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The Blog

Why I Keep A Rejection Journal… (and why you should keep one, too)

A while ago, I read an interview with the esteemed Tom Hiddleston, in which he mentioned keeping a record of all of his unsuccessful auditions in a book. For a long time I wondered why someone would be so masochistic, why someone would keep a physical record of failure.

I’m not good with failure.

I’ve too long been a person who gets shortlisted (if that) or told that I am not quite what people are looking for. For a very long time I couldn’t come to terms with that, and in the end, it really impacted my writing.

That’s when I got thinking that perhaps there was some wisdom in embracing rejection, rather than running from it. In the end, it’s inevitable, right? Rejection happens to everyone. Be it with writing or any form of creative arts, applying for work, seeking out a significant other, hell, offering help on the street to someone.

A very important person in my life - the truly talented @trans-droid - sent me this incredible postthat really helped. And it got me thinking… perhaps I need to embrace the failure more than fear it. When you embrace something, you can’t fear it. It holds nothing over you. So… this was born:

My rejection journal. Currently it holds 16 entries, nearly spaced. I have more rejections than I have acceptances, but you know what? It reminds me every day that I have acceptances, that despite my 16 (so far) rejections, I have 14 acceptances, and that is huge. For someone starting out, for someone keeping up, that is a huge deal.

So I suggest if you feel particularly low, if you’re wondering why you’re writing in the first place, when all you get are rejection emails… start collecting them. Have a folder. Have a notebook. Have something to remind you that, yes, rejections exist. Rejections always exist, and they always will. You will always have them, no matter how successful you become, in whatever area. Start collecting them so you don’t fear them, and so they have no hold on you whatsoever.

it worked for me.