accept reject keys

Happy Friday, creatives! I’m curious, how do you handle rejection, criticism and even rude comments about your work? As a recent recipient of two out of three, in recent weeks, I’d say I’m not down for the count and I will continue to soldier on.

Writers and authors know the deal, but in that moment of rejection, we are bruised human beings because those words of rejection sting our creative efforts. We are professionals and know rejections are not personal. Criticisms, on the other hand, can be questionable. Snide comments of your work is best served by ignoring the haters.

In a March interview with author and blogging guru, Joe Bunting over at The Write Practice Blog, I asked, “How do you handle criticism?” His answer was, “I grieve then get back to writing.”

I think that timeless response should serve as a reminder to all of us that it’s the work that matters, so just keep writing to publication. The more we write the better we become in this competitive arena.

As a multi-genre writer, I’ve found some gems in those rejections and have used them along the way to acceptance. Here’s what two editors in different genres had to say about some of my recent works

On a personal story essay:

”As you know, rejections are never easy—for you the writer, or for us, the editors. But as you also know, they are part of what being a writer is about.”

On a Poetry Chapbook Competition:
Although your work did not make the final cut, I want you to know that it was strongly
considered, and that you were a semi-finalist in this year’s contest.

Can you see why writers just keep writing?

How do you handle rejection/criticism/rude comments? Please share!

8 thoughts on “Rejection/Reflections”

  1. Rejections are definitely the down side of writing and a clear reminder that everyone is not going to like our writing. Even though I know this, it still stuns me too, but if they give me a reason, I try to use that it make my writing better.


  2. Welcome Latanya! Rejections and criticisms are the drawback to sending our babies out into the world, but it’s worth the pang of personal letdown lasting only for a while:) I take them with a grain of salt, knowing that rejections are a stepping stone to acceptance.

    Thanks so much for re-blogging this! When are you going to guest post at the blog, memorist? 🙂


    1. My pleasure Clara. I’d like to do a guest blog in Dec (if that’s not too late), just before the Pubslush campaign for my memoir in Jan.


  3. I remember when I gave my manuscript (memoir about child abuse) to five beta readers and four of them returned it with incredibly supportive comments, even saying they’d write a blurb if it got published. But the fifth knocked me off my writing chair. She said it was really powerful but I should take out some of the rapes and one scene of being held at gun point because it was a bit “too much” and some readers might think it had shades of James Frey (“Million Little Pieces”) who fabricated a memoir. For about a month I couldn’t write. Not being believed when I was a child was one thing, but coming out with the secrets after keeping it secret for 50 years, and then being questioned,was another. Finally, I wrote back: “You’re right it was too much. Back then, and now….”


  4. Mandy, I think it’s really up to the writer how much authentic truths they want to share with readers and the world at large in their memoir. I hope you kept those “Too Much” parts of yourself intact in your memoir. At the end of the day. it’s your truths and yours alone. Writing and sharing our personal stories can be cathartic, but, also scary , painful and everything in between… and sometimes critics can be BIG OLE butts..:)



    1. Your final line made me laugh. Yes, I certainly did keep those tough parts in there. I should have a pretty tough skin eventually! Though rejection will always sting! Thank you for your kind words!


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