Thankful For–Rejections!

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!

©P. Booher

9 Comments

Filed under Creativity, Writing

9 responses to “Thankful For–Rejections!

  1. Rejection in the normal sense can be pretty discouraging, but one type of rejection almost makes it feel like acceptance, and that’s a personalised rejection. It’s great that you’re grateful for the right things. Wishing you the best with your journey!

    • scribelady

      Stuart,
      The publisher I submitted to doesn’t give reasons why a devotional was rejected, but there are at least a dozen that I know of. That means I put on my detective hat and start working! I feel like Sherlock Holmes! 🙂 I agree that a personalized rejection can almost feel like acceptance.
      Thanks for reading and commenting. Best to you on your journey.

  2. “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” I’ve learned as a songwriter there’s a big difference between making music and the music business. I suppose it’s the same with writing. If you like to write, then write. If you wake up in the morning and the only thing you want to do is put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) then you are a writer…period. Publishers have a million reasons why they reject submissions. I have one reason to write—because I have something to say! Blessings.

    • scribelady

      David, I’m finally acquiring the tenacity to “try, try again”. I asked God for persistence; I think He’s using the writing journey to give it to me!

      My writer friend mentioned that some reasons for rejection have nothing to do with writing ability–perhaps the publisher recently accepted a piece dealing with the same topic, or the piece doesn’t fill the niche the editor needs to fill. So, yes, there are many reasons for rejection. In the case of my devotional, though, rejection helped me take another look at it and eliminate possible causes for the next go-round.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

  3. Great reflection on the process!

  4. scribelady

    Thank you!

  5. Rejection can hurt, but sometimes it doesn’t, and we suddenly realize we’ve grown…

    https://seekingdivineperspective.com/2018/09/28/growing-pains-or-lack-of/

  6. scribelady

    Yes, thank God that we can grow!

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