Handling Rejection

Have you ever seen an unattractive baby? Even if you think the baby is ugly, his parents would never agree. That baby is part of them. He carries their DNA. More than that, he carries their hopes and dreams for the future.

It’s often been said that for a writer, rejection is the equivalent of showing someone your newborn baby and hearing them say she’s ugly.RejectionYou persevere through blank computer screens, uncooperative characters, convoluted plots, and uninteresting descriptions. After pouring yourself into your manuscript, you finally produce a work worthy of publication. That was the easy part.

Now comes the difficult part: showing your work to others; baring yourself as you wait for feedback from critique partners, editors, or agents.

What do you do when:

  • a critique partner tells you the dialogue is flat?
  • an agent advises you the plot is weak?
  • an editor rejects your submission without any feedback at all?

Do you:

  • Give up on writing?
  • Reject the rejection and dismiss the source as incompetent?
  • Ascribe the rejection to spiritual attack?
  • Receive the rejection as constructive criticism?

Rejection is not always a bad thing. We can use criticism to become better writers. Or perhaps the writing is good, but the timing is wrong. One project I worked on for several years received several rejections. Rather than giving up, I partnered with another writer. My co-author took a good idea and helped make it a great book. That single book became a two-book series.

Don’t view rejection as an enemy. View it as a teacher…one that will help us be the best writers we can be for the glory of God.

What have previous rejections taught you?
Have you experienced a rejection that led to something better?


Ava Pennington is a writer, Bible teacher, and speaker. Her latest book, Daily Reflections on the Names of God: A Devotional, is endorsed by Precepts founder Kay Arthur. Additionally, Ava is co-author of Faith Basics for Kids. The first two books in the series are Do You Love Me More? and Will I See You Today? She has also written numerous articles for magazines such as Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse, Today’s Christian Woman, Power for Living, and Called.

In addition to her writing, Ava also teaches a weekly, Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) class. She is a passionate speaker and teacher, and delights in challenging audiences with the truth of God’s word in relevant, enjoyable presentations. For more information, visit her at www.AvaWrites.com.

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