Do Not Reject Rejection….Learn From It!

11 Mar

003And a very Happy Tuesday to you all! I hope this past weekend was restful for you and you are attacking this week with a torrent of words.  Bev and I spent the weekend spring cleaning and doing assorted chores.  Not my favorite activity but one that had to be done.  We ended up taking tons of stuff to the Goodwill, and now we have some serious closet and cupboard space.

And I am feeling my oats and ready to go.  As you know, I am in the first re-write of my novel…working title “The Long Walk Home”….and I’ll be done with that in two weeks and then the final re-write before I ask some people to read it for me as a test market.  Sometime in April it will all be done, and then I’ll start looking for an agent/publisher and also start the ebook publishing process.  I’m about a month behind but I’m not concerned about it.  This book is too important to me to rush it.

Let’s start with a quote and then we’ll get to the message today.


There’s nothing like rejection to make you do an inventory of yourself.

James Lee Burke
From my favorite mystery writer. If you have never read any of Burke’s works then you really owe it to yourself to do so. The man is a genius at painting a scene and his dialogue is first-rate….and he ain’t a bad story-teller either.


Oh yes, rejection!  How we hate it as writers. Whether it be a rejection letter from a publisher or a negative comment from a reader, rejection settles into our bone marrow and makes us cold at night.

But the thing is….and the thing that Burke talks about….is the fact that if we really want to grow as writers then we need to take that inventory of ourselves.  What caused the rejection? Is there validity in the words of the one who rejected us?  What can I do differently based on the rejection? Is the rejection valid?

My first novel, “The 12/59 Shuttle From Yesterday To Today,” was summarily rejected by every agent/publisher who considered it.  Some rejections were nice; others’ rude in their brusqueness…..all of them hurt.  Happily none of the rejections told me to give up writing, but there was still pain associated to them.

Rather than give up, though, I started writing more.  Obviously, when over fifty professionals reject your work, there is something missing.  Either I did a poor job of selling the work to them, or my query letter sucked, or the book was no good.  One of those scenarios was necessary for there to be that many rejections.  It was left for me, then, to decide which one was true and to correct it.

I think I have corrected it with my new novel.  I am a better writer today than I was three years ago. I understand the framework of a good novel now, and I understand the key elements of a novel now….and it is because of the sting of rejection that today I can say that I am a better writer.


Have someone who is not a friend or relative read your manuscript before submitting it for publication.  You really need an unbiased opinion and too often friends and family are incapable of giving an unbiased opinion.



Hopefully this picture will get your creativity flowing.


The Idaho Poetry Prize is taking submissions for their poetry contest.  Entry fee is $25 and the winner takes home $1,000 and publication in their year-end review. Deadline is May 15th. For more information go to their site here.


A shout out to my friend Brian, a fellow writer on HubPages.  You can find his profile if you follow this link.  Brian is a pro: intelligent, well-read and very helpful in his comments and observations.  As an added bonus, he is a very good writer. Go pay him a visit.


I can’t promise but I think I’ll be back with another installment on Thursday. Until then have a great week and as always, thank you!


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

25 Responses to “Do Not Reject Rejection….Learn From It!”

  1. Janine Huldie March 11, 2014 at 2:53 pm #

    I am so glad you are taking your time with this new book and am sure it is going to be only the best coming from you, but you are so right about nobody loving rejection, but again we can definitely learn so much from it. Glad you used it as just that and a learning experience. Can’t wait for the finished book now! Have a wonderful Tuesday once again, Bill!! 🙂

    • Billybuc March 11, 2014 at 3:08 pm #

      Thank you Janine! I’m getting to the stage where I just want the book done….patience is what I need right now.

  2. Audrey Howitt March 11, 2014 at 3:04 pm #

    Rejection does sting–but sometimes it is all about the fit–or lack thereof–I am learning–slowly

    • Billybuc March 11, 2014 at 3:09 pm #

      All about the fit…true, Audrey! Thanks for that….and good luck with the learning process.

  3. Mari March 11, 2014 at 3:15 pm #

    Rejection does hurt, more than we let on I think. However, they are wonderful learning opportunities opening your eyes to grander scheme you had not seen before! Thanks!

    • Billybuc March 11, 2014 at 3:22 pm #

      True words, Mari, but we have to be willing to open those eyes and learn….that is sometimes hard, yes?

      • Mari March 11, 2014 at 3:46 pm #

        lol, always hard, but so necessary to grow.

  4. Melanie Chisnall March 11, 2014 at 3:33 pm #

    I don’t like getting rejected for my writing either – who does? – but as with every job I’ve been in, I always find it makes me more determined to get better. JUST to prove “them” wrong. I might have a day of complete depression where I’m not productive at all, but that always passes. Then I’m set on making it just to shove it in their faces, lol. But seriously though, it’s true what you say. I think we have so much more built inside of us, sometimes we just need that extra – often unpleasant – push to get us to where we’re supposed to be. Great advice about finding someone other than a friend to review a book. Don’t know why I never thought of that. Hope you’re enjoying the final stretch my friend. 🙂

    • Billybuc March 11, 2014 at 3:36 pm #

      Mel, I love your attitude….shove it in their faces. LOL The final stretch is drudgery right now. I just want to be done, but I can’t rush the process. My patience is wearing thin I’m afraid. 🙂 Thanks for your thoughts, Mel.

  5. Clear-eyed Sky March 11, 2014 at 3:35 pm #

    Yesterday, I read that Thoreau rewrote Walden seven times in eight years! Amazing. I truly did love Shuttle–it’s a great story. But I also believe you have grown over the years, and so I’m looking forward to this new book. For whatever that’s worth . . . Hahah!

    • Billybuc March 11, 2014 at 3:38 pm #

      Lizzy, it is worth quite a bit. I think you know how much I respect and like you, so thank you! Anyone who likes Thoreau is okay in my world.

  6. kerlund74 March 11, 2014 at 6:15 pm #

    Sounds like you are close now, exciting to follow:) Have a wonderful day!

    • Billybuc March 11, 2014 at 6:36 pm #

      Thank you Linda! I am getting close and it feels good. I hope your day has been rewarding as well.

  7. Ruchira Khanna March 12, 2014 at 12:27 am #

    Glad you are on schedule and climbing the ropes towards your editing and then the publication…yeah!

    i agree rejection should be your armor but it is usually very difficult to digest. I usually sleep on it

    • Billybuc March 12, 2014 at 12:41 am #

      Hard to digest like a tough steak, Ruchira. 🙂 Thank you!

  8. Graham Lee March 12, 2014 at 7:32 am #

    Food for thought here Bill. I do hope you crack it this time. You deserve it with the efforts you make throughout the writing community.

    • Billybuc March 12, 2014 at 2:03 pm #

      Thank you kindly Graham! Hard work and determination my friend; hopefully it will pay off.

  9. klsilver March 12, 2014 at 11:31 am #

    Good morning Bill-bro! So happy to hear that your new novel is moving right along (and – at a perfect pace, i am quite confident!)
    After what life threw your way, dear – what’s a few measly rejections!
    I KNOW you’ll do great!

    • Billybuc March 12, 2014 at 2:04 pm #

      Hey Sis, thank you! You got that right…compared to the past, writing a book is a walk in the park. LOL I’m enjoying every moment of the process.

  10. Christy Birmingham March 12, 2014 at 3:35 pm #

    Bill, how wonderful to hear your book is coming along well. Quite right there is no rush and taking time makes for a quality read. I’m excited for the read!

    • Billybuc March 12, 2014 at 3:45 pm #

      Thank you Christy! I’m on the last leg now and it feels good to see it finally coming together.

  11. Kelly Umphenour March 12, 2014 at 3:44 pm #

    Rejection is so hard to swallow but just like spring cleaning I guess it’s got to be done!

    Glad you’re taking your time on the novel – less chance for rejection later, huh? Lol. Good luck Bill! Keep it going!

    • Billybuc March 12, 2014 at 3:46 pm #

      Thanks Kelly! Let’s hope that is true. This is as good as I can write so I hope it’s good enough.

  12. Dee March 16, 2014 at 2:42 am #

    Rejection leaves one feeling empty, facing it in the manner you describe helps to overcome the emotional let down. I love the writing pompt photo today. Lots of ways to go on that one.

    • Billybuc March 16, 2014 at 3:23 am #

      Dianna, like all writers, I’m getting used to rejection. 🙂 Thank you and I’m glad you enjoyed the prompt. Have a great weekend.

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