• Megan DiMaria

Writers, deal with rejection the way a Downton Abbey star dealt with hers.

Updated: Oct 12, 2019

Strategies to keep yourself in the game AND to get to the next level.

Getting a publishing contract isn't an easy thing. I'm sure I'm not the first writer who feels like I've been trying and trying, writing book after book, for years. Yes, years. (To be honest, I have gotten a contract from a wonderful publisher, but that was in 2008. A lifetime ago in publishing years.)


Since I've been striving for another contract, I've had manuscripts go to a publication board only to be rejected. I've had manuscripts that don't get that far and are given a pass. It's frustrating.

I guess I don't know how to quit because I'm still writing and still submitting proposals. Believe me, I've thought about quitting. But those thoughts weigh my heart with sorrow, so I continue on. Write, edit, attend writers' groups, go to conferences and seminars, work with critique groups, submit proposals. And then I repeat the cycle.


It can wear on your heart.


If you've read my blog before, you'll know that I believe artists share a lot of the same qualities, no matter what their art form is.


Last week, I saw an article about one of the Downton Abbey stars. In the piece, Laura Carmichael (Lady Edith) discussed how she dealt with rejection. One thing she said rang true for me, "But I knew I had to keep going."


I get that. It's what I do. A few weeks ago, I was speaking to someone about how discouraged I was. But my advice to myself, which I shared, was that I always think about "what's the next thing to do?" At the time, it was to attend a program at my local library with a speaker from a literary agency. The next thing to do is to also keep writing, keep meeting with other writers. Keep trying.


And you know what? Laura Carmichael had a similar plan. She would go to workshops and classes. In other words, she would keep doing the next thing. She kept looking for that next step. She didn't give up.


If you have a passion for your art, quitting is not an option. So, do what a successful actress has done, and look to see what the next step would be. Keep yourself involved in the writing community. Keep learning. Keep networking. Keep writing. Keep submitting.


Here are the strategies to keep yourself in the game:

  • Step 1. Determine to keep trying

  • Step 2. Find ways to improve your craft

  • Step 3. Hang out with other writers

  • Step 4. Keep writing

  • Step 5. Keep submitting

  • Step 6. Keep going!

If you follow that plan while you're waiting for your contract you'll improve your craft and improve your perspective. And one day, you just might get your happily ever after. But that will never happen if you don't do the next thing.


If you need more inspiration, consider this:

You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what He said. Luke 1:45


Hang in there, and write on, friends!

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© 2020 Megan DiMaria