Dealing With Rejection Forms

United States
May 30, 2007 9:45am CST
So I'm wondering what you do with any writing submission rejection forms you receive. Do you keep them, throw them away, or paper your wall with them? Do they inspire you or discourage you? When I first started writing (years and years ago), I would be devastated by a rejection letter and I used to keep every single response to my writing, good or bad. Now, unless a rejection has an actual feedback comment from the editor, I just pitch it. It's taken me a very long time to get to the point where I don't take rejection personally. Every editor has his/her own taste and sometimes a piece that doesn't work for one publication is perfect for another.
1 person likes this
4 responses
@patgalca (14557)
• Orangeville, Ontario
30 May 07
I don't pitch the rejection letters. I have a file for them, right next to my file called "Words of Praise". I don't take them personally. They are not rejecting me, they are rejecting the work that doesn't work for them or their publication. Not all editors/publishers/agents have the same likes and dislikes so it takes time to find the one that is a fit for you. But I would never throw the letters out. They are proof of an accomplishment of a different kind.
2 people like this
• United States
30 May 07
I love your last comment regarding rejection letters being "proof of an accomplishment of a different kind". I have never thought about them that way. Thanks so much for contributing!
1 person likes this
• Philippines
30 May 07
Hi SereneDragon! i'm a student journalist and it hurts every time i pass poems and it is rejected. But that is part of being a writer, you should know how to handle criticisms and learn from them instead. whenever i receive my rejected poems, i critique it myself first, find out my mistakes, then approve it to others, learn from those then i throw it :) hehehe...
• United States
30 May 07
I agree thoroughly with learning from criticism--both in writing and in life. I do have to say that when I do throw a rejection letter away, it makes me feel vindicated when I crumble the paper into a tiny ball first. LOL
2 people like this
@morgandrake (2140)
• United States
30 May 07
I have threaten to shred them and use them for cat litter. ;) I actually save them as proof that I am trying to accomplish something. My emotional response to recieving a rejection slip is to prove them wrong, so typically I send the piece back out or create a new piece. For me, they are a spur to action.
• United States
30 May 07
I too use rejection notices to motivate me (either for revising current works or starting something new). Never thought about using them for cat litter; that's a great idea.
1 person likes this
• United States
1 Jun 07
I figure it would be empowering if nothing else. ;)
• Singapore
1 Jun 07
For me, it will be straight into the trash. I don't even bother wanting to read the whole article
1 person likes this
• United States
1 Jun 07
For me, if it is a form letter straight in the trash is a good option. But occasionally, I get rejections that are hints about what I did wrong, those I think you should hang onto.