Recently I heard a pastor say the opposite of thankfulness is bitterness. For a writer, rejection can certainly provoke bitterness. It’s natural to want your work to be accepted, the more so for a recovering perfectionist like me. So, how can I say I am thankful for rejections???
I am discovering that rejection of a piece gives me the opportunity to improve my writing. Rejection says, “This (whatever “this” is) needs to be changed before you can succeed!” When the rejection notice doesn’t spell out why the piece was rejected, I can sit down, put on my thinking cap and work to decipher the mystery. I can ask a writer friend for input. It’s valuable to have two sets of eyes and two brains looking at the material.
When a devotional I submitted was rejected, after the sting of disappointment eased, I sat down, read it over, and saw my devotional had issues. It wasn’t nearly as great as I thought it was. One of the Scriptures I chose didn’t go along well with my story; awkward phrasing popped out, and nonessential words bobbed to the surface.
I sent the devotional plus my critique to a writer friend and asked if she had more suggestions. She did, and I incorporated a couple of her ideas and added more of my own into the revised version. Last week I resubmitted the devotional to the magazine. I know the piece is better now for having been rejected. It’s tighter, clearer, easier to read. All that makes it closer to acceptance.
Thankful for rejection? Yes, I can be! It helps me get further along to where I want to be!