Rejection As The Best Motivation?

crop380w_istock_000012132005xsmallDear Editor,

I received your recent rejection notice and unfortunately it’s just not what I’m looking for at this time. It’s certainly a well-crafted piece and I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors, rejecting other aspiring writers. You may try me again in the future with something more upbeat.


Stephanie D. Lewis

Aha! Rejecting the rejection letters! That’s the smart thing to do. I wish I could say that IS what I do. Instead when my writing gets turned down, it motivates me to try that much harder to get published in that particular venue. I become obsessively relentless. In fact, I seem to stop submitting to all the other places that actually like my stuff, in order to pursue chasing after the one place that clearly wants nothing to do with me. Sounds perfectly healthy, right?

On the off chance that this is typical human nature behavior and other people have similar responses, I’ve decided to take up rejection letters as a new hobby to see if it also motivates those around me to try their very best.

Recent Rejection Letters I’ve Sent

Dear Children,

Thank you for making your bunk-bed this morning. However, I regret to inform you it’s not exactly what I had in mind. The top sheet was all bunched up below the comforter, (simulating a sleeping body that creeped me out) the pillows were strewn haphazardly, and there were 8 used tissues crumpled in the center of the bottom bunk. Even the cat turned up her nose and slept in her Kitty Krib this morning.  Perhaps bed-making is not your niche and you would be better suited for playing Wii or skateboarding instead.

All my best,


Dear Bride-To-Be,

I am in receipt of the Halloween costume dress you picked out for me to wear as your maid-of-honor. I am sorry to be returning it at this juncture in time, but it’s just not a good fit for me. Literally. Also the eggplant color is horrific and if you think any woman would ever wear this again as a festive party dress, you’re sadly mistaken. I do appreciate you thinking of me in this capacity and look forward to future gowns you might submit for me to wear as I walk down the aisle to stand up for you at your wedding.

Thank you again,


ps. You two are all wrong for one another. Don’t be surprised if you get a rejection letter from your groom.

Dear Chef at Outback Steakhouse,

Thank you for auditioning this filet mignon on my plate. I’m sorry but it just wasn’t up to the caliber of flavor and tenderness I’m accustomed to. Feel free to try me again in about twenty minutes with more of your recent accomplishments, especially any vanilla offerings drenched in hot fudge and whipped cream that might be presented “on the house.”


Your Customer at Table 9

Dear Dr. Goldstein,

Thank you for recently diagnosing my constant mood swings and elaborate white lies as Borderline Personality Disorder. While the acronym BPD is certainly impressive sounding, the whole label just doesn’t ring true for me. I could just be tired, irritable, and disenchanted with constantly getting asked to be a maid-of-honor. Ever think of that, Doc? I would like to invite you to submit a second opinion of my delicate condition in a few more weeks. However if you suggest I’m pregnant, you’ll never work in this town again.

Thank you for the recent appointment!

Stephanie D. Lewis

Dear Faithful Blog Follower,

It is with utmost appreciation that I thank you for taking the time to read “Once Upon Your Prime” and click the “Like” box. You certainly do so with aplomb and bravado. However lately your comments seem a bit jaded as if this is the 13th or 14th clever posting you’ve read in a row from me.  Though that may be the case, the redundant use of the word “genius” becomes rather tiresome. Ho Hum. At this point in time, due to the high volume of comments I’m currently receiving on “Once Upon Your Prime” (a whopping 3-5 per month!) I will be closing this particular section, so do not attempt to leave even an original comment as it will be promptly exiled.

Thank you for your understanding,

Little Miss Menopause

So far, the reverse psychology method of my rejection letters seems to have elicited some interesting results. a) A military style bed so tightly made, I could bounce a quarter off of it. b) A stylish black bridesmaid dress that I will proudly wear to my next funeral. c) Roasted chicken so garlicky I wouldn’t dare kiss someone even with ten breath mints. (But healthier than steak and the chef only spit on the parsley!)  (D) A physician’s diagnosis of “Just being your everyday, garden-variety bitch.” E) Followers who were so offended at my quirky humor, they promptly unsubscribed to my blog.

Oh dear . . . please come back my dear reader.  It was just an experiment in human nature.Mad-Rejection-Letter.jpg (1)

78 thoughts on “Rejection As The Best Motivation?

  1. Pingback: Friday Finds: Week 36 | Avid Reader

  2. Hi. I loved this post and it inspired me to follow your blog. I also re-posted it on Mind Traveler. However a friend and fellow blogger suggested to me that it is not good practice to re-post other blogs without first asking. So, if you would rather I take it down, please let me know. 🙂


  3. Enjoyed reading the MAD Magazine reject letter at the bottom + your article. I have a stack of acceptance letters, and don’t even remember those rejection letters–except that I’m certain that I’ve gotten my fair share. To me the rejection letter is just telling me that I sent the wrong piece of writing to the wrong place. It happens.


    • So glad you enjoyed this. As a nice update, I finally just got accepted to the one publication that’s been rejecting me and was the inspiration for writing this. Yay me! Sometimes we gotta be our own cheerleader. 😉 Thanks for reading and commenting as i appreciate that we’re all so busy!
      take care,

      Liked by 1 person

  4. The funniest rejection letter I ever had was from a university press, who I approached one time to introduce myself, intending to discuss an idea for something my usual publishers (Penguin Random House) wouldn’t be likely to want. In just nine minutes, I had an email back from the managing editor, personally, telling me they wouldn’t consider it. I queried further and he informed me that they wouldn’t ever consider anything I sent them, ever, irrespective of what it was. In thirty years of professional writing and 50+ books, that holds the record for being my fastest and most complete rejection e-v-a-h. He didn’t even wait to find out what I was offering…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Omg and lol, I love your brass. You like to live on the edge. Tsk, tsk, rejecting bloggers comments (lol, kidding) but have to say you may have quite possibly scared some away with your always excellent wit! No worries though, I’m resilient, and I’m sticking around! 🙂


  6. I think I’m going to take your lead and have a prepared / proforma rejection letter for when I dine out. You just never know when the food and./or service would suck! Happy Mother’s Day, Steph! I hope the kids fixed their beds nicely today xoxo


  7. One question, where were you when I had to wear the dreaded eggplant maid of honor dress? This rejection letter would’ve been perfect. Oh well… I like the twist of rejecting the rejection letters 😉


  8. You are too funny. However, you do raise some great points in such a clever and humorous way. Even though I have been rejected you have given me some great ideas for persisting. I find it hard to get my own girlfriend to even visit my blog. Perhaps I should make an appointment with Dr. Goldstein. However, I think you and Al are on to something.


  9. You sound like you know your worth as a writer and are unwilling to take know for an answer which is a great thing. Even through all the years I pursued acting, I never responded well to rejection. The best rejection letter I got was for an anthology I never submitted for- but there was this letter telling me they were sorry but my submission was not accepted. My first reaction- the day had not been going well to begin with was – “wow, I’m even getting rejected from gigs I didn’t submit for!” But then I realized- “wow- clearly rejection slips ain’t personal!”


  10. Ohhh Stephanie!! I just love your writing! You are making me laugh so hard!! What a talent! I will NEVER unfollow you! G-E-N-I-U-S!! (sorry, couldn’t help it)


  11. I really do think, as a doctor does, that you should put: Stephanie BPD after your name.. no one will question what it means, they will just assume you have spent ten years at uni and not ask in fear of looking stupid that they don’t know what BPD means… You are a pure Gen———uine and a freaking amazing oh what the heck just to annoy you… genius genius genius genius genius genius genius genius genius genius genius genius genius genius genius genius genius genius genius genius genius genius genius genius genius genius genius genius genius genius genius genius genius genius genius genius …. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • haha Tamzen! – – BPD, like it’s some kinda educational degree! That’s fanterical! (fantastic/hysterical) I really do like that. I wanna do that with all my afflictions.

      Stephanie D. Lewis BPD, OCD, ADHD

      Look how much schooling I’ve had!
      I’ll leave off STD and some others. I don’t wanna appear too over-qualified. 😉

      Thank you my darling!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Dear Ms Steph,

    As a rejected follower I am pleased to announce that I will not be unfollowing you for two reasons:

    1) My unfollow button has been stolen. An ideas who may have done this ?
    2) See 1)

    😉 xox ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I admire your ability to keep coming up with topics. I pretty much run out of things to say after four or six sentences.
    On the other hand, this was a funny and imagative post.
    I too have received many rejection letters. What’s unusual about mine, is they are from a multitude of publishers and websites I have never submited anything to.
    They refer to it as ” preemptive rejection.” 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha!!!!!! “Don’t even think about putting us on your radar!!” Somehow I doubt that very much. Ladies give yourself a Mother’s Day present and visit Tom’s funny poetry and particularly his singing if you haven’t swooned in a while. OMG!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. You are Einstein! (Hopefully, you failed to recognize that synonym for genius) But in case you did, then your hysterical! I dismiss your rebuff. Now I’m more obsessed than ever to have you accept my praise and worship of you! I bow to your greatness.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. You know, if I had suggested that my children were better cut out for video gaming and skateboarding, I would face the consequences of never having a household chore done by them, ever again.
    As for the commenting, I think it is less about being jaded and more about coming up with something clever enough to match your wit. All the same, don’t think you’ll get rid of me that easily!!


  16. Perfectly great comeback and think we all have been there, but love how you spun this. Perfect and I wholeheartedly agree – Genius!!


    • Seriously– I always think about that if I complain about my dish in a restaurant! hmmm, maybe after an editor rejects me, I should revise the piece but then spit on it before resubmitting?! Aww, but wouldn’t work with email. Darn, our hygienic technology! Thanks Bunkie!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Ahhh, this comes at a time when I believed I was definitely, most certainly the only person being rejected. I think I’ve hit a record this week. Which is why I, like you, spent all day yesterday writing even more articles aimed to please the one site that was rejecting me. I actually gave an evil laugh at my laptop before sending in one last night and said (out loud), “Try to reject THAT you little bitch.” I’m pretty sure I need meds.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Dear Little:(Notice I address you by your first name as if we were good friends.)
    i feel awful. (I do too. Tears are welling up in my eyes.) What was it about my 666th Comment that bothered you. You’ve always smiled at my comments in the past. I thought we had a great relationship. You were my pin cushion and I was your pin. You never complained before. (Notice I am getting angrier and angrier.) Why how dare you to reject me. You’re off my Follow List but for good. And I just have one final thing. I want a divorce. Right now.
    Mr. Menopause

    Liked by 1 person

    • MISTER Menopause!!!!! Hahahaha! You should start a blog like that– would be hysterical! If we’re divorcing, I want spousal support. I worked my fingers (well maybe just one particular finger) to the bones for you these past years.
      Ps. Please don’t leave me! Is it another female blogger? We can work something out. A threesome?


    • Such a sweetheart. Thank you. In general because I now send this blog out in my portfolio when I apply for freelance writing positions, I haven’t been doing awards but you are EVER so kind to have nominated me and I thank you so much!

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Oh thank you SO much for this… I’m in the middle of submitting my novels and this has managed to make me laugh about the whole bloody horrible business. Unlike you, I just feel fed up and a bit whiny. Clearly, instead of iron in my soul, I’ve got marshmallow…

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Dear Steph
    Could you please try to be less humorous in your postings. You’re leaving the rest of us looking rather mundane and the pressure to respond with a witty, pithy reply that fits in with the tone and topic of your posts leave us pressurised to measure up.
    Besides, you’re making my sides hurt.
    Yours faithfully, GSM x

    Liked by 2 people

    • You dear DEAR soul– how you do undersell yourself. I leave your blog cleansed by laughter. And your comments here never fail to highly amuse. Everyone check out GluestickMum as a Mother’s Day gift to yourself or someone else!

      Liked by 1 person

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