On Rejection: #ThousandPoemYear Update – Week 18

*CATCHING UP – this is written as if it is week 18: 8th – 14th May.*


[Hi, I’m Joshua Judson. I’m writing 1000 Poems this year. To find out how and why, click HERE.]

Poems written this week: 12

Poems written so far this month: 31

Poems written so far this year: 526


As a writer there’s always a lot of parables you get told about rejection. How many times JK Rowling didn’t get published. I remember a seminar I was in when I was on the Creative and Professional Writing course at University of Nottingham being almost entirely dedicated to tales of different writers and how many times their manuscript was rejected before it got published.

This is all well and good and it does provide some comfort, but it does not prepare you for the reality of the multitude of ‘No’s you are guaranteed to encounter on your journey as a writer.


As is evident from the nature of the #ThousandPoemYear challenge, I am goal oriented. So as well as writing goals, I have submissions targets. The aim is to send submissions to a minimum of five publications (magazines, journals etc) a month. I have a list of places to send work to as long as my arm. At the time of writing, I have sent work to 12 places this year and have only been accepted by one.


Now that I’ve written that down, it doesn’t seem like such a bad ratio. It just feels bad in the moment, when you receive an email, get excited, then have your heart drop when you see ‘we are sorry to say..’ or ‘unfortunately..’.

The best way to combat the disappointment, of course, is to completely put each submission out of your mind, but that is easier said than done. Especially, when you get an email saying you’ve made a long/shortlist.

Basically, this blog is exercising the demon of rejecting. Airing it out. Fellow writers, what practises/techniques/mindset have you found to deal with rejection when it inevitably comes strolling into your life?


Joshua Judson x

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