Suspend Your Disbelief

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Writer, Reject Thyself


Okay—so perhaps your take-home message from the recent Giraldi-Ohlin incident was “Oh my god, I hope that I never get a review like that.” Unfortunately, at some point, every writer usually gets some harsh feedback—in a workshop, in a review, or from a reader. (Discuss: which writer is most fortunate, and why?)

Anyway, when you receive said harsh feedback, your options are:

  • A) Lash out at reviewers (pretty much never a good plan)
  • B) Curl up under chair with bottle of whiskey and/or teddy bear
  • C) Develop thicker skin, keep head down, keep working on next project

Should you choose (C), the Rejection Generator (via) is here to help thicken that skin of yours. Says the Rejection Generator Project’s website:

Inspired by psychological research showing that after people experience pain they are less afraid of it in the future, The Rejection Generator helps writers take the pain out of rejection.

The Rejection Generator is designed for all writers. Emerging writers can utilize it to remember life before their first break. Writers well-established in their careers can use it for balance: no matter how successful a writer is, each year there are Pulitzers to lose, as well as National Book Awards, PENs, and Nobels to not be selected for; maintaining a sharp sense of rejection as award announcements approach is important. And, of course, beginning writers not used to or only barely used to the sheer weight of rejection that lies ahead can use the Generator to get ready for the future.

Enter your email address and choose a category of rejection—the current rotation includes The Doom Stacker, The Dump, The Long Goodbye, and Big Chakra Dosing Agent—and the Rejection Generator will send a rejection letter right to your inbox. Here’s what The Guest Editor just sent to me (no joke):

Dear Writer,

Remember when Hemingway shot himself? You too can be a great writer, just like him….

The Editors

Further Reading:

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