Author: Daniel Brotzel

Dan Brotzel (@brotzel_fiction) is co-author of a new comic novel, Kitten on a Fatberg (Unbound). As a reader of this website, you can get 10%-off Kitten on a Fatberg – quote KITTEN10

6 Tips to Develop Your Writerly Resilience

writer heroically facing rejection
Rejection deflection is a superpower! | Illustration by Sandpaperdaisy Art

Every writer — even the most successful ones — has had to face rejection. It goes with the territory. But that doesn’t make it any easier to swallow. Here are some practical pointers to help you grow a thicker skin and learn to roll with the punches.

1. Try to see the positive

Rejection is tough. You can’t help but take it personally. So much of yourself goes into what you write, it’s hard not to conclude that it’s you who’s being rejected along with your work. As the rejection letters mount up, you may start to believe that you’re simply not good enough. It’s really important not to let that happen.

A rejection doesn’t have to be a negative thing. Look at it instead as an opportunity. They think you’re not good enough? What better incentive could there be to prove people wrong?

Some successful writers have even viewed their rejection letters as a badge of pride. “I love my rejection slips,” wrote Sylvia Plath. “They show me I try.” The poet Brett Elizabeth Jenkins set herself a goal of getting a hundred rejections in a calendar year, and when she succeeded she found she’d “grown as a writer, met some kickass writers, sprouted relationships with a few editors, developed a thicker skin, and learned to take rejection like a champ.” Often there would be an encouraging note attached to a rejection, and a few, after she had made some changes and resubmitted them, turned into acceptances.

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