Many times as a writer, your first book often carries a lot of emotions for you, because it is the first time you are coming out of your shell to reveal yourself to the world.
Oftentimes, the book is perfect in your eyes because of the many years of thought and devotion you have given to it. And even though you might not expect it to be your bestseller, you expect it to open the way for you into the writing world. But sometimes, your hopes are dashed and the manuscript is rejected.
Do not despair. There is still hope and the book can have the reception you have envisioned for it. But majority of the work is dependent on you. You would have to be the one to make the change and make the decision not to give up. I am not saying it may not be painful or hard. It may be but you can overcome whatever emotions you feel. Join me as I walk you through the process of overcoming that rejection.
Here’s How to Overcome Rejection of Your Manuscript
- Never think that a rejection of your manuscript means you are a bad writer. There is a tendency for you to think that you are not a good writer if your manuscript is rejected. Especially by someone you consider your mentor or someone you look up to. That is not always true. Many times what makes your manuscript rejected is not based on your skill as a writer, although sometimes it is. Sometimes it is based on the publisher, or the errors, or some muddy parts that need clarity and there is no time to clarify. And even if it is based on your skill as a writer, a little bit of learning can solve the problem.
- Know that the emotional attachment you have to your book is only being experienced by you. Do not be deceived that publishers feel the same way you do about your book. To them, it is just an addition to the books they have to review and publish. It is to you that it means a lot. Detach your emotions and receive the criticism objectively. This will help you to move forward. And when the book has finally made the light of day, you can tell the world the story behind it.
- See the rejection as a minor setback to the place where you are headed. Whenever a rejection comes. Do not lose hope. See it as a moment of refiring to your aim. Take a catapult for example. Before the stone or whatever object you are throwing reaches the aim, it is pulled backwards first before being released to face the target. So whenever you experience a setback think about this illustration and go for it again.
- Pick up yourself and continue. This particular point might mean that you might have to change the book entirely or completely discard the book, or it might mean that you would just have to make some corrections. But whichever one it is, you can only continue when you decide to pick yourself up. Forget the “nasty” comments given to you by the publishers or the “lies” that were told to your face. Look ahead at the goal you want to achieve and work towards it.
- Learn to receive criticism. As a writer, one of the important things you need to do is to receive criticism. Some would be constructive while some would be destructive, but you are the one that will determine the response you would have towards them. Criticism helps you to see what you cannot see because not everyone is in your mind, not everyone processes things like you do. So when criticism comes, pay attention to it and work around it, so long as it does not change the entire scope of your book.
- Get a resilient friend that would never allow you to give up on your dreams. Rejection can be painful, and can destroy the fabric of a man. But if there is a friend that is always there to pull you up and encourage you to continue at every junction it would not feel so bad. And it is important to note that this friend should not lie to you so as to encourage you. Get a friend that will tell you the truth no matter how painful, but that will still help you to forge ahead.
I must also add that you have to be true to yourself as a writer and to the dreams you have had about your books. Do not let any criticism or review change the form of writing that you have always desired, no matter who the person is or who they are to you. Just like there are new inventions in the world every day, there are also new discoveries and genres in writing as well. So feel free to expand and explore and keep your dream alive.
I will end by saying this: a full stop does not always have to end a sentence, a comma can be added underneath to make it a semicolon. This simply means that when everyone tells you no, do not stop there. You can still do something to get yourself to your desired location.
Olamide Omolawal is an avid research enthusiast with interest in creative and content writing.