Rejection and Criticism

I have yet to have any of my work rejected, but I know that day will come.  And sooner rather than later as I begin to write short stories and start to submit to markets that respond quickly.  I have received some critiques of my work, so I’ve already felt the gentle sting of criticism on something I’ve written.  (Fortunately by people who like me and have no hidden agendas like making themselves feel better than me a la a bad crit group.)

But I know that day is coming when I write a story I love and I send it out there and no one else likes it.  It’s inevitable.  Not everyone thinks like I do.  And every person approaches a story from their own unique perspective and life experience, so they will see something in the story that I never intended or they will miss something that I thought was the point of the story.  Or they will see a story they’ve seen a hundred times before when I thought it was unique and fresh.  That’s just the nature of the beast.

So, in that spirit, here is a link on how to handle rejection letters:

Editorial Anonymous, The 8 Rules of Rejections

And, if you care to do so (I won’t post any of the links here out of sympathy for the poor authors), you can do a few web searches and find some authors who have had complete and public meltdowns over negative reviews of their work.  Think of someone arguing with every negative Amazon review and calling readers bad names and criticizing their intellect and what not.  Or someone threatening harm to an editor’s family.

I don’t think I have it in me to react that way, but I know it’ll hurt the first time someone says they hated something I wrote.  I just hope I can hold back any reaction and feel grateful that my work was out there for someone to dislike in the first place.  And I hope I can somehow manage to take the good parts of any criticism without letting it ruin my desire to continue.

(Oh, and if someone feels so motivated – it seems there really does need to be an article out there on those types of happy endings.  I had another hit on that article today by someone wondering whether they should get one.  Perhaps someone should write an ehow article on the whole thing since there seems to be a fair amount of curiosity on the subject?)


About M. H. Lee

M.H. Lee is a speculative fiction writer currently residing in Colorado whose stories are sometimes dark, sometimes funny, sometimes darkly funny, but hopefully always thought-provoking and entertaining.
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