Rejection Letters: Five Crafty Ways To Celebrate A Writer’s Rite Of Passage

by | Sep 21, 2012 | Uncategorized | 8 comments

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Photo by Mélisande*

It’s no secret that being a writer means dealing with rejection letters. Whether a “no thanks” can be chalked up to an editor’s personal taste or a submission that hit the wrong market at the wrong time, rejection is a rite of passage that we all experience.

Here at Writer’s Relief, we’d like to help you channel your rejection letters into something that will help keep you motivated. Here are five surprising and crafty ways to make your “no”s lift you up after they’ve let you down.

Recycling. With the rising cost of paper, every sheet counts. So why not repurpose those postage-stamp-sized notes into brand-new recycled paper? Yep—that’s right. You can make paper out of your rejections! Flickr user B_Zedan has uploaded a photo stream with in-depth DIY paper making instructions. The resulting paper is not only useful for note-taking, but also textured enough to work as an inkjet-ready canvas for your latest (or favorite) poetry and affirmations.

If nothing else, there’s something oddly satisfying about shredding up those letters and running them through the blender. It’s as cathartic as it is ecological.

Rolled paper crafts. Check out this craftster.org tutorial on rolled paper crafts. You have to see it to believe it. Did you know your rejection letters could be turned into a frame that will one day hold your book contract? Or the garbage that holds all your crumpled balls of typewriter paper could be made of rejections? When your craft is done, you’ll have a great trophy to show for all your hard work on the road to publication.

Papier-mâché decorations. Have you been cooped up in your writing cave so long that your family’s sent a search party for you? Then perhaps it’s time for some papier-mâché, the sort of craft best shared with others.

A great way to reconnect with your loved ones is to turn a Saturday into a craft day where you can decompress and create some new decorations for your home. A shared space will give you room to relay your rejections with pride. Maybe a good laugh or two will come along as you transform your pile of letters into a cool new bowl or a scary mask!

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Give yourself flowers. If you’re feeling defeated by the sheer quantity of rejection letters coming your way, it might be time to treat yourself. Stephanie Lynn teaches her readers how to create paper roses, which can add to the décor of your workspace. If the letter’s content was initially upsetting, then rendering the page illegible may help ease the sting.

Origami. Enfold your rejections in love with some old-fashioned origami. The folks at Origami Club can teach you how to convert sour rejection into affirmation. A few folds can turn five rejections into a reminder to “WRITE” against all odds.

Rejecting The Rejection Letter Blues

No matter what you do with the physical slips of paper, remember that a rejection itself does not mean you’re not good enough. Keep in mind that submitting your work is ultimately a numbers game and that an average of only one submission out of 100 is accepted.

Take editors’ constructive critiques to heart and channel the hurtful negativity into the craft of your choice. Don’t let rejection leave you feeling deflated. Know that each “no” is a step closer to the “yes” you want.

Check out our Writers Tool Kit: How To Handle Rejection: A Writer’s Secret Weapon Against Rejection.

In the meantime, there’s no reason not to enjoy getting more craft-fodder in the mail while you wait for your acceptances to start rolling in!

Writer QuestionsQUESTION: Do you do anything creative with your rejections letters?

8 Comments

  1. Kriste

    Papier-mâché decorations? GREATEST IDEA EVER!!!! Looks like I’ll have something to do this weekend 🙂

    Reply
  2. Khara House

    I make Rejection Letter Art. I’ll take the rejection notice and, through erasure, parse it down to a most complimentary note; so rather than thanking me for my submission but rejecting my poetry, the note suddenly thanks me for my poetry. Check out an example of a hard copy rejection art piece and a digital rejection art! 🙂

    Reply
    • Writers Relief Staff

      Khara, great examples! We’re so glad to see you putting the “art” in “Take your rejections to heart!”

      Reply
  3. Sharon Jones

    All great ideas…but what to do with those rejection emails?

    One submission out of a hundred, you say? I better get crackin…I’ve got 89 to go… 🙂

    Reply
  4. Christine

    (Sigh.) So many rejections come via email these days, denying us the triumph of turning them into art.

    Reply
  5. Chris Ciolli (@ChrisCiolli)

    This is pretty funny…the only thing is more and more rejection letters are via email, so you’d have to print them in order to do arts and crafts with them…..

    Reply
  6. chital

    good one.. but we get rejection through e-mail? what can be done for those writers?

    Reply
    • Writers Relief Staff

      Christine, Chris, Sharon, and Chital, don’t fret! Copy/Paste your rejections into MS Paint, Photoshop, or any other design program and spruce them up digitally! They’ll make wonderful desktop backgrounds, and you can Email them to your writer friends for a few good laughs.

      Reply

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