Why I Write: Wei-Chih Eudela

The action or even the idea of being rejected evokes some pain, especially mental and emotional, for those who experience or simply think of it. There is and would be no person who had not undergone rejection. At some point, most people had been turned down at their job interview, application for their college of choice, and even at love. I even remembered once a friend and former classmate who cried when she did not pass the entrance exam of her preferred university, which was an obvious sign of rejection. But rejection doesn’t simply come to job applicants, aspiring college students, or even suitors. It also knocks doors on writers as well.

A lot of great writers both today and in the past have experienced a great deal of rejection upon submitting their works to publishing houses and magazines. These turn-downs came in a variety of ways, from a simple way of declining politely and honestly to harsh, unbarred criticism with regards to the work and sometimes, even to the writer. No matter the manner of execution, having your work, which could have taken a tremendous amount of inspiration and time to finish, being rejected could be both painful
and discouraging. However, no matter how painful it might seem, rejection is important both to the publisher and to the writer. The benefits of rejection to the publisher, as well as their motives for doing so, would seem more obvious. Publishers are looking for the best quality work that they could find and publish, and rejecting either the bad ones or those who did not fit into their criteria, were removed from the pool of possible works to be released helps publishers lighten their workload and focus on the best manuscript or poem they could find.  To writers, some of them, especially whose writing careers are still in infancy, might not always see the silver lining of rejection. This led emerging writers away from the
traditional mode of publishing and had been and had been an indirect cause for the rise of digital writing platforms such as Wattpad. But still, it is important for them to consider the importance of this action in their craft and art.

1. Rejection helps writers improve their works
Publishers typically don’t reject works for no reason. It could be with the work itself, the way it was submitted, or if a publisher has a mountain of workload to the point that accepting another draft would seem unlikely. However, publishers are typically kind enough to give notice whether they would allow manuscripts to be sent or not for certain reasons and for a certain time frame. Also, they set standards and criteria as to what manuscripts would they accept and those they would not accept.

However, should you have tried to follow their criteria and their instructions and submitted through the mode the publisher told you to use but still receive rejection after months of waiting, you should not fret, for this is another sign of a publisher telling you to improve your work. No literary work is perfect, both in content and in form. Even those classic works now treated as institutions in literature had once either been mocked or rejected. However, a literary work, be it a manuscript for a novel or a poem, tells a lot about the author, and publishers generally try to send their message to writers to improve their works by, ironically, rejecting their drafts. It might seem painful, after all the beauty of a book either in content or style of writing really depends on the reader’s perspective. Anyone can write a book, but it takes a dedicated writer to create a best-seller. Rejections prompt writers
to re-evaluate their works in order for them to see what should be improved of them. No literary work is perfect, but it is certainly not an excuse for writers to create substandard works. It is important for writers to revisit and polish their literary pieces in order to realise its full potential.

2. Rejection gives writers incentive to look for new opportunities
Some writers have this specific dream of being published at a specific publisher. It may be to follow the footsteps of their admired authors or simply to receive a greater amount of exposure and be secured of financial independence they would bring if their works become successful. However, some publishers, especially the so-called Big 5 Publishers like the Penguin Random House and HarperCollins, are highly selective and consider to publish only the best of the best. If you ever got rejected at your preferred publisher, never lose hope. There are thousands of imprints and publishers around the world, looking for
the best works they could find. Being rejected by one publisher actually gives you an opportunity to look into other, possibly better ones. After all, should you submit your work to an alternative publishing house and then become accepted before turning successful, it would not be your loss, but the publisher that rejected you before. Publishing is an industry, and it benefits publishing houses more than writers, even though writers do really get the fame plus contracts involving huge amounts of money.

3. Rejection encourages you to reevaluate how you have submitted your work and to look
at alternative routes
Unless you submitted your manuscript improperly or in a sloppy manner, it is likely that rejection would come to you very slowly. As what I have stated earlier, publishers have a certain criteria that writers should follow and they also release instructions on how a writer could submit his or her work. Writers could either submit their work with or without an agent, and they could send their works through either post, e-mail, or through an online system. Typically, large publishers require literary agents in order to consider the work of a writer, though some imprints of these large publishing houses do receive unsolicited submissions. Furthermore, publishers make sure that they are clear in specifying which mode a writer should use in submitting their works. Some require the use of post to submit works while others allow writers to send their works through email. A few have their own online system of sending works, while other require the use of a third-party websites and platforms like Submittable.

Nonetheless, being rejected encourages writers to reevaluate the way how they sent their work, and whether they really followed the guidelines or not. This ensures that writers could be able to read instructions well before submitting and preventing them from sending works compulsively.

The Bottom Line
In the end, every writer has to undergo rejection in order to grow. To some, it’s like a rite of passage in order to make writers grow. It may seem like a failure, but failures are not meant to bring people down. Rather, it serves to teach people to make them wiser and stronger in their pursuit of success. Rejection is inevitable, but giving up is a choice, and we should learn how to accept it in order for us to become better, more intelligent writers

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About Wei-Chih Eudela

Wei-Chih Eudela is a freelance fiction and non-fiction writer and a senior high school student of Paranaque National High School-Main. He is 20 years old and he is currently living in the Philippines.