By Thomas Griffin, co-founder and president of OptinMonster. Entrepreneur, investor and software expert. Helping you be a better leader in your organization.
Every writer faces rejection at some point, but this doesn’t mean that you should stop writing altogether.
If you want to get your work published, you have to let others read it. But you can’t expect every reader to like it. Different people will have different opinions about your writing. This will include both positive and negative reactions.
While positive opinions can motivate you to continue producing more work, criticisms and negative feedback can sometimes be harsh to accept. JK Rowling, the first billionaire author and the creator of the famous Harry Potter book series, faced 12 rejections before she got her first book published. Rejection is a huge part of every writer’s life. And only those who face it gracefully can achieve success in their writing careers.
Here are four powerful ways of dealing with rejection as a writer that will help you gain success even after being rejected.
Take a break.
Criticisms are hard to accept, no matter how politely they are phrased. Many people become defensive and aggressive about negative comments. This can only make things worse. The best way to deal with such situations is to take a break.
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Rather than impulsively reacting to people’s comments, take your time to let the strong emotions settle. Then explore the areas that the feedback is aimed at. This will help you identify whether it seriously needs improvement. If it does, try to fix it at the earliest. Don’t forget to be grateful to your critic for identifying the problem and drawing your attention to it.
Take advantage of constructive criticisms.
When you receive negative feedback from your readers, it’s important for you to understand whether the criticism is destructive or constructive.
Destructive criticisms are aimed at you and not your work. Such criticisms are more personal and have nothing to do with your writing. You can simply ignore such critics and move on.
But if the criticism is constructive, try not to ignore it. It’s easy to differentiate constructive criticism from destructive ones. Constructive criticisms will always have actionable suggestions that you can use to improve your work. Be open to accepting such criticism, and try to use it in a productive way to get better.
Don’t be aggressive or defensive about your work. Talk to experienced writers, and discuss your problem in writer’s support groups that you’re a part of. If you’re not part of a writing group yet, join one now.
Read more and write more.
Being rejected doesn’t mean that you’re a bad writer. Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl was rejected 15 times before it was published and became a world classic.
Instead of being upset and giving up writing altogether, take up the challenge to become better. A good way to improve your writing is to read more. This will expose you to different writing styles, voices and different genres of writing. You can easily improve your own work by reading the work of others. It will give you clarity of thought and help you express your feelings more creatively and succinctly.
Empower yourself with self-publishing.
It’s nothing new for publications to reject authors. Instead of being dejected and heartbroken, empower yourself by self-publishing your work.
Prior to the self-publishing boom, in order to publish a book, you would have to find an agent who would then sell it to a publisher. With self-publication, you don’t have to wait for an agent or publisher to approve your work. Instead, you can produce a few copies with print-on-demand services and start selling them online. Or you can elect to publish primarily via e-book platforms.
The launch of Amazon’s Kindle 3 in 2010 revolutionized the way the publishing world runs. This innovation has made it much easier to publish your work. All you need is your manuscript and an internet connection. Your first published copy is then only a few clicks away.
Of course, you should comb through your manuscripts several times to ensure it’s error-free. You can even hire a top-notch editor to complete those services for you.
There you have it. With these powerful tools, you can now handle negative feedback gracefully and use it to become a better writer. Now it’s your turn to use them to find success in your writing career.