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A Writers Worst Nightmares: Rejection and Fear of Judgement

Updated on December 2, 2013

And from My Lovely Friend Lea

Actually, my worst nightmare is not being able to write, but that’s a topic for a later article.

Lea sent me a note asking me to cover this subject, and what Lea wants, Lea gets. Here is her note:

I had a horrible experience with a publisher who wanted to see the first few chapters of a book I was working on. he was very interested...The phone call and the letter that followed really traumatized me. My poor husband took me out to eat and I sat there in the restaurant bawling my head off. Maybe you could share something about how a writer can avoid PTSD when trying to recover from such demeaning letters from editors. My girl friend suggested I frame the letter.

On a similar topic I received this note from Stephanie:

How about how to silence your inner critic to allow creativity to flow without fear of judgment?

So there you have the genesis for this article. Let’s talk about silencing the inner critic and surviving the outer critics during our writing career.

Are you a writer with passion?
Are you a writer with passion? | Source

First, a Preface of Sorts

Well, maybe not a preface, but I always wanted to write a preface so that’s what we are going to call this.

Let me start with this question: why do you write?

Take a few moments and give that some thought. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

Okay, now, what was your answer? Do you write to make money as a freelance writer? Do you write because it is a passion of yours? Do you write as a form of communication and to share your thoughts?

The two comments mentioned above were written by two friends of mine, and I happen to know that they write from a joy of writing. Yes, they also write to inform, but deep down inside of them there is a hunger for the written word, and perhaps that is why their comments register on an emotional level. Writing is a part of who we are. When we finish an article or a book, a part of us is in that work. We have opened ourselves up for scrutiny by publishing; sometimes the scrutiny comes from others and sometimes, as Stephanie mentioned, the scrutiny comes from ourselves. Whatever the case may be, the scrutiny is not unlike being dissected in middle school science class. Either we, or others, will hold the scalpel above our prone form and begin making incisions into the body of our work. There is no anesthetic for this process. It can be exhilarating or it can be painful….or both…..but as a writer it is necessary.

The Dreaded Rejection Letter

Nobody likes to be rejected. Period! If someone says they enjoy that process then I want some of whatever it is they are smoking. I didn’t like being rejected by a pretty girl in high school and I don’t like being rejected by a pretty publisher today.

As writers we put our heart and soul into our work. We spend hours crafting the perfect article, or we spend months pouring it all out in the form of a novel, and then some bleep has the nerve to tell us our work is crap. How dare they? How can they be so cruel?

Here’s the thing regarding rejection: it is not personal. It may seem personal to you, but to an agent or publisher it is completely objective and non-personal. These people receive literally thousands of query letters each month. From those thousands they might pick five to follow up on, and from those five they will pick one to pursue. The odds against success are staggering, and the sooner you grasp that fact the better.

I am not Ernest Hemingway. I will be rejected. I am an unknown in the writing field. I have never been published by a major publishing firm. As such I am a wild card to them. I am a risk. I am asking them to take a flyer on an unknown author with very few credits. Looking at it from their point of view, it is not surprising that I am rejected, and it should not surprise you either.

Come to think of it, Hemingway was rejected.

One thing is certain, though: if you do not try then your chances are zero, and I don’t like those chances.

In the case of Lea’s rejection, the good news, and this is good news, is that the publisher actually cared enough to contact her and speak to her. That means her work was good enough to be noticed and believe me, right there she beat the odds. Most rejections come by way of a form email. Some rejections never come at all but are just rejections by silence. To actually receive correspondence from a publisher asking for the first chapter is fantastic news. It means you are very close to breaking through and it should be considered a victory.

If you receive negative comments on an article you have written, it’s just part of the territory. We communicate to our audience through our article; they communicate in return, and there is no guarantee they are going to like what we wrote.

Oh well! There are 7.2 billion people on this planet. We can’t possibly please all of them.

Lay to rest the inner critic
Lay to rest the inner critic | Source

The Inner Critic

This is the toughest critic of them all. He resides inside of us, that quiet whisper in the dead of the night that says we don’t have what it takes. Those little voices that tell us we are mediocre at best and will never be good enough. Or, as Stephanie mentions, those recriminating echoes that pick upon our carcass like buzzards on carrion.

Writing is personal. Even if it is not about a personal topic, it is personal because it comes from us.

Allow me to use myself as an example. A couple months into my writing career I made the decision to write about my alcoholism. Now I have to tell you, there is nothing pleasant about opening yourself up and declaring to the world that you are a drunk. I’m not sure if you can relate. Maybe you can. Maybe you have an eating disorder, or you were abused as a child, or you are a prescription drug addict. These are major issues, and they are issues that the public will judge us on. I wish it were not so but it is. And I knew this when I made my decision, but still I proceeded and announced to God and all living creatures that I was an alcoholic….and then I waited….and the most miraculous thing happened.

People embraced me. They applauded me. They thanked me….and in doing so they uplifted me.

Listen, there will always be people who are more than willing to judge us. I will tell Stephanie and I’ll tell all of you….nobody can hurt me as much as I have hurt myself during my life, and I suspect many of you can relate to that sentiment. As far as I’m concerned, take your best shot. Judge me if you are moved to do so, but be damned sure your home is not constructed of glass when you do so. J

Since that time I have received countless emails from other alcoholics thanking me for helping them. Do you have any idea what kind of rush that is, to know that your words have helped another human being who was struggling with an issue?

Today I lay it all on the line and I encourage you all to do the same. We are all human beings. We share so many emotions, and we share so many trials during life. I promise you that if you take a chance that you will be welcomed by most. The ones who do not welcome you can go suck an egg.

Find the love of writing that is inside of you and let that be your guiding light and strength
Find the love of writing that is inside of you and let that be your guiding light and strength | Source

So There You Have It

My two bits worth if you will. I want to thank Lea and Stephanie for great suggestions, and I want to thank all of you for taking the time to read this message.

If you have a passion for writing then you will overcome. The passion will be strong enough for you to put on some blinders and boldly move forward with your writing. You will accept rejection as a learning tool, and you will silence the inner critic and continue to perfect your craft. There are no shortcuts in a writing career and there are no soft landings. Take your lumps, keep fighting, and remember to embrace this gift you have been given.

2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      klidstone, I'm sorry you had such a negative experience. I am not a big advocate of forums of any kind. The nasties of society seem to hang out there, just looking for prey. Hopefully you will move beyond that and try submitting some of your work.

      Thank you for sharing that experience with us. Best wishes.

    • klidstone1970 profile image

      இڿڰۣ-- кιмвєяℓєу 3 years ago from Niagara Region, Canada

      I have never sent any of my work to a publisher, as my writing is not in that league to do so. But I know the feeling of rejection, having my work criticized to such a disgusting degree by someone in a writer's forum, that I put down my pen and did so for years. I still have that story packed away in a crate in the basement. I've really been thinking of pulling it out and continuing it. I jokingly say to people that I will dedicate it to that S.O.B! Shame on him - but shame on me for letting him get the better of me. You live and learn.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Glimmer, what the hell is your real name? LOL It takes too long to type Glimmer.

      Your comment has been echoed many times regarding this topic. It is scary to stick personal stuff out there and then wait for the response. I dared to do it almost two years ago and thankfully I received a flood of supportive comments....had I not I might have quit writing right then. I understand. :)

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      I think that this is one reason I write the things I do. I found that when I et too personal, I get more "attached" to the piece. I mean with a recipe or a craft project, if someone doesn't like it then, oh well. I don't like every project out there, but with something personal I think I would get too upset if I was rejected. Good food for thought Bill.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You are very welcome, Monis! :)

    • Monis Mas profile image

      Aga 4 years ago

      You are so kind, Bill - thank you! :-)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Monis. pass them on to me...I will judge and be gentle...I promise.

    • Monis Mas profile image

      Aga 4 years ago

      Great article. I am so afraid to show my little writings, because they can be so easily rejected... And I don't know what's worse: rejection or judgment aka non- constructive criticism...

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, you do what you do so well my friend. Keep sharing the beauty of the natural world with us. We are richer because of you. Thank you.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Beautifully said. I love writing and I love educating people about preserving our wildlife the best way that we can. It is a dual purpose. And I love sharing my pictures. Today a friend said that he feels that I am showing "emotions" of wildlife. Birds don't have emotions, but they have instincts. If he(David) knew that, I think he'd say that I was showing their behavior.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Bobbi, I can reverse that and say I don't know what I would do without this great community of supporters. I draw my inspiration from all of you, so thank you!

      Finding time? With a busy life that can be difficult my friend.

      bill

    • PurvisBobbi44 profile image

      PurvisBobbi44 4 years ago from Florida

      Bill,

      It is plain and simple---I do not know what we would do without you and your words of wisdom. You are a spirit lifter with the most supportive guidance to all on HubPages.

      I do hope Lea is feeling better and I wish her the very best in her writing success.

      My issue with writing is I do not have enough time to do everything I want to accomplish, so I need to put myself out there more and find the time.

      I voted up++++

      Your Friend

      Bobbi Purvis

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rasma, I suspect you just gave voice to feelings many writers have. It is frightening to put your heart and soul into something and then have it fail miserably....but you see, I don't believe it is ever a failure. Just making the effort is a victory. When we publish we are doing what millions wish they could do....how wonderful is that? Priceless is what it is.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      I've always felt that I could brace myself against bad criticism or worse yet total rejection. The one thing I do dread is finally getting an e-book of poems published. Being constantly on the poverty end I will have to just pull myself together and get it done on my own. Then of course whatever happens it will all be my fault, my problem and my disaster alone. Now that is scary. You as always are an inspiration to keep the backbone up and the armor on. Passing this on.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      agusfanani, thank you for sharing your experience. Bravo on being accepted and defeating the rejection.

    • agusfanani profile image

      agusfanani 4 years ago from Indonesia

      I experienced some rejections too for the poem I sent but one of them finally accepted which became a kind of enjoyment of having been rejected and cured all pains caused by rejections.

      Thank you for the lessons you've shared with us.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pamela, you know as well as I do that there are positives to be found in just about every situation if we are willing. :) Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michael my friend, I do know what you mean. I will not betray you. Thank you for returning; you brought a smile to my face and that is a priceless gift.

      blessings always

      bill

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 4 years ago

      Bill my friend, best wishes imparted, ( passed on ), Zuzana was delighted; many thanks. .. Just don't betray me telling her that I missed to adjoin to my comment " great and appropriate videos." (She might be worried that forgetfulness ' hit the road,' you know what I mean. )

      Thank you, feels much better.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 4 years ago from United States

      I like the way you turned the negative letter into the things that were positive about being noticed. It seems like this is part of the learning curve we all go through. I think you put a lot of perspective on rejection and how to handle are inner thoughts as well. Very helpful hub.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You are very welcome, Doc. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

    • profile image

      lovedoctor926 4 years ago

      Wow Bill, I love the message in this hub. Thank you for the words of wisdom. You're an inspiration to all of us.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you mathira....if this helped you then I am very happy.

    • mathira profile image

      mathira 4 years ago from chennai

      billy, you have gone into the mind of people aspiring to write. I too had lots of reservations and fears, but I am slowly overcoming it. Excellent insight about writers.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Good evening Michael my friend!

      I love your outlook on life. Blessings will always outnumber disappointments and rejections if we are in the right frame of mind, yes? Thank you for your thoughts. I hope your week is progressing nicely. Tell Zuzana I send my best wishes.

      blessings always, Michael

      bill

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 4 years ago

      Good evening Bill.

      Very helpful on lesser scale than publishing a book. Naturally , rejection hurts , expected or as a surprise glued to us as faithful companion on life's journey. After a period of time is rather welcomed as a confidence booster (?!). Just recently Zuzana ( my best part ) asked if I was disappointed over unexpected rejection . No, not at all, ( is something wrong with me ?) - either way I would not be surprise because " we just don't know what's coming". Then we start counting our blessings. Nothing will outnumber them.

      Voted up, useful and interesting.

      Good night and storm -less week,; blessed and prosperous.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      drbj, I'm not here to debate people. They can take or leave my articles; it's all the same to me. All I ask is respect, and I'll give the same. Thanks my friend. I hope you are having a great day in sunny Florida.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      All writers, real or imagined, will thank you, Bill, for this shot of optimism. And I do admire your restraint when responding to certain comments (no names of course).

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you vkwok...I hope your writing is going well.

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 4 years ago from Hawaii

      So true. Thanks for sharing this, bill.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Cheryl. I appreciate your input.

    • Author Cheryl profile image

      Cheryl A Whitsett 4 years ago from Jacksonville, Fl

      Then tell them to send the manuscript to publish America they will publish everyone. They get out of paying royalties by claiming you have not sold books. So if they only want to see their name in print then that would be the best option.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cheryl, I appreciate that, but I already have six ebooks. Obviously no one needs to be rejected by a publisher; still, there are those who want the old way of being published, and this one was for them. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kim, it is truly a pleasure. I think writers should help other writers, so I'm going to keep tossing out these cheerleading articles as long as I know there are people who need them. Thank you Kim.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Suzanne, I love that...make your mind sing. Written by a fine writer. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm so happy to hear that, Alicia. Thank you and stay warm.

    • Author Cheryl profile image

      Cheryl A Whitsett 4 years ago from Jacksonville, Fl

      Well let me give you a little published authors advice. No one has to get rejection letters anymore. With Amazon Kindle and Create a Space you can upload your books for free, pick out your covers and have them on the internet in kindle or paperback in less then 24 hours. Times have changed and no one has to put up with a publisher anymore. Anyone can get published without a publisher. Maybe you should hop over to my hub entitled publishing a book could never be easier without a publisher. Go to create a space it is easy to use. There is no reason to have to use a publisher to get published

    • ocfireflies profile image

      ocfireflies 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Bill,

      You must be psychic. First email I opened today was a thank-you, but no thank-you. I had applied for a freelance position hoping that it would lead to something more permanent. While I appreciate at least getting the email, I would have also appreciated some feedback as to what I could have done differently in order to meet their criteria. Thus, your article could not be more timely. Thank you for your wisdom and ability to know when I need it the most.

      Kim

    • Suzanne Day profile image

      Suzanne Day 4 years ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

      It's true no one can hurt you as much as you. And I want some of that rejection smoke too, so I can "man up" about my writing. Truth is, Hubpages is great because you can get paid for what YOU want to write about and not have it edited to bits. I recently had a blog post edited to bits which I was proud of....and in the end I didn't even want to look at it. So, moving on....I'm gonna keep on keeping on with my own stuff to make my mind sing ;)

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you for yet another very inspiring hub, Bill. Your words about the reality of writing and your encouragement are very helpful.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      And Bill, I'll be cheering you from the sidelines because I know you will find success. Thank you buddy and I hope you have a great week.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith, it is brutal for writers. There is no way to avoid rejection; that's why we need those friends you mentioned. :)

      blessings always my friend

      bill

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      I love your approach that something good can come from rejection. In the world of writing it appears that pretty much everyone, even the best writers, have faced rejection at some point. Sooner or later I will take the next step and send articles to travel magazines. When that time comes I'll be prepared to handle whatever comes my way, thanks to you. Well done Bill.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Yes, certainly one part of being a writer ... I like to look at it as one stepping stone closer to success. I am mindful to look at all those famous writers who received countless rejection letters. Finding the perfect publisher is key ... no doubt!

      Thanks for being gentle with your friends.

      Blessings,

      Faith Reaper

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, it is tough for sure when we receive rejection like that....we just move on, and like you wrote, it helps us in the long run. Thank you for the points you made and for just being here as always.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cam, it is a dual-edged sword for sure my friend. All we can do is keep moving forward and improve our craft. Thanks for your thoughts.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Great topic. I have a fear of being rejected by HP because they did not feature a hub that i really liked, but their rejection make me work harder, so in reality they helped me, but i still have that fear. Writing and poetry are my passion, it is a work in progress. All of your helpful hubs are really appreciated.....

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 4 years ago from Missoula, Montana at least until March 2018

      Yep, right on, bullseye, nail on the head, ouch. This is a rough ride. Why do we do it? I'm compelled to express myself this way. And I'm compelled to avoid rejection. Wow, what a pair. Thanks Bill. Once again you've given courage to many who need it.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      W1totalk, there is no soft landing when rejected. For some it serves as motivation; for others it is crushing. I hope you continue to submit my friend.

    • W1totalk profile image

      W1totalk 4 years ago

      Great hub. Years ago I sent a story to television. I got this email with all of these letters of rejection from different components of the network. I later found out I needed an agent and should have sent my material through the agent first. Rejection is good but so bad too.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, that would be a thrill. Thank you for even suggesting that dedication....and I know all about being our worst critic. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      There you go, Denise! That's the kind of attitude I like. :) Seriously, being rejected most times has nothing to do with the quality of your work...it can be the query letter...it can be the synopsis....it can be the wrong genre...and it can be the wrong agent on the wrong day...just keep submitting.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lea my dear, it is a just a small token of thanks for all the support you have given me. I was more than happy to write this for you and others who have suffered through rejection. Blessings to you always

      bill

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      I find myself my worst critic. I have yet to get to the point where I am willing to submit anything, other than HP, for I don't feel I'm ready yet. I know, I could stay in this spot for years to come but writing here and reading your sage advice certainly helps me take tiny steps forward.

      Keep 'em coming my friend. There'll be a book dedicated to you one day for all the help and encouragement you have provided.

      Voted up, useful, awesome, interesting, and shared.

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 4 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      Thanks, bill, I needed to hear this. I got a rejection letter years ago and it haunted me to the point that I stopped writing at the time. When I first started a newspaper column, I was physically ill for several days before it came out in print. When I realized that people would be lining their bird cages with my face, and that it was okay, I was able to continue writing. Now, after writing for the past, let me see, I guess it has been seventeen years, I am still scared of rejection. Writing for Hub Pages has helped me. Thanks to the positive feedback I am getting, I am gearing up for another try at getting my books published. Thanks for the encouragement (yea, if they don't like it they can just go suck and egg! Ha Ha!).

    • Sparklea profile image

      Sparklea 4 years ago from Upstate New York

      Billybuc! Just getting online and I am THRILLED you are addressing this issue, THANK YOU FROM MY HEART! I printed out this whole article, and I will be back to add extra comments. I want to watch the videos...but I DO want to acknowledge I am aware of your taking the time to answer my question and how much I so appreciate you! To be continued...Blessings, Sparklea :) PS: I continue to print out your hubs and I am studying them...they are so valuable to me!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dora, I really do enjoy helping other writers. I'm glad to hear you find this useful. Thank you my friend.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Bill, thank you for being such a source of encouragement. Your answers to these issues are right on. We are very blessed to have you share your experiences and expertise so willingly. Thank you very much.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      MG...thank you Sir!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jackie, I hope you do because you are a fine writer. Thanks for your thoughts and now go submit something. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lizzy, you are so very right. At some point in time we just have to trust...as frightening as it is, we just have to go for it. I am so damn proud of you for writing that story.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sally, I love that...a pub for everyday of the year. Long live Norwich! LOL Thanks for the vision.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Flourish and obviously I agree about not trying. I want everyone to give themselves the chance of succeeding.

    • MG Singh profile image

      MG Singh 4 years ago from Singapore

      Well said and expressed

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Well all my rejection was some time back and I said well, your loss sucker...lol...but all your words are starting to put the fight back in me, I just may try again. ^

    • Radcliff profile image

      Liz Davis 4 years ago from Hudson, FL

      When I shared that story about my mother, I was so nervous about how people would react. I think that because I have judged myself so harshly for so many years, I was expecting the same from others. Sharing something so personal--like your struggles with addiction--is terrifying after years of negativity from your inner critic. But as is true with so many things in life, the greater the risk, the greater the reward.

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 4 years ago from Norfolk

      Billy,

      Thanks - Norwich is a beautiful city filled with beautiful buildings and hundreds of Churches with a river running right through it. I live fifteen minutes away from it. Forgot to mention they used to have an equal amount of pubs - one for everyday of the year - until it became less fashionable to imbibe or to go to Church.

      Sally

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sally, I'm always amazed when someone does that. If I know the writer well I'll send them an email and tell them there is a typo, but I would never do it during a comment, and most certainly just that and nothing else. Some people don't understand the word "support." However, like you, that would definitely be a motivator for me. LOL

      Thank you for the visit my friend. Have a great week in Norfolk. I'll have to find you on a map and see where your city is.

      bill

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 4 years ago from Norfolk

      Billy,

      The part which I am going to let stick in my mind is what you said about not taking rejection personally and using it as an opportunity to improve what you have already started. I like that. Recently someone I know very well, discovered my writing on HubPages and unlike all the lovely people here who write such great comments, she informed me that I had made a spelling mistake in the first line of my Profile. She made no comment about the actual writing! Strange how we seek re-assurance from others - but sometimes we get what we are least expecting!

      Anyway, I used it to my advantage - ha - I corrected my typo.

      Another Gem, Billy - such words of wisdom.

      Gave a great evening.

      Sally

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 4 years ago from USA

      Rejection isn't failure. The only failure is not trying. We have to keep on telling ourselves that as writers. Excellent hub on a topic that is close to every writer's heart.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mike, I love that...the beginning of an echo. How very true my friend. We as writers have an incredible impact with our writing. We may not be aware of it but that does not make it untrue. Thank you for your wise words, and blessings to you and your family this December day.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pearl, you have a niche that will find a place in some publishing house. I truly believe that. You have the skill, knowledge and writer's voice to success. Best wishes and thanks, Connie.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Randi, it really is my pleasure. This is a tough road we are on; we all need encouragement. Thank you for the visit my friend.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Maria, you are a wonderful writer and human being. Keep writing; the world needs your words.

      blessings always

      bill

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, I can't imagine not enjoying the writing experience. If that day ever comes then I will turn in my laptop for a comfortable pair of slippers and slink into the sunset. :) Thank you my friend and have a wonderful week.

      bill

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Paula, it is the cross I bear daily....cut myself some slack and realize I'm only human....when I do that my days go remarkably well....when I don't I am constantly struggling with my humanity. :) Brother and sister by different parents. :)

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      Mr Archer 4 years ago from Missouri

      Excellant as usual, Bill. I applaud Lea for even getting to first base (they read something) and second base (they responded) with the publisher. Great job!!

      I have yet to get beyond the silence stage regarding submitions. Oh well, perhaps someday....

      You struck a blow for the Walter Mitty's who dream of doing something that they love to do - write. To all of you (and I include myself here) be brave! Write for the sheer joy of writing. Do not fear - someone will read it somewhere, sometime. I call it The Beginning Of An Echo when we write. We may not know who, where, or when our works are read, but rest assured someone sometime somewhere will hear our words and read our works. It may be on line in a Hub, or some other internet writing platform. We may be long gone from this Earthly plane, but it will be read. Put your mind at ease and write because you enjoy it!

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      Connie Smith 4 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Billy, you hit this one out of the park! I found myself silently saying 'that's right' to every sentence. When the time comes I will hold your advice throughout my very being as a shield against the editors of this world! Awesome and very helpful my friend ;) Pearl

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      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      S very true. Everything we write is a piece of us, who we are and every comment, rejection, critique feels personal. Thank you for putting this in a way that makes it easier to handle.

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      Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill 4 years ago from Borikén the great land of the valiant and noble Lord

      "if you do not try then your chances are zero" great advice and so very true. I will reread this hub until I make it part of my living style.

      Thanks Bill

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      Ann Carr 4 years ago from SW England

      Rejection isn't pleasant but it makes me fight all the harder. Ok, so they don't want it - well, someone else can benefit then! 'Believe in yourself' is the message.

      As far as the non-responses are concerned, I think that's just plain rude and who wants to deal with rude people? It doesn't take much to draw up a standard email to say 'sorry we can't accept your story but thanks for choosing us' type of idea.

      Great advice to encourage writers. I still just enjoy the writing experience and love the inspiration that pops up all around me! Ann

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      Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Another sensible, as well as therapeutic, work of art. I have become accustomed to nodding, as I read your gifts to us.

      Relating to so much of this, helps it go down smoothly. The most obvious arrow, pointing down, above my head, is being "self-critical."

      (BTW, not limited in this dept. to just my writing. ) I've been cursed with this demon for as long as ......well, you know.

      Merely getting a handle on that particular little bastard, would probably do a whole boatload of writers, some GOOD. I know it would be a refreshing relief for moi!..............Up+++ pinned & tweeted

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      DDE, life is a learning experience. Everything that happens to us can be learned from if we are willing.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Harish, what a nice thing for you to say. Thank you so much and blessings to you always.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ziyena, true dat! Love that quote. Thank you and it's nice to see you again.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      What are you talking about, Sha? I never fell off my bike. LOL I was a bloody mess!

      Thanks my friend; obviously I agree with you.

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      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      A Writers Worst Nightmares: Rejection and Fear of Judgement interesting hub on this topic, I know what rejection feels like but have passed it and learned from it. Thank you for an informative hub and always a learning lesson from you.

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      ziyena 4 years ago from ... Somewhere Out There ...

      “Some editors are failed writers, but so are most writers.”

      ~ TS Eliot

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      Harish Mamgain 4 years ago from India

      Like every art, writing does magic, it picks up dust and ornaments it with such words that it turns into pieces of beautiful pearls. Bill, you have perfected this art and we all are under the spell of it. With your powerful writing, so many will be benefited immensely,there is no doubt about that. You have so much to offer. Thank you very much.

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      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Being rejected means you are putting yourself out there and working towards your dream. It's one thing to write, but you have to ask yourself what you want to come of it. If it's to be published, that doesn't happen if you don't put your work in the face of many. Remember when you were learning to ride your bike without the training wheels? How many times did you fall off and bang up your knees? Did you give up? No! Living your dream and carrying it through should follow the same process. It should be like riding a bike and we all know that was no easy feat!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Always, LK...we have to follow our passion and write. It is what writers do.

      Thank you for your thoughts.

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      LKMore01 4 years ago

      Once again Bill, thank you for sharing your wisdom. If you don't try you've already failed, take it all in but trust your own intuition.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Joelle, she is the perfect example and for sure, we have to fight through the negativity and believe in ourselves. Thanks for your thoughts.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      My pleasure, Eric...thank you!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      DJ, if you ain't enjoying it then there is no reason to write, so you have taken the first huge step. We'll work on the next indicated step when it is time. :) I'll help.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      MDavis, for sure you have to do diligent research and yes, I know all about rejection as a recovering addict. :) Thanks for your very helpful thoughts.

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      kidscrafts 4 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      Rejection is always hard to take but for some writers it seems it kills their will to continue their passion! If J.K. Rowling listen to those critics we would never had the chance to know Harry Potter!

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      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Really good stuff, thanks buddy.

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      DJ Anderson 4 years ago

      I swear, Bill, sometimes I think you are reading my mind.

      I'm not even close to approaching an editor or a publisher, but

      I fear the rejection would be intolerable to bear.

      Until then, I will keep writing and simply tell myself it is for fun.

      Yes, that sounds good. I write for the fun of writing.

      Yep, having a ball!

      DJ.

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      Marilyn L Davis 4 years ago from Georgia

      Good morning, Billy; rejection is difficult to accept as you so aptly put it because there are pieces of our soul in our writing. As you know, I write about addiction as I am a recovering addict, so initially, I felt more vulnerable in my writing. Published in addiction magazines validated some of it, however, my original curriculum was rejected by a major publisher and I was crushed for a day or two. However, as you also point out, when a publisher contacts us directly, we have an opportunity to go back and rework something and risking rejection again, we can submit it one more time.

      I think we always have to keep in mind, who are the readers for any given market. None of my articles, stories or curriculum would work for Sports Illustrated and to send to them would be pointless. Researching types of publications, or finding authors and writers that we "are similar to", I think means we have more opportunities to be accepted, not rejected by a particular publishing venue.