Freelance Writers and Artists Handle Rejection with Grace

Many freelance writers fear rejection. Heck, most people fear rejection. Once you understand “rejection” in terms of your writing or artistry, you’ll be able to breathe. Rejection is NOT a rejection of you. It’s someone telling you that your work is not for their business or publication. It has nothing to do with you as a person. Writers who are lucky to receive feedback from editors can apply the constructive criticism to your writing which will make it stronger.

When a freelance writer sends a query to an editor they usually hold their breath. Actually, you’re very fortunate if the editor replies to your request and provides you with feedback. The key is to ensure that you followed the guidelines. Many writers do not follow a publication’s guidelines which is why their query is rejected. The writing is spot on, but you did not follow the rules. It’s important to give the editor and publication what they’re asking for the first time. Otherwise, you may not receive a second chance to make a first impression.

When you receive criticism that is rude or condescending take it with a grain of salt. Look past the rudeness and focus on the feedback. The person may be a jerk, but his advice could land you a multi-million dollar book deal. There’s nothing sweeter than making lemonade out of lemons and laughing all the way to the bank!

Artists and freelance writers put their heart and soul into the work they produce. To have someone else look at it and reject it is like a knife going through their heart. This sounds a bit melodramatic, but it’s true for some artists and writers. Get over it. That’s easier said than done, but it will help you deal with rejection. Not everyone will like your work and that’s all right. Focus on markets and people who will be interested in your work. Don’t waste time trying to convince someone they’ll love your work. You could be speaking with other prospects who are interested in you and your work.

Some freelance writers take rejection very hard and never write again. This is extreme. Avoid letting others dampen your dreams. Perhaps if you attended writing classes and workshops, you’re work would improve. It’s up to you to bring success into your life. How bad to you want to be published? If you want something bad enough, you’ll do what it takes to get it. Or, you will realize that it’s not really what you desire.

Rejection doesn’t have to hurt. Before you read any feedback, take a deep breath and count to 10. Read any feedback you receive with objective eyes. Detach for a moment from the constructive criticism. Look at it as an opportunity for you to improve upon your writing, artistry, or business. Have a positive attitude can help diffuse a negative situation. Of course, if the person is horribly rude, take the information and run!


What techniques do you use to handle rejection?