Why Writers Need Rejection

By Mark Antony Rossi

There’s a good chance I’m one of the only editor in chief’s who upon chance of a poem in my newsfeed will offer that poet an opportunity to be published in my major online literary journal: Ariel Chart.

Lo and behold I was not prepared for the majority of these poets declining the offer.  The reasons I list truly stagger my mind:

  1. I don’t have to worry about rejection.
  2. Not obligated to read anyone’s stuff.
  3. Like the instant feedback of FB.

I must question how much technology had eaten into work ethic and general human values. The writer needs rejection. Rejection improves writing by causing the writer to revaluate their material, their approach, their very purpose to compose a set of words.

Without rejection writing doesn’t grow. It remains a stillbirth only your loved ones cast compliments towards but you know the ugly face of failure frozen in time will not ever see the light of a new day. Growth is painful but necessary to withstand Life’s dark drama and the diabolical daggers that follow a few footsteps behind.

For those who can’t face rejection I say writing is not for you. Join the post office it’s relatively safe and predictable. And if you really think posting a poem on a Facebook page is publishing and its “instant” feedback is literary criticism — you dwell on a planet far different than Earth. Because here on Earth gravity holds our rash impulses down just long enough for our brains to engage reality.

I won’t go as far as saying those who conduct themselves in this manner are not writers. That’s a bit extreme. Writing and publicly displaying the work is actually taking place. However; your fullest potential will never be reached. If you choose to leap over challenges you choose immaturity as your standard operating procedure. You choose to skip writing credits gathered for recognition, both personally and professionally, and aim for immediate gratification.

This above all is destined to confine a writer to the prison of undeveloped personality. Inside that gloomy prison such constraints shackle the soul and set free an unchecked ego running rampant talking to itself. And never reaching the next level of creativity.

About the Author: Mark Antony Rossi is a poet, playwright and author of the bioethics volume “Dark Tech” now available from Amazon. His most recent plays have been produced in Liverpool and New York.

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  1. Mary Ellen Gambutti

    Forgive me, but I’m not sure I understand this post. Are you saying more than a few have rejected your acceptance, or have rejected your rejection?

  2. Good points and very valid. Of course sometimes the rejection is more brutal when you are submitting a work (say a novel to Baen) and they say it takes them about a year to get around to replying and then they send you a generic rejection letter.

    One also has to wonder did JK Rowling and all those other famous authors who racked up 20-30+ rejections change anything or just keep submitting? How did they manage that when it takes up to a year for a rejection notice? Is that persistence or did they re-edit after every rejection?

    Rejection is useful and does help an author grow but then sometimes the person doing the rejection isn’t the right audience and if the author doesn’t understand that it can have a profound impact on them.

  3. Very generous of you to stop by and make supportive comment.

  4. Writing and publicly displaying the work is actually taking place. However; your fullest potential will never be reached…… Yes, in writing to display, quality could be compromised! Any writing that touches one’s core is sure to touch another’s.

  5. Had it not been for rejections, I wouldn’t have gotten where I am today apropos my writing. When I first started submitting, the affirmative reply was elusive. But this made me try harder and hone my writing. Also, I learned that I had to be me and not somebody else and not pander to the demands of the publisher. This is a constructive process throughout. You grow both as an individual and as a writer. I am grateful to those who first rejected my works and very good friends with them. They are happy to have seen me grow. A good editor will give constructive feedback and I definitely agree with what was said about the late turnaround. At least, it should be exhaustive in the reasons why your writing is not accepted.

  6. We do experience rejection on face book. We take part in contests and best poet wins.

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