Saturday, February 20, 2010

My thoughts on article rejections

When it comes to crafting pitches to send out to different publications, I work hard to try and fathom the tone of the publication and whether what I have to offer will fit in with the theme of the magazine. However, when it comes to a rejection, I am hardly ever disappointed or cut up.**


So when Julie wrote this post, I commented saying that when I'm rejected by a publication, I try and read the publication more carefully, see what other writers have to say and think about what I can learn from them. I never spend time thinking that  x, y or z editor did not like my pitch  might mean I'm "not good enough". I take into account their criticisms (and try and incorporate that into my work if I think that the criticism is constructive) or if I really believe in the article, I pitch it to another publication.

After having neatly crafted a pitch, I send it off, archive it in my email and forget about it. Then I go about my business as usual and one fine morning, as I am sipping my wonderful cup of lemon tea, the editor replies informing me about her/ his decision. If rejected, I move on and if accepted, I feel this momentary triumph before I calm down and start working on the article. Here's why rejections don't perturb me :

1. I look at the bigger picture 

Some of my writer friends have often told me that they're amazed about my nonchalance with regards to rejection. After all that hard work, it must be absolutely irritating to have your work rejected, right? So why don't I feel sad/ upset/ angry/hurt or at least disappointed? I don't because I truly believe that if one has worked very hard on something, those skills and that knowledge and information will come to good use when one is least expecting it. Yep, I'm a big believer in destiny.

2. I "choose" my struggles

I don't get angry or upset because I simply can't afford to. I'm temperamentally not very calm and collected (in fact, I'm rather hot tempered) and I absolutely cannot have one more reason to lose my head. Time and energy are both finite- I'd rather use them in more positive, fulfilling ways. On a bad day, I curl up with a good book, let my bad mood pass and continue with whatever I am doing.  On (very rare) days when absolutely everything goes wrong and then I get the rejection slip, I feel pretty miffed. But that's really occasionally. On most days, I take it quite well.

3. It's not like I have to achieve everything in a couple of years as a writer

I have known people who have changed their careers in their late fifties and done fantastically. I'm in no hurry to succeed or fail. I like my life as it is and I'm absolutely ok with whatever happens. That's not to say that I'm not ambitious- I just know that if I keep trying my best, things will fall into place when they have to.

4. Rejections are often life-savers

Alyssa talked about how it's better to have an article rejected than have a bad article published. I couldn't agree with her more. I'd rather have my editor tear down an article than see my name in print (or online) and cringe.
**Unfortunately, this kind of rational thinking is only limited to article rejections and not other kinds of rejections**

4 comments:

jellyfish said...

I can tell you have put in some thinking into this post, and I agree with most of your ideas. Rejection can in fact be good for a writer, and help her grow. What I feel the lack of is specific feedback from editors so writers have a clearer idea of how they can improvise on their style.

Alyssa C. said...

Great perspective :) I especially like the #3 about realizing that we have a looooong time to be writers. Myself, I'm so impatient! But I'm working on it.

Thanks for posting your thoughts on this!

裕瑤 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Reeti said...

@ jellyfish : Editors are busy people and they often don't have the time to tell you where you went wrong. Study the publication minutely, see what kind of stories they carry and then pitch again. The pitch which has been rejected should be sent to a similar magazine.