A Writer’s Log – Post 3: Rejection



Number of words today: 6000

Number of lifetime words: 2183000

Difficult day psychologically because it began with rejection. A publishing house that has published many of my previous novels just told me – after sitting for five months on a submission – that they were ‘making changes to our list right now, and unfortunately we cannot take up your work’.

Not important who they are. Even though I was half-hoping that they would reject the book (much more profitable these days to self-publish), it still hurt. A part of me wished I could go back a couple of days and reject them first. You know? For that all-important I-dumped-you-first upper hand.

Funny how one rejection reinforces all the fears that you nurture in your dark heart. The negative voices just go to town. Told you you weren’t good enough. Told you this was a bad idea to begin with. Told you you should be getting a ‘real’ job. Told you your career is tapering off. Told you you were wasting your time. Told you. Told you. Told you.

Good news is that I was able to fight off all that and write my quota of 6000 words (12 more stories down).

Have to admit, the thought of posting this blog at the end of the day pushed me. Three days ago, I’d have happily thrown in the towel and given myself permission to wallow all day in self-pity.

Instead, I told myself that they rejected just my work, not me; that the rejection doesn’t mean the book is not good, it just means it’s unsuitable for these people at this time for any number of reasons; that even if they had in fact rejected me, it’s not the end of the world; that I am in the book-writing business, not the people-pleasing business.

And then I sat down to write. I did make progress, but boy was it slow going.

One of the affirmations that I have had success with with regards to rejection: Rejection enhances my self-esteem. (Thanks, Lawrence Block!)

And no, please don’t ask me how rejection can possibly enhance anyone’s self-esteem. Remember? Affirmations don’t have to be true. They just have to work. And this one works.



Didn’t have time or energy to read. Bet Ken Robinson of Creative Schools is feeling all rejected by me today. What goes around comes around.



Ashamed to admit that I shirked most of my family commitments. Aditi, as always, picked up the slack. This is what happens on a slow writing day (as opposed to a bad writing day, on which I cheerfully get nothing done):

  • I end up frustrated at the large number of hours it’s taking me to write a small number of words.
  • Aditi ends up frustrated at having to change twice the number of diapers and being switched on through the day.
  • Sarayu ends up frustrated at not being allowed to play with me, and she makes this known by howling at the top of her voice every now and then.

Frustration all round. So when night arrives, we’re all zonked out of our minds. We go to bed quietly and hope that tomorrow will be better. (It often is.)


  1. Intense. I hope you write non-fiction books soon! Surely it will be great and I would Lok forward to it 🙂

    Regards, Aparna

    On Sun, Apr 29, 2018 at 10:36 PM, Sharath Komarraju wrote:

    > Sharath Komarraju posted: “Writing . Number of words today: 6000 Number of > lifetime words: 2183000 Difficult day psychologically because it began with > rejection. A publishing house that has published many of my previous novels > just told me – after sitting for five months on” >


  2. R L Patnaik says:

    Even though there was a rejection, you did well – 6000 words of productive writing. What else the reading and family are there.


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