Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Overcoming Rejection.

Harlan David Sanders, best known as Colonel Sanders, owned an automobile service station in Corbin, Kentucky, where he also cooked meals for customers. Eventually, he moved to a restaurant and perfected his method of cooking chicken using a pressure fryer—and don’t forget those eleven herbs and spices. On the verge of success, construction of Interstate 75 diverted traffic—and most of his customers—from his restaurant, forcing him to close.

At age 65, Sanders had nothing more than faith in his talent for cooking chicken. He drove around the country in the 1950’s trying to sell franchises to restaurant owners who hadn’t asked for one. He faced over one thousand rejections before making his first sale. Yet, by 1964, more than 600 Kentucky Fried Chicken franchises existed. Later, Colonel Sanders sold his business for a huge profit.

I can't imagine how Colonel Sanders continued to persevere over rejection those 999 times. Let's not succumb to rejection of our manuscripts. Instead, let us be like the Colonel and continue with faith in ourselves and our stories.


Writers on Rejection:

"Practice, practice, practice until you eventually get numb on rejections."
~ Brian Klemmer

"After rejection—misery, then thoughts of revenge, and finally, oh well, another try elsewhere. " ~ Mason Cooley

We keep going back, stronger, not weaker, because we will not allow rejection to beat us down. It will only strengthen our resolve. To be successful there is no other way." ~ Earl G. Graves, founder and publisher of Black Enterprise Magazine

"There are two wrong reactions to a rejection slip: deciding it's a final judgment on your story and/or talent, and deciding it's no judgment on your story and/or talent." ~ Nancy Kress

Rejection slips, or form letters, however tactfully phrased, are lacerations of the soul, if not quite inventions of the devil - but there is no way around them." ~ Isaac Asimov

Every writer faces rejection. How do you deal with it?

~Roxanne Sherwood


Scoti Domeij, Director, Springs Writers said...

AWESOME post! How do I handle writing rejection? Feel the disappointment, then pat myself on the back and realize that I submitted something, making me a professional writer. :<)

Beth K. Vogt said...

I give myself 24-48 hours to sulk--and don't let anyone talk me out of my doldrums.
I rant a bit, pout a bit, consider never writing another word, do a bit of shopping therapy.
And then I get up and get back at it! ("It" being the writing life. It's who I am and what I'm called to do.)

Sue Tornai said...

What wonderful encouragement! I didn't know that about Col. Sanders. Receiving rejections is not fun and it depresses me for a while. Then I consider the manuscript. If I believe it is the best I can do, I submit it to a different publisher. If I read it again and can improve on it, I do. Then I submit it to another publisher.

Anonymous said...


Roxanne Sherwood said...

Scoti, Beth and Sue,

Thanks for adding your wisdom that rejection is part of a professional writer's life and to keep submitting!