BookEnds Challenges You to 30 Days of Rejection

  • By: Jessica Faust | Date: Sep 23 2015

I first read this article back when it was published in Fast Company in May. I’ve sat on this article for six months, urging myself to do the challenge, but not actually doing it.

In the article, author Jia Jiiang discusses how facing his fears of rejection helped him accomplish his dreams. We all work in a profession where rejection becomes a part of nearly every day. Certainly authors face rejection all the time. I would bet it’s one of the biggest topics of conversation when a group of authors gets together. Heck, even discussing writing techniques is often a disguise for how not to get rejected.

Agents face rejection too. We also carry the burden of a rejection when one of our books is rejected by an editor. We also face rejection from potential clients, foreign publishers, audio publishers and even our own clients (why, oh why don’t you like my revision suggestions). I don’t think publishing is alone when it comes to career rejection, but I do suspect we talk about it more than other professions.

The fear of rejection can hold us back at so many different points in our careers. We might not fear it when submitting, but the possibility of bad reviews can hold us back from writing the next book or promoting the one we just got published. It also lessens the confidence with which we go into something, making whatever we’re doing harder. I face rejection constantly, and yet I strongly feel a 30-Day Rejection Challenge is something that will help me grow as an agent and face things head-on, in a different way from how I’ve faced things before.

Since I never got my 30 Days off the ground I thought about including you as accountability partners. Starting October 1 (one week from today), for 30 days, I’m going to face rejection and I’d love if you would join me. For those wondering what 30 different things you can do there’s a Rejection Therapy pack you can buy. I’m going to try doing without. So if anyone has any ideas of things I could do when facing rejection please let me know. I’d love to try out some of your tasks to see where they lead me.

What do you think? Are you in?

I’ll keep you updated through the blog and we can all use the hashtag #BeatRejection to see what others are doing.

7 responses to “BookEnds Challenges You to 30 Days of Rejection”

  1. Avatar Meloni Vignali says:

    Wow, what a powerful challenge. After reading Jia Jiiang’s article, I’m in. I am going to try it without the Rejection Therapy pack as well and try to keep in mind this quote from the article ; “When we shy away from rejection we reject ourselves and our ideas before the world ever has a chance to reject them. This is the worst form of rejection and, as default, we are ignored by the world.”

    Can I tell you it makes me nervous just considering it? I must have something to learn. Tp up the ante, I’ll be posting my rejections on Twitter @melonivignali.

    Good luck!

    • Jessica Faust Jessica Faust says:

      I’m nervous too. Even more so now that I’ve put myself out there. If we weren’t nervous it wouldn’t be a challenge.

  2. Avatar Hollie says:

    This is a brilliant idea,

    I’m trying to work out how I can do it mostly from home. It isn’t fair to ask my husband or mum to take me out every day for a month to ask a stranger a “stupid question”, that and hubby already thinks I’m nuts for considering it.

    Having said that, he may be a tough Yorkshireman (think Scotish without the kilt) I’m not. I know I have started questioning if I should consider not publishing and just keep my writing as the therapy it started as. That is a fear, not so much of the rejection, I’m practical enough to know that is going to happen. But fear of being strong enough to handle it.
    So if you up for a small Brit for a sidekick, I’m in

  3. Avatar AJ Blythe says:

    What an amazing clip from Jia Jiiang’s Day 3!! He didn’t get a ‘no’ for his rejection project, but what a wonderful way to have your faith in people restored.

    It’s interesting watching how people cope with rejection in this industry. As writers we meet it all the time (as agents obviously do from what you posted, Jessica). We get forms of rejection from critique partners, contest judges, beta readers, agents, publishers and eventually readers. I’ve seen writers collapse and stop writing from negative comments (ie rejection). This is one area of writing I know I’m stronger than many in. I’ve got ‘broad shoulders’ and while rejection is difficult, it usually just makes me more determined to succeed. I can be very stubborn *grin*.

    Rejection in this industry isn’t personal. I think if you can remember that it helps.

    I also think what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. The more you’ve had to deal with the tough things life throws you the easier it is the next time it happens. Doesn’t mean it hurts less, just that you cope with it better.

    I’m not sure I could do what Jia Jiiang did, not that I fear the rejection, but I find some of the things he did a bit rude (like asking someone for $100). But I am happy to put myself out there within reason. At least I am if something like this counts… last weekend after buying Finnish pulla at the Finland Embassy open day: I asked the baker for the recipe (which I got – so no rejection). But I think it’s the “putting yourself in a situation where you might be rejected” that counts(?). If so, I’m in.

  4. […] I am getting prepared to begin the 30 Days of Rejection Challenge. Jessica Faust, owner and president of BookEnds literary agency, threw down the gauntlet in a blog post last week. (here: 30 Days of Rejection) […]

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