For many writers, rejections are a bit like trips to the dentist. We’ll do almost anything to avoid them, rather than risk getting bad news.
You can understand someone being afraid of dentists (I know I am), but why fear rejection? What’s so terrible about someone passing up the chance to publish your work?
I think it’s partly because, no matter how much we like to pretend we don’t care, it hurts to have a story turned down. And so it should. After all, if it doesn't hurt when your work gets rejected, you probably shouldn't have submitted to that venue in the first place, right?
But I believe there’s more to it than just worrying about the sting of being told ‘No thank you’ by someone you’ve probably never met. A rejection, especially when we’re starting out, is a hammer blow to our self-confidence. The bad news for would-be writers is that you’re going to get rejected, probably quite a lot. If getting published is important to you, those rejections are going to hurt.
The good news is that it gets easier. The more knocks you take, the tougher you’ll get. If you make the effort to improve your craft, if you’re willing to recognize your mistakes and learn from them, there’s a good chance that you will get published sooner or later.
So go on, give yourself permission to fail. Take a deep breath and pitch that story.
One day, your dream will thank you.
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