I love my rejection slips. They show me I try. Quote by Sylvia Plath.

The Five Stages of Rejection


t’s a very scary process hitting that send button on queries. I’m opening myself up to rejection, and I know this as I send my precious darling out into the unknown.

Most authors that have gone on to become bestsellers have been rejected. I’ve read this again and again in countless blogs. Honestly, I expect to get the rejection. I’m an unpublished author with zero credentials. Rejection is a way of life for writers, right?

Yet, when that rejection comes, there is still that little slight twist of my gut, and I go through the five stages of grief.

1. Denial

Maybe I sent it wrong. Let me go check again and see if I missed a paragraph (yes, I have actually done this and it was a VERY important paragraph). Maybe I forgot to include something that the agent was requesting. I was sure this time that I’d fixed all the flaws in my pitch. I mean, I really thought that I’d hit the mark this time. Guess I didn’t. It’s ok. I can handle this. It’s just a rejection. I’m fine. Really. I’m fine.

2.  Anger

Ok, maybe I’m not fine. Maybe because I’ve lived my life as an artist, nothing grates at me more than the form letter rejection. It gives me no areas for improvement. Gives me no explanation as to why I was rejected. I can honestly handle criticism. I use it to go back, tweak, and make things better. Please for the love of god, tell me what I did wrong!

3. Bargaining

I try and convince myself that the agent really did mean what the form letter said. Maybe it isn’t my writing. Maybe it truly is that it was “just not a good fit, please continue to query until you find that perfect agent match.” I’ll just keep sending out queries, hoping, praying someone will take a chance on me.

4.  Depression

I’m a terrible writer. I am the only person that will ever care about my story. I have spent more hours writing than I can even count. All my hard work and effort has been a complete waste of time. Remember that time you tried to take up knitting? Or the time you wanted to be a DIY blogger? Yup, it’s just like that. This is just one of your failed dreams. Your stories will die on the back of your hard drive.

5. Acceptance

Someday I hope someone will fall in love with my characters as much as I have. If not, thats ok. It doesn’t matter if I get rejected a hundred times. Rejection will never hurt as long as regret will. I’m going to keep pressing forward.

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