Writing Help

Building Up Self-worth Against Rejection

Written on July 5

I’m an extremely goal oriented person. I am also a high achiever. I have spent the last two years of my life in the hardest program offered at my high school. Putting all my time into getting high grades and being every bit of the perfect student. I studied for hours every night leading up to my exams. Throughout the year was considered a sure person to graduate by a margin. But what would life be without a little irony, I failed my high school program.

Don’t get me wrong, I still graduated high school. I just didn’t graduate with a title. For someone who is a high achiever, this can be a real blow. And for anyone, not getting something you really wanted and were sure to get is horrible. But you want to know the weirdest thing, I’m okay. I thought when I first got the news that this would be a crushing blow to my self-worth. However, I feel fine. I did cry for a solid minute because I needed to. I poured my whole self into that degree for two years, it’s disappointing to not get it.

You may be thinking “What does this have to do with writing?” and the answer is that writing involves rejection and the feeling of failure. Part of being an author is putting yourself out there and sometimes you get rejected or receiving criticism. You may feel that this is devastating when you get this negative feedback but you can’t let it stop you. Often negative feedback hurts you if you tie your self-worth to something.

If you get negative feedback and your first reaction is “This must be no good” stop for a minute. One person’s option doesn’t mean something is bad or wrong, especially in the creative world of writing. You also can’t just dismiss negative feedback, especially if it’s constructive criticism. What you shouldn’t do is stop writing because one person says you’re bad at it. Maybe you need to improve your writing skill. Maybe they rejected your manuscript because it wasn’t want they want to publish. Getting negative feedback isn’t the end of the world and if you don’t believe me I found a Buzzfeed page that lists a bunch of authors, including J K Rowling and George Orwell, who experienced rejection.

I’ve been trying to focus my self-worth around how I see myself rather than how other people see me. As we talked about two weeks ago, this is ego and a fear of people thinking I was a failure has really held me back and I’m trying to move past that to achieve my goals.