Welcome to How to Keep Writing Wednesdays, where you'll find a boost of encouragement to help you keep the words flowing.

Facing Rejection

Those dreaded rejection letters. 

You don’t have to be a writer to know what we’re talking about. Rejection doesn’t discriminate—anyone and everyone has been there. If you’re alive and walking this earth, you’ve had your fair share of rejections. And let’s face it—rejections suck.

None of us are made of Teflon—what people throw our way often sticks. We know it shouldn’t, but it doesn’t change the fact that it does. 

But what other people do or say isn’t your business. You have zero control over other people. But you have one hundred percent control over yourself.

What does this mean when rejection comes your way?

Nothing.

It’s irrelevant what other people choose to do, even if it seems like it’s about you. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. Maybe they tell you it is (when it’s not), or tell you it’s not (when it is). Enough to drive you crazy, isn’t it? That’s because you can’t get into another person’s head, no matter how clever or intuitive you are. And that’s just as well because you have no business being there in the first place.

Your job is to mind your own business about you. Is what you’re doing working for you? Do you like it? That’s all that matters. Great innovators often find their path strewn with rejections, and great writers, too. Dr. Seuss, C.S. Lewis, James Joyce, Isaac Asimov, John le Carre, William Saroyan, Louisa May Alcott, Agatha Christie, Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen, John Grisham, Stephanie Meyer, Judy Blume, Madeline L’Engle…the list goes on.

You could say that multiple rejections didn’t bother them, but that wouldn’t be true. These writers continued on the path of doing what felt important to them, in search of the right opportunity. They sent out more letters, they wrote more books. They didn’t try to translate the rejection into anything other than the fact that the person saying “no” wasn’t a fit for them.

I keep my rejection letters, not as a badge of honor, but to remind myself and others that rejection has very little to do with where you ultimately end up. Let the rejections of your life clarify what you want to do next, and then go do it.