Rejection Isn’t The End

by Patricia Bradley

I met a writer once who kept every rejection letter she ever received. Over 10,000 letters. I was thinking about her the other day, and not just her, but all the writers out there who keep writing through rejections.
If you are breathing…or writing (they’re the same thing, right?), you’ve experienced rejection at some point in your life. And have not only been rejected, but if you’re a published author, you’ve received a bad review. Or two. So, what do you do when that happens? How do you keep on writing?

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out
how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them
better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face
is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who
comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and
shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great
enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at
the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the
worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place
shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor
  ~President Theodore Roosevelt

I love the quote from Theodore Roosevelt. The person in the
arena. You.
Rejection can paralyze a writer, whether it’s from an editor
or a reader. How long depends on the writer. So, again, how do you pick
yourself up and stare at that blank page after rejection? Like in writing,
there’s no right or wrong answer—what works for one writer, doesn’t work for
another, but I’d like to make a suggestion or two.
First, allow yourself to feel bad (actually wallow in your
pity) for a day…maybe two days if you need to. It’s important to allow yourself
to feel disappointment about a rejection. If you try to deny you’re
disappointed, it will take longer to get past it.
Once the day (or two) passes, look for the silver lining in
the rejection. And there usually is one. If you’ve entered a contest but didn’t
win, look at what the judges said and evaluate their comments. You probably
won’t agree with them…at first, but at least look at the comments objectively.
See if there is any validity in them. The same thing with a rejection from an
editor or agent. If you receive suggestions that will make your manuscript a
fit for them, are you willing to do the rewrites?
Always remember that not everyone will like what you write
or how you write. If you understand that from the get-go, it will make
rejection much easier. The important thing is to get back in front of the
computer and start writing again. Be that person in the arena. Channel that
pain into your heroine. Open that vein and bleed all over your paper.
Oh, and that writer who collected all those rejections? Her
name was Christie Craig, and she kept writing, and eventually landed an agent
who sent her manuscripts out — six by now. One day the agent called and asked
if she was sitting down. Christie asked the agent if she’d sold a book, and the
agent replied no, and her heart sank.
She hadn’t sold a book, she’d sold four! Read more about Christie Craig
So, if when you get a rejection, accept it, try to learn
from it, and then get back to what you were created to do—go write!
Patricia Bradley lives in North Mississippi with her rescue
kitty Suzy and loves to write suspense with a twist of romance. Her books
include the Logan Point series and two Harlequin Heartwarming romances. Justice
Delayed, a Memphis Cold Case Novel, is the first book in her next series and it
releases January 31, 2017. When she has time, she likes to throw mud on a wheel
and see what happens.

It’s been eighteen years since TV crime reporter Andi Hollister’s sister was murdered. The confessed killer is behind bars, and the execution date is looming. But when a letter surfaces stating that the condemned killer didn’t actually do it, Detective Will Kincaide of the Memphis Cold Case Unit will stop at nothing to help Andi get to the bottom of it. After all, this case is personal: the person who confessed to the crime is Will’s cousin. They have less than a week to find the real killer before the wrong person is executed. But much can be accomplished in that week–including uncovering police corruption, running for your life, and falling in love.

With the perfect mixture of intrigue and nail-biting suspense, award-winning author Patricia Bradley invites her readers to crack the case–if they can–alongside the best Memphis has to offer.