Friday, 17 July 2015

Guest Post: How Rejection Affects Writers By Talha A Khawaja

Today I have a guest post for you all from Talha from the Every Day Tips For You blog. If you haven't read his blog yet, here is a little more about him:

Talha is a 17 year old writer, blogger, and avid reader. He is  thinking of doing some screenwriting
His post is all about the way rejections affect us as writers. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

How Rejection Affects Writers by Talha A Khawaja
How Rejection Can Affect Writers

Writing holds a special place in the hearts of many people. It runs in our veins. It’s a part of who we are. Writing is a medium through which people all over the world express themselves. Many of us, though, want more. We don’t only want to pour our hearts out on a page, we want to share our views with the world. It’s why writers turn to various publications. We want people to read what we write. That’s, often enough, easier said than done.

As writers discover over time, simply writing something like a book does not mean it will get published. You have to take it to an agent who will demand a cover letter and a synopsis among other things. After the agent approves it, he or she will represent you, taking it to publishers who in turn will look over your synopsis and all those other details before deciding to take it on. Then will come the editing stage. Hurdles upon hurdles are placed in front of writers but the ones who are truly committed to their dream will keep moving forward. I thought the same way too.

Even after I learnt of all the obstacles I’d have to cross to get to the finish line, to get something I’d written published, I still kept going. I thought I could handle it and I still know I can but the hardest part about that process wasn’t being good enough to clear all those hurdles. The hardest part was dealing with the rejection. I’d heard many stories and read many warnings on the effects rejection can have on you but I backed myself to deal with it.

I looked at agents who I thought would like what I had to offer and wrote cover letters, a synopsis and whatever else demands they made. I’ll admit that I didn’t do my research on how to form them properly and they weren’t very good. I thought I could get someone’s interest without doing my research. That was a mistake. I sent out my work to a few different agents. A few weeks later, the rejections came. Though I was disheartened, I didn’t let the rejections get me down too badly and sent out my work to more agents. All I got were rejections. Frustrated, I took my work directly to publishers. More rejections came. I got a few acceptances which were a big deal but I later discovered that those companies were vanity presses that were only interested in my work if I paid them something to get started.

They didn’t even have the reach to let me earn back what I would pay out to them. That was one of the lowest points in my writing life. I grew so sad over the rejections that I began to feel withdrawn from writing. I moved away from the thing I loved most to do in the world and that only made me sadder. After some time though, I started my blog. Its goal was to help others and I started it under a pseudo name to start with. That blog got me back in to writing. It made me feel better and as my confidence grew, I got back in to writing. I once again learnt to love the craft and grew close to it. This all happened last year. Unfortunately, since then, I had to turn my attention to my studies but during these summers, I got the chance to put pen to paper again and it felt great.

I started editing my novel once again, this time with renewed determination, refusing to be bogged down by rejection and actually making sure that it was minimalized. I’m still doing that but along the way, I’ve also learnt that it would be nice if I could share what I write through other mediums, through blogs, the websites of others and magazines. I’m finding success in this and it’s doing wonders to my confidence. Through my experience, I’ve realized that it’s not wise to underestimate the obstacles you face. Even if you think you know them all, you might not. It’s always better to learn all you can about how you can succeed before attempting it because attempting it without that knowledge might have a negative effect on you like it did to me. I advise all writers to learn from my experience and not to blindly do things, thinking you can handle it because odds are that you can’t. Instead, you should learn about the process in detail and seek guidance. Then, who knows, you may get your dream after all.
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  1. Rejections can be good. If your work isn't ready yet, getting it out there too soon will lead to rejections. It takes time to build up the story to the place where it needs to be. And rejections make you stronger. They let you know that you believe in the work, and eventually someone else will, too.

    1. What a brilliant way of looking at it Liz! I am definitely going to adopt that attitude once my book is done and the rejections start! Thank you :)