Never… That’s my answer. If you truly love writing or if you hate it, but find a moment or two of pleasure from it, don’t give up. I met an agent one time who thought it was clever that when he evaluated a novel he thought wasn’t good enough, he sent the writer an application for employment at Burger King instead of a rejection letter. When I heard this, I was appalled that anyone in the industry would adopt such a callous form of rejection. Who knows how many careers he has crushed by his insensitivity. I only hope that those writers realize that his is only one person’s opinion.
When I was thinking about that agent the other day, I realized that I had never fully covered the rejection process in the blog. Certainly, before you write, it’s important for you to know the subtle language of rejection. Obviously, that agent’s communication is his blatant attempt at humor at the expense of the feelings of the writer. But other rejections may hit you hard and aren’t really rejections. You need to be alert for them.
I remember when I was first writing and sending out magazine articles. If I received anything that remotely resembled a rejection, I wouldn’t send anything to that magazine again. That was a mistake on my part. If the editor says, “Thanks for submitting, but your article is not right for our magazine,” don’t take that as a blanket rejection. Go back and look at their guidelines and try again with another article.
Don’t miss this opportunity: If an editor says, “This article doesn’t fit, but we’d be glad to look at other material,” that is not a rejection….it’s an invitation to send them something else. It means that they like your writing, but couldn’t use the subject of your article.
My advice…. don’t give up until you are truly ready to stop writing. With each word you write, your writing will ,and I feel that you shouldn’t allow anyone to “reject” you into quitting.