Since this is often your baby, who you have spent years of hard work investing into to, this can be pretty soul destroying to learn what you perceived as great, others see as rubbish.
But fear not young writer, you are not alone! It happens to each and every one of us.
Dealing with rejection is one of the things that define you as a writer, and how you handle it really can make or break your career. So, here are some of my tips to remember on those dark days:
1. The work is being critiqued, not you personally
Giving your book to someone to review is like asking them to tell you what they like and don’t about one of your
kids! When anything negative is said, naturally it’s hard not to be hurt.
But you need to remember this is personal taste. They are reviewing your book, which after all, is merely some words on a page.
True some critiques come across as personal, but this is the fault of the person doing the review. Critiques should be constructive, there to help improve you as a writer. If the story isn’t a genre they are interested in, then their comments that the plot is boring or weak are irrelevant anyway! If some does attack you direct, which may well happen, you have the luxury of ignoring them. Always resist the temptation to reply back with a witty, sniped retort. As tempting as this is, it will only damage the public perception of you. Just take a deep breath, delete and block, and move on!
2. Each negative brings you closer to a positive
You should tell yourself that any story you submit will receive a certain number of rejections before it either gets accepted or until you write a better one. Don’t believe your work is perfect yet, because in reality it probably isn’t.
But do believe it will get there, soon. Learn to take the positives out of any negative critique, stand back and see if the reader has a point. If they don’t, move on. But if they do, by listening to it they could help you turn your book from being good to being great. Don’t believe you are always right.
3. Be Persistent
As long as you keep writing and reading, you’ll keep getting better as an author. As soon as you stop, then that’s it. Keep going. If your dream is to be published, then don’t stop. People like you and me can make it as authors, but only if you keep going and believe in yourself. No successful writer ever quit!
4. We will all get criticised and rejected
One of my idols, J.K Rowling, was rejected numerous time when she first wrote Harry Potter. Countless agents told her the story was flawed, that readers wouldn’t connect with the characters. How wrong where these so called experts? And how much do you think they regret turning her away now?
Every author has a tale of rejection or negative feedback; this makes us stronger and better for it. Realise you are not the only one, that it is part of the process, and it will take away some of the personal hurt you feel.
5. Write how you want to read
A personal tip is to write how you like to read. If there isn’t an author like you in the market then this is a good
thing! Don’t follow the masses or what is in vogue, write the story how you want it to be. That way when you find people who love your story (and you will) it makes it all the more satisfying that they connect with your work, not a watered down PC version or a story you never connected to. This is your work, make it your own and others will appreciate it.