From Sarah, With Joy

*Poet * Author * Wanderluster*

Monday, December 18, 2017

Developing a Thick Hide Against Rejection

I think it's tragic that this quote comes from Harper Lee--one can't avoid the implication that an insufficiently thick hide has something to do with why Ms. Lee never published a book after her seminal classic.

However, there are some good points here. As we develop our talent, we must be self-insulated enough not to get blown aside or knocked down by every wind of condescension, negativity, and rejection. Because when you choose to be a writer, this is an unavoidable part of that choice.

Everybody's got their own hide. Some are tanned and muscular. Some are bubbly and adorable. Some of us are blessed (cursed?) with hides flat enough to sketch on that can barely hold up a pair of jeans. Anyway, we all gotta develop our own hide, ya know? Each writer would do well to take that moment of self-analysis and figure out what it will take for you to keep chugging along like a freight train down the tracks of this writer life, no matter what nails and chinks and rocks and shrubbery that regular ol' life or malicious stinking trolls put in your way.

Chug on, little writer trains.


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  1. If you're going to be an artist of any kind, get ready for the tough times.

  2. Very true! As a writer with far more rejections than acceptances, I have to agree. As a writer who has had some very rude reviews on Goodreads, including one which said she'd only read eight pages of an entire novel, I have REALLY had to develop a thick hide. As a slush reader I've been amused by blog posts from writers rejected by the SF magazine for such I read. Heavens, some of them whine! I wonder, reading these on line complaints, his they will handle rejection by their readers when finally published if they can't handle a few negative comments from slush readers. Definitely people who need to thicken their hides!

  3. My daughter has been writing on her books for 10 years, and now is being published by Simon and Schuster. She has tough skin.

  4. Sarah, As long as writing makes a person happy, then those rejection letters shouldn't hurt.
    At least not much...


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