How to Deal with Writing Rejection

Writing Rejection

The Story

Rejection sucks, there is no way around it. No one wants to be the recipient of an email that states, “Thank you for your contribution but it WASN’T GOOD ENOUGH.” I have spent most of my life not feeling good enough and one little rejection used to send me into a tailspin, UNTIL NOW! 

In the year 2020, my goal was to take my screenwriting to the next level and in doing so I unknowingly set myself on a path that would require a great deal of resilience and confidence in a world that often says “NO.” Can you relate?

The Problem:

If you want to be a writer you will face rejection. 

The Solution:

Be brave, be vulnerable, above all be YOU! Accept where you are at on your journey and trust yourself.  Say YES to your story when everyone else is saying NO. & Don't give up!

When you type THE END, it isn’t really the end. NO ONE TELLS YOU THAT!  (Of course pat yourself on the back, celebrate, open a bottle of bubbly but there is still more work to be done!)  As a storyteller you must take one final and oh-so-daring step: PUTTING YOUR WORK OUT THERE.  By sharing your work you risk a bruised ego, facing your worst fears and not being able to control the outcome. Writing is a participatory art form, it requires the involvement of others in order to reach full completion. Above all, writing is an inherently vulnerable act. 

What if it wasn’t all about the outcome?  

What if it wasn’t about fulfilling the dream scenario you have conjured up in your head ? 

What if it was about WHO YOU ARE BECOMING!?

See also  How Did Helen Keller Write Books?

Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage. 


I submitted to twenty contests in 2020 including several top tier screenwriting competitions. I was rejected by 15 and placed in 5.  I never made it as a finalist…

Stories With Whitney

At first, I was hurt. I deleted the rejection emails and told no one. Then I was ashamed. Ashamed that all my best efforts were met without the end results I was aiming for - WINNING. Then I realized, wait a minute...I made it into five competitions...I didn’t rank as a finalist but I am making progress. My screenwriting skills are improving. I am evolving. Things are happening that are invisible from the outside. Growth is occurring just below the surface. I haven’t bloomed yet but I am getting there. 

FUN FACT: Queen's Gambit took 30 years to make. Nobody thought the story was a good idea. Now it is a record breaking series on Netflix with more than  62 million account views! 


So how do you deal with being rejected? 

REMIND YOURSELF: YOU ARE TRANSFORMING AS A WRITER, even if you are the only person who knows or sees it...for now! Seeking outside validation will not give you the inside confidence you need to reach your fullest potential.

“The irony is that we attempt to disown our difficult stories to appear more whole or more acceptable, but our wholeness depends on the integration of all of our experiences,       including the falls.” - Brene Brown

So instead of hiding my rejection emails, I am sharing this story with you. I am not alone. You are not alone. Many writers have been rejected from J.K Rowling to Stephen King. Don't be ashamed of the rejections. Your voice, your work, your story matters even when you are met with silence and rejection. 

“I love my rejection slips. They show me I try.”

See also  When You Feel Like Giving Up Writing

-sylvia plath

If you have completed a story and put your work out there, you are INCREDIBLY BRAVE. Don’t let the “NOs” stop you from saying “Yes” to yourself.  Life is too short NOT to share your story. Rejection is a part of becoming a more confident writer. 

Let the rejection make you braver, stronger and even more determined to stretch yourself beyond what you ever thought was possible. No more shame! Stay in the game. Keep going. 

As a dear writer buddy of mine always says, “YOU LOSE, YOU LOSE, YOU LOSE, AND EVENTUALLY YOU WIN.”  Take courage my dear ones, you are more lionhearted than you think. 

Daring Greatly by Brene Brown

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The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

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Check out The Best 7 Inspirational Books for Writers for more encouragement!

Stories with Whitney

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