Inspiration from Rejection

Here’s a little something to inspire you if you’re a writer, like me, just starting up and trying to grow your list of clients. We all know that if we offer our work up to editors, agents, publishers and the like, we’re going to get rejected. So far, I’m pleased that most of my queries either get accepted or I never get a reply at all – rather than receive the email where you can tell the editor is just laughing as they write “you seriously think this was good enough?!”. My first novel was accepted by the first publisher I tried and my work is getting published without those ‘hundreds of rejection letters’ you read are the norm, so I’ve had it pretty easy so far.

Still, when I do get a rejection it stings.

Worse still, rejections seem to come in blocks. I’ve had one recently which has almost led to me believing I might as well pack in the whole writing as a career idea before I even really begin. Several different projects either fell flat or I couldn’t get them working properly. Heck I felt low.

Then I found out about Jia Jiang.

This young man from China and now living in Texas experienced rejection after an investor for his business pulled out. Feeling the pain and fearful of being rejected again the young man decided to subject himself to ‘Rejection Therapy’. Jiang intended to undertake 100 days of  making crazy requests – from borrow $100 from a stranger to sit in the driving seat of a police car. They all had to be physically possible, legal and ethically acceptable but they were all with the intention of being rejected so that Jiang was used to it and wouldn’t be frightened of rejection again. As you might have suspected by now, the results were surprising!

You can check out his remarkable idea by clicking this link:

100 Days of Rejection Therapy

I love this and find it quite inspiring as a writer. While I’m not going to come up with a challenge quite like Jia Jiang’s, I’m certainly inspired to go find rejection. Instead of just sending query emails to magazines and journals I know are safe bets to write for, I’m going to also send outrageous requests to markets I would usually consider out of my reach right now.

Who knows? I might get lucky as Jiang did. But that wouldn’t be the point. The point would be simply to get used to taking rejection on the chin and being delighted when editors do buy your pitches and articles after all. You might want to consider this yourself?

While we’re thinking of such crazy endeavours, Jiang’s attempts reminded me of one of my favourite ‘crazy stunts’.

Danny Wallace, began “making the world a slightly nicer place” in 2002. If you’ve not read his book “Join Me” then I strongly recommend you do. This is the man who accidentally created his own cult and spawned what became known as ‘Random Acts of Kindness‘. He’s a brilliant writer and the book is hilarious but also genuinely heart-warming. If you want inspiration to help others anonymously, without praise and as a habit – read his book. You can also follow his blog:

The Join Me Blog

While not specifically to do with writing, I hope these two guys help inspire you and encourage you to keep going.


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