Rejections Are Really Just Mile Markers

If someone had told me before I became a writer that the industry was very much like sales, I may not have pursued this career track. 

I was never a big fan of sales, but that was probably because I was rarely in a position to sell products I believed in. In addition to that, my younger self didn't like the discomfort of being told, "No, thanks."

I've never been happier than I am with my current career choice, and that is largely because writing has taught me how to handle constant rejection. My job is teaching me how to be a stronger person. What's not to love about that?

Perspective plays a big part in this, as does endurance. Those who perservere through the first five, ten, even fifteen rejections will find the editor or agent that is just right for their piece. Or they may find another piece that's an even better fit for the current market and more exciting to work on. That's why I've come to see rejections as merely mile markers. 

The first few rejections for a piece help me to adjust my pitch to make it more marketable when I send it out again. The next few rejections let me know I'm getting closer to a potential acceptance. If I still get rejections, and don't make a sale, I know that either my timing is off or my attention needs to be redirected to a more worthwhile piece. Not everything I think is interesting will captivate readers. And that's okay.

Sometimes, the issue isn't even in my control. Another author may have beat me to the assignment. That's never what I want to hear, but it doesn't decrease my passion for writing or mean that I'm not talented enough to belong in my chosen profession. 

The door isn't always closed either. A good pitch that fails sometimes leads to a completely different assignment from an editor. Those assignments are just as rewarding as the ones that originate with me. 

Rejections are just mile markers that let you know where you are in the pitch process. Don't let them sting. They aren't personal. Even the writers you admire the most have received their fair share of rejection letters. The reason you know their names and work today lies within them. Their endurance and passion helped them look past the rejections toward the acceptances. 

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