Escape Writing Rejection the Gluten Free Way

The signs on food packages and menus tell all: gluten free, paleo, dairy free. Or do they? I can’t count the number of times I’ve picked up a packaged food item and was disappointed because the label misled me.

Ever had that happen? Package writing needs to be clear, concise and complete. Ah, you see where I’m going with this?! As writers, we must be mindful of those three c’s: clear, concise and complete.

Writing is a craft. You’ve heard that.

Practice makes perfect. Yep, that one, too.

Unfortunately, rejection often comes before publication.

Recently on Twitter, I saw a literary post from Greyhaus Literary Agency, “Sometimes writing a rejection is tough. Authors try really hard and sometimes the writing is just not there!” @greyhausagency.

Assuming you’d like to avoid (another) rejection letter, how do you know when your writing is publish-ready?

Dare I mention it takes practice to become a polished writer? Read, write, research, revise, repeat! Today, tomorrow, sick days, snow days, ad infinitum.

Here are the dirty details:

Step 1: Read. During your writing process, read. Books, articles, and biographies. Everything that interests you. Plus things that don’t. You’ll gravitate toward well-written works as your eye discerns good verses great. Take the time to construct succinct sentences. From there, build beautiful paragraphs. Carve out chapters to engage and mesmerize readers. We don’t ever want our readers to toss aside one of our books, dissatisfied with the contents. If you would like assistance and ideas on enhancing writing senses, see these posts: I Spy and Scratch and Sniff for Writers.


Step 2: Investigate. Determine your expectations by investigating your publishing possibilities. Where you decide to send your manuscript is extremely important! Do you want a small publisher, who accepts manuscripts from writers? Do you want an agent, to represent you to large publishing houses? Or do you want to pursue self-publishing options? While you write, keep your publishing path in mind: adjust your work to accommodate their submission’s policy.

Step 3: Listen. As you prep your work – gulp – get feedback. Not from your mom. Nor from a spouse. But from readers, critique partners, social media connections, etc. Put yourself out there and listen, really pay attention to what others are saying about your work. In a previous post, “Hear No Evil…” I dive into the benefits of a critique group.

Step 4: Adjust. Develop a thick skin. You aren’t an expert, can’t possibly please everyone (you already know that!), so don’t be defensive about your writing – feedback isn’t personal. Separate yourself from your writing, by distance and emotional resistance. Even if you experienced what you’ve written, you may need to adjust the words for readers. Bears repeating: don’t be defensive.

Step 5: Edit. Once you’ve determined your publishing path, heard and adjusted your book based on feedback, find an editor. Someone who is knowledgeable in developmental (aka substantial/substantive) editing. For more details about editing and DIY steps, see my editing series, here.

By preparing, you create impeccable work, and you avoid a mislabeling mishap, vis á vis, rejection! Join the ranks of practicing writers, i.e. practicing lawyers, practicing physicians, lol!

Your reward will be visible: your chosen publication path and, yes, money!

Keep reading, writing, researching and revising!

*Disclaimer: I am a gluten free glutton – love trying the latest recipes, so in NO way should this be considered a slam on gluten free-ers.


31 thoughts on “Escape Writing Rejection the Gluten Free Way

  1. Great advice here! I often struggle with deciding exactly what I want the message to be and find it hard to focus on making a clear and concise point… I do think it’s important though.

    • Yes, it really is tough sometimes! It usually takes me more drafts than I’d like to admit as I write and edit my work, lol. Thanks for your thoughts and much success with your writing, HJ

  2. Wow 😮

    Please don’t take this as a negative !

    I love to write and read great books.. And have wondered, along the way, if I should aspire to become an author..

    Your post is a great read and pretty easy to digest each point..

    What I learned above all, is that I’m no writer.. I can come up with pretty creative tales but not disciplined or knowledgeable in method..

    I don’t like doing things halfway.. I don’t know if or when I’ll have the time or desire to buckle down and learn to be an author..

    This post is wonderful for people willing to do the work.. And equally wonderful for those who are not.. Because a rejection letter would hurt, no matter who’s mailbox it’s in 😮

    Looking forward to exploring more of your blog 😊 I really enjoy your style 👍

    • Pan, I totally understand! Never would it occur to me that these comments are negative. I’m so glad your vision has clarity, and your goals are in view. Writing can be very personal, and the writer may decide to hold their work closely. Others desire for the world to see and judge it. Absolutely follow what makes you happy and comfortable.
      Thank you for your kind words about my blog, it’s always changing, a continuous work in progress! If I can ever answer any questions, don’t hesitate to ask. 😉

      • Reading your blog had already made me comfortable to not hesitate 😄
        That is very telling about your writing..
        I’m sure I will learn much more reading your thoughts, musings and instruction.. But I have to be honest..

        While you’re in teaching mode in your posts, I will always picture you swatting at us, your readers, with a toilet brush instead of a ruler 😕

  3. Roxie,
    Seeing you stop by was a pleasant surprise as I immediately recognized your pic. And to think we first encountered each other years ago … so cheers to two blogging survivors.

  4. Me navigating the publishing world is like a baby bunny trying to cross six lanes of traffic. As I write my FIRST draft to my FIRST novel, publishing seems like something in the far far far distant future. It’s so daunting. Thank you for the helpful reminders!

    • Congratulations on this leg of your journey! It’s a process that will definitely toughen you, but surround yourself with knowledge and upbeat people who won’t let you forget why you began.

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