Calling All Rejects

Writers know rejection.

Every single day we are putting things out into the world, molding and crafting creations, only to have them rejected or (worse?) ignored. If writers’ books and articles and blog posts are like children, then we are the parents pushing the stroller through a group of strangers who walk up, look inside, shrug their shoulders, and then say, “Meh.”

I saw this rejection letter on a friend’s Facebook page recently:

Dear Mr. Hewson,

Thanks for submitting your tape of ‘U2’ to RSO. We have listened with careful consideration but feel it is not for us at present. We wish you luck with your future career.

Yours Sincerely

Alexander Sinclair

For those of you who didn’t know, Bono’s real name is Paul David Hewson.


I actually love rejection stories, because there’s something about rejection that propels us forward. The letters pile up (“Thanks, but no thanks”) and the negative comments pour in, yet what does the writer do?

(After sobbing or pacing angrily or downing a quart of ice cream while mumbling some of the more despicable Psalms as curses against those who did not recognize her genious.)

The writer returns to the page.

I want to collect guest posts from all of you writers out there. I want to hear of your recent rejection (or perhaps one from long ago that still sticks like a burr in your saddle). I want to hear about what you did next.

So go ahead, submitt your guest posts to me for consideration at shawnsmucker(at)yahoo(dot)com.  Your story of rising above rejection might be the one thing another writer needs to read.

***After thinking about this a bit more, I think it would be good to have stories of various kinds of rejection we’ve experienced and pushed through (not just writing related), so keep that in mind. All rejects are welcome.

10 Replies to “Calling All Rejects”

  1. Not sure if you saw my wife’s Facebook post about our struggles with having a baby – but that could probably be turned into a blog post with a little help from a writer… *cough hint hint cough*

  2. Shawn,

    Where, what email, do we send them too?

    Thanks, as always!

      1. I been reading scripture that says god will gather all the lame and outcasts and make them a strong and powerful nation. Micah 4:6-7.

  3. Marie Bride Being the thin skinned person who always gets her feelings hurt but normally never tells anyone I would have just given up.
    Except the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart and requested that I step out of my comfort zone and allow Him to use me.
    As I reflect on all the comments that are being shared I am encouraged and inspired. So much truth and honesty soothes my SOUL. I am thin skinned and Controversy is not my thing.
    I have written numerous witnesses that have been shared for the last two years in retreats. The difficult part of course is you are opening yourself up to many individuals some you may never encounter again but many more who are and or will become a part of your/my faith community (do not mean to go on, merely setting the stage for what I am sharing).
    In the team formation of one of the retreats a member took it on herself to single a few of us out when we were not at a team meeting and tell us we needed to rewrite our witnesses, so that would be my negative.
    Problem for me was by the time I diluted it to her satisfaction I was not pleased at all I felt like it belonged to a second grader. She was my only negative probably because I have not put myself out there enough.
    On the positive more people at more retreats including the priest who is a perfectionist said I need to be a writer and they will be looking forward to it.
    The very same writing this particular woman rejected I shared with another team after one of the members had read it and it was received very positively by everyone.

    I was taken aback by this person until I discovered that she took it upon herself to single out several of us without anyone else knowing (and according to the manual she was not supposed to do that). Now this was a team my mother was also on and that is a whole other story.

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