Friday, March 6, 2009


Back in Feb. I went to a writing workshop by Laurie Schnebly Campbell entitled, "Turning Rejection into Gold". Having recieved several rejection letters by that point, I knew this was a class I really needed! So I'm going to share with you my notes from that class. Laurie is a pyschologist as well as a writer and I HIGHLY recommend any of her online classes. She is an amazing teacher! (see my former post "Public Service Announcement" for dates and links.) Ok, onto the notes:
"Turning Rejection into Gold"
by Laurie Schnebly Campbell

Practical things to do after rejection -
-Study comments (they know what they are talking about)
-If you got a rejection where they took the time to point out something send a thank-you note and then ask them if they have any more suggestions or help for you.
-If they recommend specific revisions tell them you would be will to make those revisions and resubmit to them.
-You can pick up the phone if they sent you a personalized response. (This is where I went, GASP! You mean speak to a real life agent? I was skeptical, but I did it. I called an agent that had my MS. She is waiting for my rewrite now! So it works!)
-Send specific Thank You notes to anyone in the business who helps you ie: contest readers, other authors, etc. Be specific about how they helped you and they will be more likely to want to help you more.
-What to do with a MS after rejection:
1. Send it to someone else.
2. Change it.
3. Make it for a different genre.
4. Set aside and write something else.
5. Come back to the rejected MS
6. Use it as inspiration.
7. Use the feelings rejection gives you for writing material!

Psychological things to do after rejection-
-Grieve, it's important to feel grief in order to get past it. Decide how long you will let yourself grieve then decide what feeling you will feel afterwards
-Anger is sometimes part of your grief, let it out. Share it with others or do some sort of physical activity that helps.
-Anger turned inwards is depression, so don't hang on to the anger!
-Take control of what you do next. Take action to help yourself recover.
-Evaluate - "Do I really want to go on writing?"
-"Why am I doing this?" is it for money (not much at that), recognition?, competence?
-"Is it worth it?"
-"Can I accomplish my goal through some other means?" (get a much better paying job that takes less time! LOL)
-Changing goals is not a failure if you recognize what you gained.
-Have a couple of other sidelines, other satisfying things in your life, family, friends, hobbies, etc.
-There will always be something going wrong.
-Go through the process again.
-Ask yourself "What are 3 good reasons for having this bad feeling?"

Steps to getting through any feeling:
1. What is the feeling? Identifying it gives you more control.
2. Where did this feeling come from?
3. How long do I want to keep this feeling? Make the choice to end the feeling.
4. Once time is up on the feeling, what am I going to replace it with? Be action specific.

We are in control of our choices!


  1. Great post, thanks. Sometimes it's easier to just hide under a rock after a rejection, but if we make it work for us, we can be all the better for it.

  2. This is really great. I'm getting so excited and nervous to start querying. I'm glad to have so much information before I start. Thanks!

  3. awesome post Nikki, thank you! It is something all writers need to read at one time or another.

  4. Good thing I am self publishing my book... you know my family history... there is no rejection at all...well I guess no one in the family buying it would be rejection!! Great post Nik.

  5. I really like this post, and it's a great subject to bring up here on MMW. I find that even though I have an agent, I still have to face editor rejections, so this is really good for everyone.



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