Sunday, November 16, 2008


Rejection is an ugly word, especially to a writer. But we need to keep it in perspective. To help you put rejection into perspective, I’d like to discuss my shoes.

I have a pair of lovely leather shoes. I really like my shoes. They are stylish, look good with many types of clothing, and are comfortable to wear for many hours. I love, love, love my shoes.

A few months ago, I noticed my shoes were beginning to look worn out and were no longer attractive to wear with dress pants. I thought about purchasing another pair of shoes, and then I had the bright idea to bring them to a shoe repairman. The repairman put new heels on my shoes, polished the leather, and blackened the soles. After some effort and work, my leather shoes are spiffed up and look as good as new.

Now, if I offered my shoes to someone and they don’t love them like I do, should I be heartbroken? Does their rejection of my shoes make me less of a person? Does it make my shoes less attractive? Does it make me less worthy?

Think about it, I bet my shoes wouldn’t fit just anyone. They wouldn’t be right for a number of people with different tastes and different needs. But that doesn’t make my shoes less valuable or less worthy.

That’s the way I look at rejection. My manuscript (shoes) is polished and ready to go out into the world. But perhaps the agent/editor (consumer) needs a different size or is looking for a different style. It’s easy to look at the situation from this perspective and see that it’s not always personal when your manuscript (shoes) is rejected!

Rejection is an ugly word, especially to a writer. But we need to keep it in perspective. If we’ve been gifted/called to write, then we should keep writing and polishing our manuscript in obedience to our Lord. Perhaps the work we put into our manuscripts will never yield the results we desire, but if we work in obedience, I believe it will always yield the results the Lord has intended for us. Perhaps our work will lead us in a direction we never expected. I don’t believe the time and effort spent polishing our manuscripts will ever be rendered wasted. We are a work in progress, and only God knows where that will lead.

In other news, my friend Jan at Bold & Free joined me last week when I spoke at the Denver ACFW meeting and signed Out of Her Hands. She posted about it with photos.


Ruthie said...

Good point!! My Dad was a writer - and used to write stories and articles about his China days. He got many more rejections than he did acceptance letters ... but he perservered and got many wonderful stories and articles published. He published a continued story which is what put me through nurses training.

Jan Parrish said...

Amen. Thanks for the pep talk.

Anonymous said...

Nice!!! Thanks for this. It's so true.

Have a great day.

Robbie Iobst said...

Um..well...if the shoe fits...:0)
I like your analogy, and I need your encouragement. Thanks!

Jan Parrish said...

Congratulations! You have won the Lovely Lady award on my blog. Please stop by to pick it up!

Ruthie said...

I finished Out of His Hands today - couldn't put it down till it was finished! It was even better than your first book. I can see a sequel coming - when the grandbaby grows up. Now that we've gotten to know all these people in your books, we want to know what happens to them!

Hugs. Ruthie

Anonymous said...

Megan, I appreciate this post. It applies to final-judge rejection, too. Thanks for the reminder of Who I'm trying to please!

Lynnette said...

Hey that's a great analogy.

K.M. Weiland said...

Fiction is so utterly subjection. One person can love a story, while another person loathes it. So much of how a story is received comes down to personal preference. It's so important to keep reminding ourselves of that. So long as we're pleasing that audience of One, we can't let ourselves worry about the rejection of others.