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  • Writer's pictureDebra Stang

What Every Writer Needs – 13 Quotes about Rejection

Updated: Jan 3, 2019

Anybody who has ever even thought of picking up a pen knows that rejection is a big part of the writing business. It's happened to Stephen King, it's happened to J.K. Rowling, and it either has happened or will happen to you.

When I first started writing, I thought rejection was the end of the world. If I got a rejection slip or even a request for changes to an article or story, I brooded about it for a week. It took me a long time to get over that mindset, but I wanted to write more than anything in the world, and I knew I couldn't make it as a writer if I didn't learn to face rejection…again, and again, and again.

Even with my new, tougher skin, I sometimes feel a little sting after a particularly harsh review or scathing words from an editor. It's during those times that I've found the following 13 quotes to be especially helpful.

1. "Through my illness, I learned rejection. I was written off. That was the moment I thought, 'Okay, game on. No prisoners. Everybody's going down.'" — Lance Armstrong

2. "You must keep sending work out: you must never let a manuscript do nothing but eat its head off in your drawer. You send that work out again and again while you're working on another one. If you have talent, you will receive some measure of success–but only if you persist." — Isaac Asimov

3. "I discovered that rejections are not altogether a bad thing. They teach a writer to rely on his own judgment and to say in his heart of hearts, 'To hell with you.'" — Saul Bellow

4. "We keep going back stronger, not weaker, because we will not allow rejection to beat us down. It will only strengthen our resolve. To be successful, there is no other way." — Earl G. Graves

5. "Rejected pieces aren't failures; unwritten pieces are." — Greg Daugherty

6. "There are two wrong reactions to a rejection slip: deciding it's a final judgment on your story and/or talent, and deciding it's no judgment on your story and/or talent." — Nancy Kress

7. "Have you had a failure or rejection? You could get bitter. That's one way to deal with it. Or…you could just get BETTER. What do you think?" — Destiny Booze

8. "Don't let anyone, or any rejection, keep you from what you want." — Ashley Tisdale

9. "I could write an entertaining novel about rejection slips, but I fear it would be overly long." — Louise Brown

10. "I don't want anyone who doesn't want me." — Oprah Winfrey

11. "I take rejection as someone blowing a bugle in my ear to wake me up and get going rather than retreat." — Sylvester Stallone

12. "A rejection is nothing more than a necessary step in the pursuit of success." — Bo Bennett

13. "I think all great innovations are built on rejections." — Louis Ferdinand Celine

How do you deal with rejection?

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