Each time you write, submit, or publish a poem, you risk rejection. Believe it or not, rejection from editors is not the worst kind of rejection. It's rejection from readers (and critics) that stings the most. When an editor rejects your poetry, you can at least comfort yourself by submitting the same poems elsewhere.
If a poem is published or posted and people slam or ignore it, getting a mulligan can be problematic. Not impossible, just challenging...
Another thing is: you're going to get rejected no matter who you are. You could be Shakespeare and you'd still get your fair share of rejections.
So what do you do?
Well, I've had hundreds if not thousands of rejections and I can offer the following insights:
1) Expect to get them. Just like you accept getting sand in your stuff when you go to the beach.
2) Never answer them. Not privately by messaging the editor, or publicly, by whining to your social media circle. You can post an update as in "I was rejected today..." But resist the urge to defend yourself or criticize.
3) Take a close look at your bio and cover letter. Can you make improvements? If you have a dull bio (I do!) or a rambling (or sloppy) cover letter, it will likely influence editors' decisions.
4) If a poem has been rejected by more than 5 venues, see if it may need improving. Sometimes it's just a single line or even a single word that's putting people off.
5) Move on. Resubmit.
6) Only submit your best, most fully polished work.
When an editor asks to see more work from you, they really mean it. If they don't make that specific request, you shouldn't read much else into the rejection.
It's important to guard against the hurt of rejection because you can really get sidetracked by the glums. I'll talk about how to deal with online rejection, social media hate, and critics in a future post.
Poems Written: 311
Rejections: 21 (13 tiered)
Poem written today: "N/A" Still mixing song, "Coming Home."
If you need a hand revising and polishing:
1) Have me do it for you! Click the "Poem Polisher" button below. I've helped lots of poets.
2) Use my 7 Secrets of Poetry pdf as a guide for revision.