Posted by: penpatience | March 10, 2012



 March-Monthly Musing




     During the many years I worked in business management I saw a lot of rejection—but it was never mine.

Whenever rejection reared its ugly head most of the time it was associated within sales careers– the life of a salesperson. In fact, facing rejection was often an integral part of a salesperson’s job.  Pounding the pavements selling their company products and services could often result in customer rejection. Even the best salespeople lost sales to competition and I imagine it was difficult not to take it personally–but many did.

 I recently read an article in the Writer’s Digest magazine about James Lee Burke, the author of a recent Best Seller, “Feast Day of Fools.”  Despite the fact that Mr. Burke has been named Grandmaster by the Mystery Writers of America in 2009 and twice has received their Crime Novel of the Year award, earlier in his career he had unpublished work rejected over one hundred and ten times.

It wasn’t long before rejection found this writer too. Although I haven’t reached one hundred rejections, I’ve been disappointed many times when my work was rejected and I’ve found that self-address stamped envelope or e-mail waiting in my mailbox. “Dear Ms. Dunn, thank you for submitting your work……however, at this time we find this particular piece is not a good fit for our publication.”  After the initial discouragement fades, I tell myself its part of the process and back to the computer I go to review and sometimes revise the story before sending it out again. And yes, if I believe in the story, I do send it out again.

Regardless of profession, most of us have faced rejection of our work some time or another. However, writers must continue to write knowing that the face of rejection continues to lurk close by. Yet when I receive the Yeah instead of the Nay, I’m euphoric, elated, re-energized and motivated to keep plugging away. For me, the small highs of acceptance far outweigh the lows of rejections. And when a colleague or friend tells me they really liked the story, I return to the present work-in-progress with new enthusiasm. My feelings on rejection remind me of that old tune: “Hit the road, Jack (Rejection) and don’t you come back no more, no more, no more, no more.”

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