Who wants to work hard on their writing, submit it for publication, and receive rejection as a result?
Well, maybe me, but I’ll explain why below.
I doubt any of us are thrilled to know the words we craft, the time we put in, even the revelation of our souls, have no place in the space we thought they belonged.
We study, we listen to experts, we practice, and we expect certain outcomes. It’s all too easy to equate hard work to specific rewards, whether it has to do with writing or our way of Christian living.
When all is said and done, we wait for the answer and it’s in someone else’s hands.
Perhaps the essence of no gets conveyed with a variety of other words in an attempt to soften the blow, but the sting of rejection
The nos we receive as writers are not the only ones we’ll face in life. Even so, writers often feel the effects of writing nos in deeper ways.
Rejection Wounds Have Many Roots
Many roots fuel the way writing nos impact us.
Our identity could be too wrapped up in the work we’re doing, or in our ability to do something perfectly, or in the approval of man (especially people in higher positions than us).
Our work may feel so much a part of us that we find it hard to separate shared words with the sacred essence of our souls.
Receiving a no feels oh so personal and it carries the power to strip our worth. Or, so it seems, even though we mentally know that no earthly action could reduce our worth by even a molecule. Somewhere deep inside of us we haven’t fully received this truth.
We’re also likely to feel rejection in deeply painful ways when we lack support from others in real life. We need a writing community who gets it and we need others who love us through presence and real life connections.
Deeper still could be wounds we’ve experienced in other areas of our lives, and the beliefs that formed out of them. As a result of unhealed hurts, we’re lunged into visceral reactions that sometimes surprise us.
We need to choose to deal with what’s surfacing in our thoughts, actions, and emotions. We have an active role to play when we’re made aware of rejection roots.
We can let God deal with what’s inside of us in a way that redeems rejection
In this way, it can be a blessing to receive no as I mentioned above. Through the transformative heart work that follows rejection, we will grow.
Rejection that leads to growth helps us experience more of God and receive more of Him in our lives.
I say, that’s a good thing.
Rejection We Can Expect
We can expect rejection to occur. It happens to all of us more than we realize.
When we submit words for someone else’s approval, we want acceptance and that’s understandable. However, if we make room for the reality that we will
receive nos in our writing journey, our expectations can shift to make room for rejection.
Our work simply isn’t for everyone. In addition, our work isn’t always ready for anyone.
Don’t let “no” block you from honing your message, improving your craft, and serving where God leads you.
Even if our words aren’t a fit for one person’s space, our worth is always a fit in God’s space.
We can expect rejection and learn to accept it. Not necessarily without tears, but without bitterness. Preferably, even with thanks to God that He sees more than we do.
Some of the ways we can expect rejection are professional and some are personal.
Which ones have you already faced?
Professional rejection occurs all throughout the journey towards publication. It can be in our first attempts to guest post on someone’s site, or when we write words for pay, or in the process of becoming a published author.
An author can receive rejection from agents, acquisition editors, and pub boards. It takes approval through each of these phases before a book hits bookstores.
Did you know that some authors with a signed book contract still face rejection prior to printing? Or afterwards?
Publishers have pulled books before they hit shelves for many reasons. They’ve pulled them afterwards too. Articles for online sites and magazines might get turned down just prior to posing them live. Or they might get removed after a couple days.
The precipitating event could be a change of direction as a company, perceived social media damage by an author, or something new and exciting that takes precedence.
Submitting our work to others requires vulnerability (risk of exposure) and an assignment of value. By us and by editors/publishing firms.
The trick is to remember that the value of who we are is not the same as the value of any piece of work.
I know several writers who have expressed sadness and hurt because those closest to them don’t subscribe to their blog or read what they write. They aren’t liking, commenting, and sharing.
When those closest to us don’t enter our world of writing with acceptance, it can feel like a rejection too. Sometimes they don’t understand. Sometimes they just don’t need what we have to offer and that’s OK.
Remember, our work is not for everyone.
We will grow as we go and in this growing we are learning how to serve well from the core of who we are and the message we’re given to carry.
As we continue to refine our messages we must also actively tune in to the stated needs of our audience. Note: this is different than what we think they need. It takes intentionality and prayerful guidance to discern the difference.
Rejected Work is Not Rejected Worth
We must continue to lean in to the hard soul work of dealing with rejection in our lives. Whether it comes through writing or other means, it will shape us one way or another.
Chose to let God mold you, not self or the enemy. When God’s hand feels heavy upon you, consider that He’s forming beauty you can’t yet see.
He knows your worth without a shadow of doubt, and His worth is beyond comprehension.
Take a step back to let that seep in.
He is worthy of the heart work, the soul perseverance, and the beautiful outcome of trusting your work to Him.
Rise Up dear one. Your heart is safe with Him.
For Part One, Click Here: What I Want You To Know About Rejection and This Writing Journey, Part 1