Hey, I’m Anne Westrick and I talk about writing, and today my focus is rejection. I have to tell you that last month, it just so happened that on the very day my February post went live, I got a rejection from an agent. And I froze. I couldn’t write for a few days. I couldn’t plug that post on social media. I was engulfed in self-doubt, and I went into a kind of dark place.

Caricature of Beckett by Edmund S. Valtman
Caricature of Samuel Beckett by Edmund S. Valtman

When I emerged, it was like coming out of a cocoon—I don’t know—I wanted to revise. Wanted to make that manuscript stronger. I studied the openings of fifteen award-winning novels, then rewrote my opening.

All of this is to say that rejection makes us better writers. My message is: hang in there. Return to the page. As Samuel Beckett said, “Fail better.” Writing is really tough. It’s also really rewarding.

And now I’m going back to work. Happy writing…

2 thoughts on “Rejection”

  1. Good for you Anne. Everyone needs to hear this. Writers, teachers, assistants, drivers, everyone. After a second rejection/failure, my daughter said. “Mom you can’t give up now, you worked so hard already.” And I couldn’t let her down.

  2. Thank you, Lollie. I love how your daughter’s words motivated you. Not wanting to let our children down—yes, that’s so real, so true. Some kids might not realize how hard parents work to keep on keepin’ on! Persistence matters. And when it comes to writing (and other endeavors, too), you have to love the process, own the process, hang in there, dig deep…

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