23 July 2011

Writer's Block: Bouncing Back from Rejection

Rejection Can Induce Writer’s Block
Few things can douse the fires of creativity more than rejection. Creating a written work that does not please the intended audience can be crushing. Knowing how to bounce back from such a blow is important. It can be done and it should be done.

A Rejection Letter Is No Excuse to Quit
Receiving rejection letters is hardest for beginners. The writer pours his or her soul into the manuscript and the editor sends a response back saying it is not what the publication needs. Published authors seem to pay little attention to one rejection letter. Those who succeed at getting published apparently don’t pay any attention to a stack of rejections. If the first ten editors don’t want it, one of the next ten might.

Writer’s Block Can Follow Criticism from Colleagues
Rejection from colleagues can also hurt self-esteem. Writers who have created a piece that their fellows don’t admire can feel as though they have failed. Further, this group will likely add comments and suggestions to the their lukewarm reactions.

Lukewarm Response from Loved Ones
Less than enthusiastic responses from loved ones or friends can hurt the most. Some expect this group to enjoy the work as much as they do. This rarely ever happens. Familiarity tends to mute the responses to written works. A certain distance, or personal unfamiliarity with the author apparently lends to desirability of the work.

Writer’s Block Can Follow Perceived Rejection
Writers block can ensue after any of these so-called rejections. The truth is that these are not failures. Editors are overrun by manuscripts and often do not have the time to look at all of them. A single glance might be all you get. Colleagues, friends and family may be too familiar with the writer. The closeness or familiarity lets these readers too far into the zone of the writer. The public, apparently, enjoys reading the works of those distant from them, rather than those close. Fighting this will likely be impossible and may lead to further disappointment.

The Solution to Writer’s Block
The solution to this form of writer’s block is not hard to describe. Don’t let it bother you.

Editors Want to Help Writers
To deal with the rejection from editors realize that you are not dealing with an issue of acceptance or non-acceptance. It is purely a matter of business. The solution is to find out what writing techniques catch the eye of an editor in those first few seconds. Lists of do’s and don’t’s are strewn far and wide across the Internet. Use them. Writing techniques can and do make a difference. Read advice from editors. They seem more than happy to tell writers what they want and don’t want. Read these articles and do what they ask.

Avoid Rejection from Loved Ones
To deal with the rejection from colleagues, friends and family, the solution is very simple. Don’t show them your work. Or, if you must show it to them, do so with absolutely no expectations for their response. Believing that they must like it for it to be good is just plain wrong. People close to the writer may very well give a poor response to the written product even if it is quite good. Put no stock whatsoever into what people close to you think of your work.

Join a Group of Like-Minded Writers
A great way to overcome the issue of rejection is to join a writer’s group with a positive attitude. Shop around. Groups exist that will tear writers to pieces so watch out for those. When looking for a group, the writer should consider that he or she is shopping. If a group heartlessly tears the work apart, that group really isn’t good for writers, or at least for beginning writers. If a group makes the writer want to quit, it is not a good group. Good groups will make writers want to write more.

Be Ready for Rejection
Putting on a good set of emotional armor isn’t a bad idea either. Be ready for some criticism. Some of it will be of no value, some of it will, but if a writer puts his or her work out there, evaluation will surely follow. Be ready for it.

Becoming a Better Writer
A writer who uses criticism to his or her advantage will become a better writer. The critique that tells the writer to hang it up should be tossed in the garbage. Advice that builds good writing skills and corrects obvious errors is usable advice. Dividing these two types of criticism into the appropriate category may be what is needed.

End Writer’s Block by Choice
Lastly, if a person wants to be a writer, advice to the contrary should be ignored. No writer starts out will all the skills needed to achieve his or her goals. Comments from others should be used as tools. These tools should be distanced from emotional response. For those who has stopped writing because of negative criticism, the best advice is to simply brush off the dust and get back on the horse. Writers who haven’t reached their goals aren’t finished yet.

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