “bonus” of rejections. It’s refreshing to have friends to lean on, even if thru cyber space

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