Rejection And Criticism: It's Not personal, It's Just Business

Rejection And Criticism:  It's Not personal, It's Just Business, guest post by Dennis D. Wilson

For every author on the planet, whether they have sold millions world-wide, or are in the process of sending out query letters to literary agents, rejection and criticism are the price of the ticket into the arena. So how do we prevent the rejection and criticism from killing our creative spirit, chasing us back into our writing cave, and dampening our willingness to put our precious baby out there in the cruel world? This fear is one of the reasons it took me decades to get up the nerve to subject my work to public scrutiny, and even the richest and most successful authors in the world are not immune to the sting of the critic’s needle.

Rejection And Criticism:  It's Not personal, It's Just Business, guest post by Dennis D. Wilson
The key is an attitude shift, and I know it is easier said than done, but the attitude shift can be accomplished. Realize that EVERY author on the planet has been rejected, read the stories of the struggles to get published and then the scathing response of critics to some of the most celebrated works and authors in human history, and then wear rejection and criticism as a badge of honor. It means that you are part of a very exclusive club that has as its members the winners of every literary prize in history.

Expect and embrace rejection and criticism. Even if your work is groundbreaking (and in some cases because it is), it will be rejected and criticized by many. Don’t take it personally, it’s part of the writer’s life.

Learn from your rejections and the criticism. Take a step back, and look at your work from the critic’s point of view. Not all criticism is valid, but if there is a common denominator in the feedback you are getting, the validity quotient skyrockets. Criticism can be one of the most important tools to improve your writing.

Know your critics, and know that most agents and reviewers are looking for and partial to a very specific type of writing in a very specific genre. Even if your work fits that profile, not every work speaks to every critic.  To paraphrase Michael Corleone, “this is the life that we have chosen.”

Rejection And Criticism:  It's Not personal, It's Just Business, guest post by Dennis D. Wilson
After a career working in an international consulting firm and as a financial executive with two public companies, Dennis D. Wilson returns to the roots he established as a high school literature and writing teacher at the beginning of his career. For his debut novel, he draws upon his experiences from his hometown of Chicago, his years living, working, hiking and climbing in Jackson Hole, and secrets gleaned from time spent in corporate boardrooms to craft a political crime thriller straight from today's headlines. Dennis lives in suburban Chicago with his wife Paula and Black Lab Jenny, but spends as much time as he can looking for adventure in the mountains and riding his motorcycle.

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