Receiving an occasional rejection is all part of being a writer. You should regard the submission itself as an achievement. You should be proud. This is the first hurdle you’ve overcome. If you are sending out your work, you have taken the first steps to publication by finishing something, and being brave enough to send it out into the world. Pat yourself on the back!
Remember you are in good company. Many famous, successful writers were repeatedly rejected before finding favour with a publisher – think JK Rowling, whose first Harry Potter book was rejected 12 times before being finally accepted by Bloomsbury (only because the chairman’s 8-year-old daughter liked it so much.)
Look at your rejected work with a fresh eye, and not as a personal insult. Perhaps in the joy of finishing it and sending it, you overlooked some flaws that are now apparent. It doesn’t mean it is without merit. Looking at it again with more critical eyes might show you what you need to do to fix it.
Submit it elsewhere. You might have targeted the wrong publication or publisher. Do your homework. Consult publications such as The Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook for possible markets; study the websites of magazines, newspapers and publishers.
You might need to work on something different for a while, in a different style and genre, will sharpen your skills . Then return to the other piece with fresh eyes that might spot exactly why it was rejected.
Check your timing. Monthly magazines have a very long lead time and work months ahead. Maybe another writer covered a similar idea recently.
Avoid seeking consolation from friends and family. They won’t take an objective view of your work. And if they do criticise you, you’ll feel that the whole world is against you.
Above all, remember why you started writing. Persistence is a virtue in the world of writing. You should write because you enjoy it, and publication is the icing on the cake. Believe in yourself and celebrate the fact that you have such an enjoyable and rewarding hobby, with publishing success just around the corner.
Happy writing. I am glad to hear your comments and to help with any writing problem. My 14th book “Searching for Sarah” is available at discount direct from me, at: firstname.lastname@example.org – as are some other titles including “In A Good Pasture” and “Esther – A Jerusalem Love Story.”