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What To Do When the Rejections Get Overwhelming

Tamara M Bailey

By Tamara M Bailey

A pile of crumpled paper besdie an hourglass, beneath them is a pen resting on a pad of paper on which are the words "I am so done."

Are the rejections piling up? Are you dreading the ding of another email? Do you know by heart the form rejection template? Are you this close to quitting?

Too many of us have been there, and honestly, there’s not much you can do to change the responses of agents and publishers. What you can do is change your mindset.

Here are five steps to find joy in your writing again.

Step 1: Clean up your writing space

Enjoy the process. Turn on some music, daydream as you dust, open the windows. Put away the sticky notes, spare pens, random sheets of paper, writing books. Go for minimal, at least for now.

Step 2: Choose a scent

Buy a fresh bouquet of your favorite flowers. Light a scented candle. Diffuse your favorite oils. Whatever smell makes you happy, bring it into your writing space.

Step 3: Pour a beverage

A chilled sparkling water. An apple blossom tea. A creamy hot chocolate. A glass of wine. A shot of spiced rum. What will make you happy while you write?

Step 4: Find a beautiful notebook

Yes, a notebook. Forget whatever manuscript has gotten you into a slump and start something new. Grab a nice pen and handwrite a short story or a day in the life of a character or find a writing prompt to play with.

Step 5: Write!

Luxuriate in words that sound beautiful. Creep through a spooky house. Make your heart race with an adventure in the jungle. The notebook will take away your inhibitions because you know no publishing professional is going to read it. Write as cheesy or as long-winded or as purple-prosey as you like. Break all the rules. Find a voice that makes you happy.

Then, after you’ve done all this, do it again the next day.

And the next.

Pretty soon, you’ll remember why you started writing in the first place. Not because you wanted a contract. But because writing makes your fingers itch and your blood sing.

It’s who you are.

Read more about Tamara's publication journey in "I Gave Up Writing," written for Larking Services.

Tamara M Bailey is the author of The Other Olivia (Orphan Black x The Matrix) with Improbable Press and numerous children's books as Tamara Moss. She has recently published several short stories in various anthologies, including Clamour and Mischief with Clan Destine Press, where she also has a novel – Blood & Stone – publishing soon. Tamara can be found cheering her writing friends on at @TamaraMBailey1 on Twitter and @TamaraMBailey1 on Instagram and on her website.
Image: WikimediaCommons

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