Rochelle Hanslow | The Eye-Opening Truth About Submitting Your Writing and Accepting Rejection. ☆ Rochelle Hanslow
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August 4, 2023
by Rochelle Hanslow

The Eye-Opening Truth About Submitting Your Writing and Accepting Rejection.

I haven’t written a blog post in a long time. Part of that is because I’ve had a lot of changes in my life and within myself that have taken their toll on my energy and mental capacity and another part of that is because I haven’t known what to write.

 I didn’t feel like I had anything new or different to say and I don’t know about you, but I’m certainly tired of seeing the same damn things all over the internet. The general consensus right now seems to be stagnant; people can’t be bothered – we’re tired and it’s a deep, permeating exhaustion in our souls. I get it, there isn’t much to look forward to right now overall and things just seem to be getting more dire on a world scale. The people I once looked up to and found inspiration in are becoming just as dried out and stale in their narrative and offerings too and quite frankly I’ve felt deeply discouraged. 

Help Me Creativity You’re My Only Hope

I haven’t given up on creating, no matter how difficult life has been, creativity – especially writing & poetry – are my equilibrium in a cookie-cutter world. Sylvia Plath once said: 

“I write only because

there is a voice within me
that will not be still” 

Sylvia Plath


I resonate wholeheartedly with that. Ever since I was around 4 or 5 all I remember in my childhood was drawing and writing stories, reading books just to get more ideas of how far I could stretch my own narrative and imagination. There have never been boundaries for me when I am writing, it is the place where I am most known and most free. Yet, it is when other people are involved in the creative process that I truly start to question myself and I struggle. 

I’m All Write…

Today I received two rejection within one hour of each other for poetry submissions. They aren’t the first and unfortunately for me, won’t be the last. When you are a writer, you become accustomed to rejection, to a point that it almost starts to be a part of what you create – that is of course – if you didn’t already have rejection listed as a reference on your life CV for becoming a writer in the first place. We are pretty destined to have to deal with rejection if we want to go down the traditional publishing route or get any kind of ‘writing clout’ for our bios. 

I was a writer before I was diagnosed with AuDHD. So much about my writing became much clearer to once that diagnosis was made and it allowed me to make better decision on the path I took, for example, I decided to only pitch sporadically to magazines for articles because the waiting for payment and editing process drove me to ‘Imposter Syndrome Lane’, detouring through ‘Anxiety Hill’ and ‘Frustration Canyon’. My diagnosis also made me aware of a dirty little bitch called Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria (RSD)  – she comes to play hard people! 

The feedback I’ve been getting has been very similar from the ‘Thanks but no thanks’ messages – an amalgamation of:

We like your work/we enjoyed your submission but we just don’t think it fits the rest of our work/ we don’t think it is right for this round/ your voice doesn’t match what we already have…

I won’t lie, I am triggered to f**k by this. 

Keep Icing Your Front-bum 

I have experienced a lot of cruelty in my life – I was bullied a lot in my childhood, teens and even in relationships in my twenties – I’ve never really truly felt like there was a place I fit outside of in a book. I have always been the weirdo, the wall flower, the underdog, the freak, Little Miss – Understood…You see where I am going here. 

Recently I’ve also added Trailblazer, generational trauma breaker and a warrior to the mix. I’m tired of these titles and labels. 

I am beginning to feel like no one will ever understand me or resonate with my creative voice – I feel like I am destined to be the outcast of the misfits. 

I am trying very hard to not sink into dark mindsets and patterns that I have battled to release for such a long time right now and I am holding on for dear life to the belief I have in my words, in my voice but I won’t lie – It’s beginning to feel like school all over again. 

I know there are so many other people in my position but yet, in the mountain of repetitiveness on social media, nobody is repeating this, nobody is saying that what you create shouldn’t need to fit in or fit a mould. The whole point of it is to challenge and redefine these parameters and traditions. 

I’m starting to think that no one, especially those who claim to know, actually knows what works or what they are looking for. I see it all the time, journals and magazines putting out calls for submissions and saying they want something that pushes boundaries, that breaks stereotypes; a strong voice that will take them aback. My mentor tells me all the time that I am the hardest working person she knows, I am constantly doing the work inwardly and elevating my craft, I am owning my punchy and fizzy – I am pushing boundaries and not messing about – but I am told that I don’t fit. 


Maybe, it’s the vulnerability of it all, we want our art to matter and for someone to see it and resonate with it but we don’t want the part where our creations being seen means we are exposed. It’s a creatives hangover – creating and submitting was the best high but the come down is inevitable and it is prolonged with the torture of waiting for a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ time after time after time. All I know is that tomorrow, I’ll get up and still have that unstillable voice within me that needs to create and I’ll do it all over again – write, workshop, edit, submit, repeat. 

1 Comment

  1. |

    What a well written, thought-provoking and honest blog. I, too, am a victim of the RSD problem to an extent I won’t let anyone read anything I write apart from a selected few around me. I am of the opinion that if an article, poem or whatever is rejected, then that’s their problem, not the writer’s. Keep on writing and creating Rochelle; the world will be better for it! Peace & Love.

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