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The key to writing success? Never give up!

“My favorite rejection letter was from an agent who said, “We don’t have time to take on any new clients, and if we did, we wouldn’t want you.” But I kept trying. My second book got published. The first one never did.” Lisa Scottoline, author of legal thrillers.

The above quote comes from the book “The 101 Habits of Highly Successful Novelists,” edited by Andrew McAleer.

Rejection is a natural part of any creative pursuit. In business, we say, “Some will. Some won’t. So what.” I like to say, “Some will. Some won’t. Keep going!” Okay, so maybe the alliteration isn’t as good, but the message is better. “So what” gives the vibe that you don’t care. “Keep going” conveys determination. Much better.

Last year, I submitted a creative nonfiction piece to a contest and it didn’t win anything. It didn’t even make it to the finals. I know I had rushed the project, but I still felt it was a good piece of writing. After reading it again several months later, my rushing was evident. Instead of tossing the piece out, I rewrote it and entered it in another contest where it won first place. If I had let a little rejection get to me, I never would have realized the piece’s potential.

Potential. I love that word. It means capable of being or becoming. Use rejections to push you forward into your full potential.

To read more on how to turn rejection into success, read my post, How to use rejection to improve your craft.”

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. One of my favorite quotes (whenever I feel bogged down by deadlines) is:

    “Success can be defined in many ways but failure in only one … quitting!” Gerard de Marigny

    March 22, 2014
  2. What has worked for me is: “Just keep putting words on the page”. As writers we need to keep in mind that we write because we need to. If we write for any other reason we won’t have the motivation to keep putting words on the page.

    March 26, 2014
    • So True! And often my non-writer friends don’t understand this. My hubby once asked me, “Do you really like words that much?” I looked at him as if he had ten heads and sixteen mouths and said, “Words are my oxygen.” I think he got it after that 🙂

      March 26, 2014

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