The Purpose of IWSG is to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

To join IWSG visit Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh here.



Writing is a difficult path pitted with rejection and disappointment. Who among us hasn’t wanted to crawl into a corner, curl into a ball, and whimper? I keep my corner dusted and ready with a pillow nearby—just in case. Don’t get me wrong. There are enormous rewards to be had, but only your heart can tell you if the benefits are commensurate with the considerable investment of time, soul, and ego.

In June, I had a rather terrific short story rejected for an anthology. I wasn’t surprised. The story didn’t play by genre rules, the ending was dark, the subject matter offbeat. When I received the rejection notice, I shrugged. Five years ago that rejection would have left me numb for a week.

Rejection doesn’t mean you aren’t good enough;
it means the other person failed to
notice what you have to offer.
~Mark Amend

It’s not that my skin is thicker now, but I have learned a few lessons along the way. For example, I know what I consider to be my best work isn’t really publisher-friendly (I won’t say reader-friendly because readers never see it). My response has been to adjust my expectations rather than my writing. Another writer, one with different priorities, might choose to tweak their ending and subject matter and keep closer to genre.

There is no one correct response for all writers. What’s right for me may not be right for you.

Nothing ever goes away until
it teaches us what we
need to know.
~Pema Chödrön

Each rejection, whether from a reader, editor, or agent, is a lesson. It’s up to you to find your meaning. Many of us write because we have to write, but that doesn’t explain why we seek publication.

Be honest with yourself about your writing priorities. Where does creativity rank? How about the need to communicate a message? The desire to be published and read?

While it’s true each rejection is a stepping stone on the way to success, only when you acknowledge what matters to you as a writer can you embrace rejection as an opportunity to learn.