Recently, I spoke with a client I worked for in 2018. I edited his manuscript, he churned out a good story and I was impressed. I had not seen his creative work anywhere. I decided to reach out to him and that was when he told me that he didn’t publish the book like aimed for. This man paid handsomely for the editing work! How could he dump his work in the trash? Rejection!
He complained about how people only gave a lot of congratulations but he didn’t make one sale. He was doubting if what he wrote was any good. People read preview pages but they didn’t proceed to buy the book even though he sold it at a cheap price.
Another case study is a friend who kept writing to publishing houses. She kept submitting her poems and continued to get rejection letters, she was depressed and frustrated until on publishing house finally accepted her work.
In the world of writing, we have a lot of rejection to deal with. Rejection from fans, rejection from publishers, rejection from even your own pocket – I mean when you can’t afford to self-publish where does that leave you.
Maybe you have a very good result and you keep applying for jobs and you keep coming up empty in spite of the countless application and interviews you have attended. You are tired and ready to give throw in the towel. Wait a second and let’s look at this.
How do you handle rejection?
1. Retrace your steps. Ask yourself these questions – What did I do wrong? Why am I being rejected? Seek for feedbacks.
2. Admit that you might be doing something wrong. One of the things that has kept people in the rejection stage is because they are not willing to admit they might be doing something wrong. I had to unfriend a guy on Facebook. After a while, he sent me a private message asking why I unfriended him. Prior this time, a mutual friend of ours had discussed him in the passing. He also attested to what I told him. “Brian (not his real name), you give off a sense of entitlement every time we chat or when you comment on my Facebook posts and it is getting toxic for me. I couldn’t deal.” He dismissed my reason and felt I had the problem. It is not enough to seek feedback, you must admit that you might be doing something wrong and be prepared to change. Brian sought for feedback but was not ready to admit anything was wrong with him.
3. Learn from your mistakes. People who criticise us show us true pictures of who we are. People who celebrate us will hardly point out our fault to us. They would celebrate you till you enter the pit.
4. Seek support. If you have not built a tribe for yourself, please join one. Writers have support groups, feminists, security officers’ wives/girlfriends, even females in Nigeria have a support group on Facebook. It is easy to build a support group these days on the Internet. If you don’t want any of these, find family members or friends you bare your heart to. Just get support. Talking about the rejection you have faced helps you feel better instead of driving you to the brink of depression and suicide.
5. Don’t give up. All the above will be wasted if you give up. Persistence is the key to achieving success. You try and try harder. Abraham Lincoln once said, “My greatest concern is not whether you failed, but whether you are content with your failure.” Don’t be content to fail. Don’t be content with being rejected. Don’t throw it all away. Henry Ford rightly puts it in these words, “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”
This is how great people emerge.
Steve Jobs said, “Those who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are those who actually do.”
Get on your feet! It is time to rise from the ashes.