Writing Resources


A while back I did an interview for Diabolical Plots. One of the questions was:

If you could give just one piece of advice to aspiring authors, what would it be?

And I replied with:

Learn to handle rejection. Unless you are some kind of a genetic
abnormality with an absurd talent for writing (in which case I hate you) you
will have more disappointments than successes. DonÔÇÖt let the disappointments
sour you. Savor the successes.

Now, I wholeheartedly agree with the advice I gave. Following through with it, is a different story. It can be difficult, especially now with email submissions where you might get a few rejections on the same day (when you have over thirty stories as I do submitted at one time this is a very real possibility).

So I’m always looking for new ways to ‘roll with the punches’. Obviously I take the rejections in context (the story is being rejected, not me) and I try to submit the story to the next market as soon as feasible.

However, on my recent vacation I ran into a new problem. I had only brought my iPad with me and didn’t have access to my computer or the stories. So the rejections accumulated and accumulated and accumulated…

By the end of the vacation I had ten stories that had been ‘sent home’. I was pretty stressed.

So my solution?

From now on I’m using a special email address for story submissions. Rejections will be sent to that address. And that account will not be checked on vacation :)

Former lead designer at BioWare (Dragon Age: Origins, Neverwinter Nights). Creator of Raiders of the Serpent Sea.


  • Jane Chin, Ph.D.

    Brent this is a GREAT idea! Using a separate email for submissions! I haven’t started submitting yet, but I’ll definitely do this and I’ll share it on my G+ (http://janechin.com/g+ ) too. By the way one of the ways I’m planning to learn how to deal with rejection is to “go for the no”. I want to get rejected as many times as possible. If I don’t get enough rejections then I’m probably not trying hard enough. Easier said than done but I’m ready!

  • Lindsey Duncan

    I … solve the problem by making sure I have all my stories and submission materials with me whenever I go out of town.┬á Ahem.┬á ;-)┬á That’s the neurotic way to handle it, though.┬á Yours seems more sane.

  • Brent Knowles

    Yeah I had considered that too but I think next vacation I want to reduce stress… pretend that all my stories are being accepted while I’m away would help that :)

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