Coffee and Poetry

Getting Over & Dealing With Rejection.


For the first time as a writer, I’ve been experiencing some rejection. It being the first time is mostly because before these past couple of years, my writing was being shared just on social media sites like Tumblr or not at all. Now that I have figured out what I want to do with my life and my writing (as well as worked up the guts to do something about it..), I’ve started submitting pieces to different magazines, presses, anthologies, etc, sometimes being met with acceptance and sometimes being met with rejection.


It can be so hard to get those rejections especially if your dream is to be a published writer/author and to have your work out there enough to make a name for yourself. My first big rejection that hit me pretty hard was when I sent some sample poems from The Tides of Me to Andrews McMeel and they turned me down. They were so kind and gave me good feedback but also said it wasn’t the vibe they were going for and they already had a full calendar of writers for the time being…”try again in the future.” I tried not to take it too hard; I kind of figure that I would get turned down just because well…I’m quite self deprecating. But it did hurt me. If I’m totally honest here, their rejection led to me decide that I shouldn’t try to reach out to a lot of other publishers. I didn’t, actually. I didn’t really look for another traditional publisher…maybe a few but almost none, really. I decided that if I wasn’t going to get into the publishing house that I had wanted, self publishing would be the way to go. Hoping that once I had proved myself and that my work could be sold, do well, etc, that it would come along maybe when I least expected it. (Romantic thinking…ha!)


Now that it has been more than a year since that big rejection, I have been working towards becoming a better writer and also just putting my presence into the world. This, of course, comes with more rejection (I literally just received some more rejection a couple weeks ago when I tried to step outside of my usual genre…) but I’ve said before that I have been working on manifesting things in my life, a writing career being the main thing which means I’ve also been able to say, “This wasn’t right for me right now. Being rejected doesn’t mean I’m a bad writer.” I have taken a lot of self doubt and a lot of fear and I have banished it from my life because I’m tired of making excuses (i.e. “No one likes my writing.” “I never get published.” “I’m unworthy.”) when I could be self publishing books, sending in submissions, and working my ass off towards these dreams instead. Thankfully this mindset change that I’ve gone through this past year has been helpful…I have gotten more “yeses” than “nos” by continuing to just try my best, leave the fear behind, enjoy my writing and the process…


So, here are some things I think help with getting over & dealing with rejection…


  1. Change your mindset. Think of every rejection as a step closer to winning instead of a step backwards towards losing. Think of it as a learning experience and be grateful that you had the knowledge and accessibility to even be able to take advantage of the opportunity.
  2. Practice accepting and holding rejecting in your body through meditation. If you have received some rejection, sit with it. I know that this sounds ridiculous; who wants to sit with shitty feelings? But the more that we are able to feel them, the more we can understand them and move on from them.
  3. Keep going and one way of helping you to keep pushing forward is to put up mantras all over your room, house, apartment… Put mantra’s inside your notebooks, journals, on your bookmarks, everywhere you look! No one can think positively all the time but we can be reminded of our power and being reminded of it every time you turn around can do nothing but empower you.
  4. Use the rejection as motivation to cultivate your craft further. Take each piece of feedback and see how it does or does not help your writing. Don’t take it too personally! Think of J.K. and her 12 rejections before finally meeting someone who loved Harry Potter!
  5. Become part of a group that will critique you and push you outside of your comfort zone; get used to dealing with the opinions of others and how they sit in your creative mental space. Getting outside of your own headspace can really help you to see from new perspectives, changing your writing for the better.
  6. Don’t take the magic out of writing. When you sit down to write, if you are feeling overcome with anxiety and pressure to write something “amazing” take a few deep breaths and sort out why you are writing. If you are writing because you are in love with writing, don’t forget that. This is the most important and most valuable tip, I think, when it comes to dealing with rejection. Enjoy the journey. Enjoy the words. Enjoy it all.


I hope this blog helps you feel like you’re not alone as a creative who struggles with rejection, feels like their not being seen enough, or not feeling worthy of your creative title. No matter what career you choose in life, there will be ups and downs and that goes for writing too.


Be brave. Enjoy your work. Keep going. I believe in us!