The Iniquitous Slip

All the famous writers I heard of could paper the walls of their offices with rejection notices.

Rejection slips are the bane of all writers, yet they are inevitable. The most successful of writers had their share of them, and even get them now that they are prosperous. Although rejections are inescapable, they should not be considered maleficent; they should be considered helpful. Though when first received, they can be disheartening, they should be contemplated as a valuable learning experience. Even if they come as form letters, they can serve as valuable lesson in determination.

Look at it this way: One more "no" is that much closer to a "yes". Each time a manuscript comes back, the quicker it should be sent to the next market prospect, and the writer should get on with the job of writing. Hesitating will only prolong the period of time before the piece is accepted for publication.

If the rejection notice has a personal message attached with a critique from the editor it should be studied carefully and heeded. If that happens, the writer knows that the composition had merit, and with a little more work can be placed.

Once the "work of art" is further improved, it is time to send it on its way again. When the writer is confident that it is the best that can be produced, then it is ready to return to the eyes of editors, whether it is an anecdote or a mammoth saga. It must be out there to be considered.

Perseverance is the writer's best virtue. If at first you do not succeed, try and try again.

As Ana�s Nin says in her autobiography "Beware of allowing a tactless word, a rebuttal, a rejection to obliterate the whole sky" that should be a writer's philosophy about rejection slips.

Charles O. Goulet has a BA in English literature. He published several novels that are available from,, and many other online bookstores.

His website is:

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