#rejection ~ A Few Sympathetic Words

#rejection, for the writer, is as certain as that finality we're all headed towards. Without rejection, there'd be no acceptance. Without yin, no yang. Without negative, no positive—no dark, no light. And, if you write to publish there will be more than likely a lot of it. The odd thing is that acceptance of rejection is the only answer. That's a hard fact. It is simply part of being a writer.

You'll probably receive more rejections than acceptances in your writing career. And, if you are receiving a huge amount of rejections, that's a good thing. It means you're actively sending out your work. You're submitting. Taking that chance. The higher number of rejections, the closer to an acceptance you become. You're increasing your odds. The more your work is out there, in the mix, the better the chance an editor somewhere will find your story or essay or poem, fall in love with it, and make it their own.

But rejection isn't easy. It's disturbing and frustrating, and annoying and maddening. And, often, it makes it difficult to keep writing, so very hard to carry on. But carry on, you must. It's the only way a writing career will happen. Keep writing, keep submitting, file the rejections away, and celebrate that sweet acceptance, once it arrives.

A challenge: starting with the next Monday after you read this post, begin a campaign to get one hundred rejections in a year, 365 days. That will keep you busy writing and submitting, and your mind off those rejections that will come no matter what.


C. Gregory Thompson

C. Gregory Thompson, a Pushcart Prize nominee, lives in Los Angeles, California where he writes fiction, nonfiction, plays, and memoir. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Storgy Magazine, Writers Resist, Five:2:One, Cowboy Jamboree, Full Grown People, The Offbeat, Printers Row Journal, Reunion: The Dallas Review. Four of his short stories were included in the 2017 New Short Fiction Series. He was named a finalist in the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival’s 2015 Fiction Contest. His short play Cherry won two playwriting awards. He earned an MFA in Creative Writing and Writing for the Performing Arts at the University of California, Riverside/Palm Desert. He also has a BFA in Film & Television from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. His coursework, while he attended NYU, included film and television production as well as multiple screenwriting courses. He also wrote and directed the awarding-winning student film “Elysian Fields.” While working in the entertainment business, he wrote many screenplays. He recently left a longtime career in the film business as an awards consultant to Hollywood studios and is now a full-time writer and writing instructor. He is the founder of Pen & Paper Writing Workshops. He lives in Glendale, California with his partner. They have no children, and no dogs, cats, chickens, horses, goats or geese. Follow C. Gregory on Twitter @cgregthompson and on Instagram @cgregorythompson.