Overcoming the R-Word


“Rejected!” It’s a difficult word for authors to read in an email, or hear directly from their agents. When you’ve put your heart and soul into a project, when your out speaking to groups and “everyone” tells you how wonderful your topic is and how your words helped them, when you sweat blood and cried tears over choosing just the right phrasing for each sentence and every paragraph, and then you are rejected, what do you do?

Here are some ideas that have helped me overcome the R-word, and hopefully, they will help you as well:

  • Rejection is not the issue—it’s our response to rejection that determines how it will affect us. We have a choice to make. We can either be bound up by the emotions of rejection, or we can realize that other doors may be opening or other options need exploring.
  • Never give up. Creativity needs to be expressed and far too often writers allow a rejection to stop them from communicating what is on their heart. We need to keep trying.
  • Examine all options. The publishing world is wide open today. There’s traditional publishing, self-publishing, blogging and multi-media opportunities to name just four. If rejection comes knocking, make sure you’ve tested every way possible for your story to be available. It’s a wide-open field—take full advantage of every avenue.

“There’s no more heartrending story of rejection than that of John Kennedy Toole, author of A Confederacy of Dunces. In 1969, three years after Simon & Schuster rejected the novel, Toole became so despondent that he committed suicide. Toole’s grief-stricken yet incredibly determined mother asked everyone she could think of to read the book. Seven years of rejection later, she got it into the hands of novelist and professor Walker Percy. How could he say no to this poor woman with her deceased son’s unpublished manuscript? With great dread, he began the thick tome, hoping it would be horrible so he wouldn’t have to read the whole thing. At the end of the first page, he sighed in dismay. Unfortunately, the book was too good, he was going to have to read the whole thing. Halfway through the book he realized he was holding a novel of immense value. In fact, A Confederacy of Dunces went on to win a Pulitzer Prize.

If only Mr. Toole had maintained his mother’s faith and resolve. Imagine the career ha might have enjoyed, the books he might have written.”[1]

Never, never, never give up!

Wayne Hastings is an author, speaker and business consultant. His latest book, The Way Back From Loss is available on Amazon and other fine booksellers.

CLICK HERE to gain access to Wayne’s “How To Write A Remarkable Book Proposal” and two step-by-step videos as Wayne walks you through the book proposal process. 


[1] Arielle Eckstut & David Henry Sterry, Putting Your Passion Into Print, (New York: Workman Publishing Company, Inc., 2005), 131


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Trust is the winsome wedding of faith and hope.

Brennan Manning

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