The 5 Stages of Rejection

The 5 Stages of Rejection | Sarah Biren Writes

The 5 Stages of Rejection | Sarah Biren Writes

That’s a great motivational quote. Except it’s a lot easier to share it on social media than to internalize its meaning.

Rejection is a horrible experience, especially in the publishing business. To authors, their books are practically their children. For years, they brainstormed, wrote, revised, worried, cried, nearly chucked the drafts into the trash, and finally—finally!—felt confident to send it off to the world. Yet the world sends it back. It stings, especially for new writers entering the publishing game with big dreams and thin skin.

Frankly, after a rejection of my own, I’m not the mood to preach why rejection is a good thing and why writers should embrace it as a way of life. This post exists to validate the emotions of a publisher’s rejection. Like therapy, except free and more entertaining.

Like the actual five stages of grief, you may have experienced these feelings out of order, missed some stages, or felt entirely different about the process. No two writers are the same, just like human beings! Let me know which stage you relate to in the comments below.

The Five Stages of Publishing Rejection


I’m gonna check my emails before my writing session today. Oh, one new message. It’s from that publisher! Oh help, I hope they accepted my manuscript! Okay, one, two, three… read!

“Dear Author,

Thank you for submitting your work to us. However, we have chosen not to accept it for publication. It is not right for us at this time.

We wish you the best of luck submitting it elsewhere.

Thank you,

The Editor

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Pep Talk: Write Garbage

Pep Talk: Write Garbage | Sarah Biren Writes

It is a truth universally acknowledged that writing a book is hard. It takes time, patience, blood, sweat, tears, and coffee. When the going is rough, we doubt ourselves and want to chuck our computers out the window. When the going is good, we doubt ourselves and wonder if we should chuck our computers all the same.

A good book is a balance of pretty prose, developed plots, intriguing openings, satisfying resolutions, realistic characters, and more, all swept together in a mess of ideas that are easier to imagine than actually write. And that’s where many writers get stuck.

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