Boost your resilience: start a rejection collection!


I have had the joy of cultivating several collections in my life: stickers, vintage suitcases, pencils, manual typewriters, rocks and crystals, single-estate chocolate bars. I still collect stamps. (It’s a tiny, lightweight art gallery!)

Anything can be fun to collect, if you twist your perspective to suit.

What if you started collecting rejection letters?

You’ve heard me talk about tracking your submissions since forever.

Tracking is another kind of collecting.

You can track in this spreadsheet or make your own cute chart in a bullet journal if you’re feeling crafty. Give yourself a sticker each time you submit a story, poem, or essay to a magazine or a contest.

What will happen next? You’ll start to get rejection letters.

This is great!

Every submission is a win. And the more submissions you send out, the more rejections you can expect. Therefore, every rejection is also a win!

Monitor your wins. Send your stuff out every week, and keep track of what comes back.

Feel all the feelings (more on this in the links below). Trust me, you can dissolve some of that sting by learning to love something about it.

This is shadow work. Even though I recommend using stickers, shadow work is no joke.

Reading a rejection letter can feel really awful. And as we learn how to accept something we used to find unacceptable, real transformation can finally happen.

Going from unpublished to published is a real transformation. You can prepare yourself for it by building your resilience now.

The one who gets the most rejection letters wins. :)



ps. If you want to prepare for the challenge of publication, you might want to bookmark these articles on resilience for when you need them: The Great Reframe: How to survive and thrive through any difficulty The opposite of acceptance isn’t rejection. It’s resistance. How to get a story published (true story) Can you live with the struggle of writing?  

Photo credit: @amybowlesbtdto on Instagram.

Recommended reading this month.
Does any of this matter? What is the point of writing?


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