Keeping Positive Through Rejections

Posted in Writer Life by

06.21.15 / submission tracker
In a Dropbox folder labeled “Writing,” I have an Excel file to keep track of all of my sent submissions. I track when and where I sent them and when I received a response. I make a note of what that response was, albeit a little harshly: red for rejected, green for accepted. (I’m thinking of changing it up to black and pink, though.) While this helps me to keep track visually of how I’m doing, it can get disheartening when there’s more red than green, which there usually is.

So how do I keep from falling apart when my submissions are looking down?

I don’t.

I let myself have that time to fall apart because if I don’t, I can’t get back into working at all. Without time to feel sad, I don’t really get over it, and the doubt and disappointment only linger in the back of my mind as I stare at my laptop with little show.

There seem to be two schools of thought on this kind of situation: A. Ignore the bad thing entirely or B. Acknowledge it and then move on. I’m a fan of the second option because I don’t think it’s helpful to act as though something didn’t happen and didn’t hurt you.

However, none of this means that I stay sad. What I’m saying is that I let myself be sad just until the point when it’s too much, when I’m pushing the limits of what is reasonable. That’s when I clean myself up and move on.

It can be beyond tempting to stay curled up on the couch watching Netflix, to give up entirely and decide that writing isn’t worth doing anymore, but I know that’s the wrong way to look at it, and I’m lucky enough to (usually) remember that. By reminding myself that anything worth doing is going to be hard, I manage to get myself back up and clicking away at the computer keys. By embracing the negative for a limited time, I allow myself to remember the positive, too, because like anything in life, there’s going to be a balance required between success and failure, big and small.

Staying positive when a piece of my writing is rejected isn’t about pretending; it’s about keeping the right perspective at the right time.

What do you do when met with a roadblock? How do you push through it?

June 22, 2015
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  • When my novel is done and I’m ready to send it out I want to keep track of my submissions too, even though I know it will be really depressing! I agree; I think it’s good to let yourself be sad. If you push it down you just blow up later.


    Sincerely, Sara

    • Sonya

      Exactly. I tried the “ignorance is bliss” kind of route, and it just made me more miserable. I think it’s much healthier to allow yourself to acknowledge whatever you’re feeling, as long as you don’t go overboard with it.

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