Lisa Burstein

This Be Where I Blog

Why Rejection is Good for You

on July 25, 2012

As a writer rejection comes with the territory. It took me a long time to understand that rejection was good for me. (I’m still learning).

Rejection started for me at a early age- way before I was a writer. When I would come home crying that a boy at school didn’t like me, my mother would say, “That’s why there’s chocolate and vanilla.” As in some people like one thing, some people like another.

Since I turned 21 I have amended this statement to: “That’s why there’s chocolate and vodka.” As in I eat and drink a lot of it when I get rejected.

That aside, here are the reasons why rejection is good:

1. It lets you know what you’re doing wrong. If you’re lucky the people who reject you will tell you why. (I make voodoo dolls out of people who do not)

2. It lets you know what you’re doing right. If you’re lucky people will tell you what they like even though they rejected you. (I loooove these people)

3. It lets you know that you need to work harder. Usually you do. Usually rejection is not about talent at all, but about trying again and again and again. (It took me 10 years, two agents and an unknown number of publishers to sell my “first” novel)

4. It gives you motivation. There is nothing better than the push that comes from someone rejecting your work.(well after you eat chocolate and drink vodka and lick your wounds) It makes you want to show them and yourself that you can do it!

5. It makes small successes sweeter.

What would you add?

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11 responses to “Why Rejection is Good for You

  1. Ryann Murphy says:

    Great post! I would love to add that not only does it give you motivation (#4) to go back and do #3, but it also humbles you, reminding you that you are not, in fact, the center of the universe. Rejection is shocking and painful, but it’s refreshing to know WHEN (I refuse to say ‘if’) you reach your dream: you’re in good company, it’s difficult to do, and not EVERYONE has the gumption or ability. I may be twisted in my logic, but that’s what I tell myself when I’m eating chocolate, drinking tequila and licking my wounds 😉

  2. Jen says:

    SO needed this post right now. Ten years??? I can’t even fathom your publishing journey (I’ve been feeling mopey after three!) I’d add that rejection gives you a chance to find out how much you want something: if you are willing to push through it, you’re dedicated. If you throw in the towel, you aren’t doing the thing you are meant to.

    Thanks for posting this!

  3. It took me about 10 years as well! I agree with what Jen said above. If you want it bad enough, rejection is just part of the process. I’ve had so many people tell me they wanted to write a book, but were too scared to put it out there and face rejection. I’ve never had that fear, because I’m way more scared of not trying to do the thing I’ve always loved than having someone say no.

  4. alliebbooks says:

    For me it has been a good toughen-er! It helps me take rejection and criticism better and to focus on what I need to do in the future. It also helps me stand up for myself and rely on myself if I have been unjustly treated. Because I now know that rejection is about the writing, not the writer and am better equipt to understand the difference between a rejection of my work and a personal attack.

  5. This was a great post, Lisa, and very encouraging. I always look for those positive little phrases in a rejection, too, although my DH always says, “Show me the contract!” 🙂 I’ve even been known to moisten a finger and rub it over the editor’s signature to see if it’s merely xeroxed or a real signature. Ha. Small victories! By the way, the cover is great — and congratulations! Off to open more rejections….

  6. […] this one from author Lisa Burstein is full of pure awesomeness about why rejection is good for you. Speaking […]

  7. Believe in your dreams and live your life with the hope that every day will bring another day and another dream you way. Don’t let rejection harden you. Writing is challenging, personal, and not everyone is going to get you. That’s okay. Keep writing. Keep believing. Keep dreaming.

  8. Believe in your dreams and live your life with the hope that every day will bring another day and another dream your way. Don’t let rejection harden you. Writing is challenging, personal, and not everyone is going to get you. That’s okay. Keep writing. Keep believing. Keep dreaming.

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