Rejections can be inspiring?

Okay, so we all know an aspiring author must develop a thick skin. Critique groups dish out criticism, so do our beta readers.

And on top of that, we’re probably our own worst critics.

We’ve all sent out work that we’ve slaved over, but that just doesn’t wow an agent or editor and we have to learn to face rejection.

But rejection as inspiring? Umm… really?

Over at the fantastic Women’s Fiction Writers site , this is exactly what short story writer Tamra Wilson claims in her post about short story writing and How 64 Rejections Can be Inspiring.

Since I’m preparing myself for the querying stage for my manuscript, I was very interested in reading this post. As part of this interview, Tamra explains her tenacity in continuing to query a short story she believed in, even as the rejection slips piled up… and up… and up.

What I liked is how she saw the whole process of querying and subsequent rejection as a game, and was thrilled when her story was finally accepted at query #65.

Hmmm… not really sure I’m buying the whole rejection-as-a-motivational-tool premise, but I’m happy to be proven wrong. I’m filing this one away and something tells me I’ll be returning to these inspirational words once I start the querying stage.

And you, writers? As I’m gathering ammunition here to help myself out down the line… what are your experiences with rejection? Are you able to view it as a game and just keep plugging away? Or is it hard to be that philosophical about it as your rejection folder grows ever larger?


  1. ledrakenoir on June 1, 2012 at 10:46 am

    Yeah – “And on top of that, we’re probably our own worst critics” and I think it’s best that way, because writing with the heart is better than writing with the wallet… 😉

  2. kimberlysullivan on June 1, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    Thanks for the comment, Ledrakenoir… and I agree with you. But of course, writing is something I do for fun, so I guess I have the luxury to write what I want. I don’t particularly like formulaic writing and tend to avoid those authors. But, then again, some of those who write to fatten their wallets don’t seem to have done too badly for themselves… : )

  3. Julia on June 2, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    It may not be inspiring, but a rejection can make us stronger. Every single writer on earth has dealt with rejections – even the most famous ones. Here is a blog entry I wrote a while ago. It’s very encouraging.

  4. Julia on June 2, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    Kimberly: I agree with your comment.Nicely said. I am not motivated by an empty wallet either. I really like your blog, but I think I’ve told you that already.

  5. kimberlysullivan on June 4, 2012 at 8:14 am

    Thanks for the comments, Julia… and GREAT blog entry. Writers who need encouragement, be sure to look at Julia’s post for a little pick me up in seeing how well-known writers plugged on following rejection, often a lot of it. 7000 rejections? Oh my goodness. Guess it becomes a badge of honor at that point…

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