Five Keys to Overcoming Rejection
8/12/2017 7:00:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles

When the seeds are planted, you never know what will sprout.

We made a tough decision – to take down a huge 40-foot elm tree damaged from lightening. It  towered over our home and with each storm that passed, we wondered if the massive tree would find its way onto our roof.  Cutting it down meant cutting away a boatload of beautiful memories with our boys.

Still it had to be done. The tree came down and we spruced up the barren spot by planting roses, hostas and daisies. The finishing touch . . . a bird feeder. Our elm stump, a sad reminder of what we were forced to do, was now part of a new beauty.

Summer chugged in, and we continued to fill our bird feeder and water the plants. Plants began to sprout below the bird feeder. I pulled the tiny plants trying to keep the mulch looking fresh, but to my dismay, the determined seeds that fell, continued to grow. I stepped away and let nature take its course. What could come of these tiny plants?

Corn stalks grew chest-tall and as we watched the corn develop it became increasingly noticeable our elm tree stump had taken on a new face. Green branches began to stretch upward from the stump. An elm bush?

The irony of my writing life emerged. The seeds that fell beneath our bird feeder were much like the seeds of my own writing life. Some of the things I pen obviously grow into successes, but it’s those unexpected prunings that give me a sense of renewal. Within the rejection, the seeds of determination grow. The roots of  honing the craft take hold and I work to be a better writer. 

The gift of writing is a passion planted deep within us. Though a few of our works may be plucked and tossed into the fire, the passion and determination of the craft continues to break through and grow. Discouragement, frustration, and rejection sometimes take precedence over our creativity, pushing it face-first into the ground. Still the seeds of writing take root in the dirt of discouragement . . . and grow, like the elm, new and strong.

When rejection and failure strike, don’t quit. Instead, dig in. Plant your writing roots, and grow. Here are five ways to help you forge ahead.

  • Mourn the rejection for a day then move on. Rejection is not the end of the world, it’s the beginning of a new work.
  • Quitting is not an option – If you love writing, quitting is simply not an option. If as a toddler you quit standing and taking steps every time you fell – you’d have never learned to walk. Get up, dust your rump off, and write.
  • Learn the craft – Many times rejection happens when we have not quite made the next skill level, so learn. Practice. Study. Get better so the rejection letter passes over next go around.
  • Read, read, read – Spend time reading the genres and authors you love. Learn from those who are successful. New ideas, new styles, new creativity happens when you look at the work of others.
  • Write daily – You’ve heard it thousands of times. “Just write.” Why? Because the continuance of writing does not allow failure to rule.

Be an elm stump. When you’re cut to the core, sprout!


Mountain Breeze Writer

Previous Posts

Present Yourself Approved and Professional
8/14/2017 7:00:00 AM  by: Cindy Sproles

Five Keys to Overcoming Rejection
8/12/2017 7:00:00 PM  by: Cindy Sproles

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8/10/2017 8:47:00 PM  by: Cindy Sproles

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