Friday, August 26, 2011

Guest Post: Crystal Cheverie

I’m taking the week off from blogging (although I’ll probably still lurk around your blogs). To keep the awesomeness at full, guest bloggers are taking over my blog on Sunday, Tuesday and Friday. And now, on with the show…

Please welcome Crystal Cheverie.

Hello to all you lovely people! *waves* I want to thank Jeanne for letting me take over her blog for a day and giving me the opportunity to get to meet some new faces. Thank you, Jeanne, and happy birthday! Now, on with the show…

So, did you know the Chinese use the same word for crisis as they do for opportunity? Neither did I until I watched The Simpsons (according to Homer, the word is “crisitunity.” Somehow, I’m not too sure about that…). At any rate, it’s a very positive way of thinking about the little (and big) setbacks that Life can throw our way. Setbacks like getting a flash fiction piece I’d submitted back in June rejected last week.

We writers have to put up with rejection a lot. No, let’s make that A LOT. Not gonna front – it doesn’t feel good. It hurts. It can even make people opt out of the scribe gig altogether.

The thing is, though, rejection is a natural part of life. You get dumped for another man (or woman) when your significant other fails to realize your innate awesomeness. Your stellar job interview didn’t land you that dream job.  A promotion that should’ve gone to you… well, you get what I’m saying.

So, yes, rejection is normal, especially in the literary world. There’s no way to escape it. So what’s a writer to do? After last week’s nasty surprise, I have made a decision. I am not going to cower in fear of rejection anymore. I’m going to do my best to stand tall and meet that bugger head-on by continuing to submit, submit and submit. After all, as Michelle Pfeiffer’s character said in the movie Dangerous Minds, “sometimes it takes a lot of wrong answers to get to the right one.” It helps, too, that I’ve come to believe each “thanks but no thanks” can be helpful if you allow it to be. Each time you get rejected is a chance to build up that thick skin every writer needs. It can remind you just how badly you want to see your work in print and therefore spur you on to work harder to reach that goal. A rejection can even help you improve your story (especially true if you’re lucky enough to get feedback from the editor) or simply improve your story’s odds by finding a publication that would be a better fit.

Rejection, in other words, is a fantastic opportunity for growth and strength.

Which is good to know, because I’m going to need to remind myself of all of the above quite a bit over the next couple of years.

Thanks for reading!

Over to you, my fellow writers – how do you deal with rejection?


  1. Great attitude and sage advice!

    When rejected the first thing I do is acknowledge it and my feelings. Ignoring it would be unhealthy, but I don't wallow. I try to learn what I can, understanding it is indeed an opportunity for growth. Then I look forward clearly focused on what I want to achieve.

  2. I agree. We need to support each other. Thus...I support you :)

  3. @ Isis - Thank you! You make a really good point there - you can't bury your head in the sand and pretend like it doesn't hurt. You seem to have a really great attitude towards the whole rejection issue yourself! :-)

    @ Mike - You're right, and thanks so much! I support you, too. :-)

  4. I hope when the time comes that I'll be able to take heed of your advice - after I've stopped gnashing my teeth, of course :-)

    Oh, and happy birthday, J!

  5. Very well said.

    I haven't gotten to that point of rejection letters yet, but accepting it and carrying on are definitely in order when that comes...

  6. Great take on rejection, Crystal! It's something I wish I was better at doing myself.

  7. @ Sarah - I'm still working hard at putting my money where my mouth is, so to speak! It's one of those things that comes with practice.

    @ William - Thank you! For sure, and best of luck to you when you do get to that point.

    @ Mama - Thank you! Well, not to worry - I'm still working on it. Just keep trying! :-)

  8. Great attitude, Crystal! The experiences of countless writers has proven again and again that the key to success in the field is persistence. As you said it, "submit, submit, and submit."

  9. Thank you! Too true - I'm not sure which of the campaigners has this quote on their blog but it goes something like; "There's a name for a writer who never gives up: Published." I'm considering getting it tattooed on my forehead. ;-)

  10. I love that Chinese saying. It's like our saying, When one door closes, another one opens. Great post, Crystal. Can you believe that I've never even submitted anything?! And I've just finished the first draft of my first novel? I wonder what that says about me? A little rejection fear, methinks! Okay - submission is my next goal, you've inspired me! You're a great writer and I know you're going to find that niche!

  11. Hi Crystal. This is great perspective on rejection. Thanks.

  12. @ Lady Gwen - You are just awesome. That is all. :-)

    @ Lynda - Thank you so much! :-)

  13. It is such a difficult thing to deal with because writing is such a personal thing, but you're right - it is an opp for us to grow and become stronger from it.. I will keep reminding myself of that...hehe

  14. Great post Crystal. Have to say the way I look at this whole publishing thing is as a numbers game. You absolutely have to have as much work out there as possible to increase chances of that elusive 'yes'. Because it's very very rare to get a 'yes' the first time you submit something, and one of the most important things a writer needs is tenacity. Recovering from rejection is CRUCIAL in this industry.

    Applying this to the Query process; when querying agents, I started with a list of 25 names, and had a further 25 ready to go if needed, for a total of 50 queries on the one book. I was very lucky not to need the second list, but I certainly increased my chances by querying so widely.

    So I suppose what I'm saying is that my way of dealing with rejection is to a) absolutely expect it, b) not take it personally, and c) work it into my game plan.


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