Writing Rejection Strikes Before Publication Day!

When I read this quote my first thought was:

“Whoa…Sylvia Plath must have been manic when she wrote that!”


(Please note: this post was written before the Las Vegas tragedy.)



I know that things could be worse in my life.

Much, much worse.

Those of you familiar with my background know what events I’m referring to, but for those of you who are new to my blog, here’s the backstory:

I’ve been a revolving door hospital patient. I suffered from treatment-resistant bipolar depression for seven years, I’ve been suicidal, and I’ve had two rounds of electroconvulsive (ECT) therapy.

After all that, one would assume a writing rejection is not that big a deal.



This particular rejection really got to me. I thought my submission was good—it wasn’t amazing, but I felt it had merit. Despite the fact my submission focused on a rare mental illness, its content was relevant to readers with mood disorders of different kinds. The essay fit the editors’ specifications I had carefully perused. I had checked with the editors to make sure my topic would be appropriate and I got the go-ahead.

Here’s my rejection email:

Dear Dyane,

You are a horrible writer and geez – you need to do something else, anything else, like take up knitting, or create an herb window garden, or explore vegan cooking.

(Just kidding!)

Thanks so much for your submission to How the Light Gets In. After reading through entries, conferring, reading, and conferring more, we’re sorry to tell you that we won’t be including “The Deja vu Conversation” in the anthology. As writers, we know how much time and effort (not to mention gumption!) it takes to craft and submit a piece. Thank you for trusting us with it. We received an overwhelming amount of beautiful entries.

It was a nice problem to have. But also, it made the process of choosing very difficult. We sincerely appreciate you sharing your work with us. Also, thank you for adding your voice to the larger story of mental illness. It’s encouraging to see that there are many of us speaking up and helping to break the stigma that surrounds mental health. None of us are alone in our battles. 

Again, thank you for submitting and all the best as you move forward,

Kelley and Gillian

My take: they should have stopped the email after the first paragraph. The remainder seems saccharine and uses a cliché. I believe a rejection email should be brief and condescension-free unless it has specific feedback for the writer.

Everyone gets rejections – one of J.K. Rowling’s rejection letters said she should join a writing group!


I was especially vulnerable on Rejection Day because I had a cold. I get a nasty bug every October, although this year I was doing all I could to prevent it.

Because of my cold, I wasn’t able to get out with Lucy for our restorative, attitude-adjusting walks that almost always improve my mood.

Recently, I was inspired by my blogging friend Sara Gethin whose hit novel Not Thomas received very challenging criticism in the British daily newspaper The Guardian. While it wasn’t writing rejection per se, negative reviews have much in common with writing rejection.

She took the criticism in stride—she has such a great attitude, one I wish she could bottle and sell to me. Gethin’s situation was unique and I encourage you to read this post, part one, and this post, part two, about her experience being nominated for a fiercely competitive Reader’s Choice contest. 


I need to focus on something wonderful instead: the publication of my book on Tuesday! And guess what? My first case of my books arrives TODAY by 6:00 p.m.!!!!

I’m so excited!

I’ll be taking pictures of the books fresh out of the box. I feel like they’re my babies. (I know that’s weird, but it’s true.)

Please don’t forget to tell your friends, your social networks, and everyone else you know on this planet to buy Birth of a New Brain on Tuesday, October 10th. If at all possible, please leave reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. I’ll be forever in your debt!

Have a good weekend, and thanks for reading!!!



This collie looks so much like Lucy, it’s uncanny! I’m not getting the costume though. It got bad reviews, and I know Lucy would hate it.

Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder

With a foreword by perinatal psychiatrist and author Dr. Carol Henshaw,

will be published on TUESDAY, OCTOBER 10th – hurrah!

Until then, Birth of a New Brain is available on Amazon for Kindle and paperback pre-sales.


13 thoughts on “Writing Rejection Strikes Before Publication Day!

  1. I know just how you feel getting that rejection, Dyane – I’ve had a few in my time too, and rejections will always take the wind out of anyone’s sails. But fortunately you’re in the wonderful position of having your own, whole and marvellous book published in a few days. Hooray! (And they’ll be so sorry they didn’t include you in the anthology when they see how well ‘Birth of a New Brain’ does.) I hope your copies have arrived and you’re dancing around the kitchen with them now!

    And thank you for including me in your blog – I’m very honoured!!

    Have a great weekend and enjoy those book babies xxx

  2. Of course Granny Phia is partial to the upcoming book written by my daughter but….I really had to stop reading the review or comments of these two ladies as soon as the words Oh Geez appeared. Hardly appropriate in a review and rather sophomoric in tone.
    Congratulations Dyane. A wonderful achievement of research and personal analysis of a topic that needs to be discussed and explored. You are indeed an advocate in a field of mental health that is well needed!!!

  3. Their rejection included the first paragraph!?! That’s outrageous, even if, “Just kidding.” The remainder is boilerplate and inoffensive if it didn’t follow the first paragraph.

    Congratulations on the delivery of your babies. They are very much fruit of you. Look forward to Tuesday!

  4. Ooooh Congrstulations Dyane! I’m getting my copy on the 10th as well! So excited for it to finally arrive! Forget about those bozos for rejecting you, their email was so cliche and condescending, if that’s the style they prefer, I’d be happy I got rejected. You are Fabulous, Amazing, so Loving and you, my dear, are a published author. Yaaaay! Love and hugs my incredible friend!

  5. Plus your yearly October cold may not be a cold at all, it may be a sinus infection from allergies. Just was thinking about why you get a cold every year in October, a bit early for viruses but just in time for Fall allergies. Just a thought. XXXXOOOO

  6. How DARE they reject you, those fuckers!!!! I am outraged!!!

    Congratulations on the publication of your beautiful book, I can’t wait to get mine!!!! I will promote the SHIT out of it!!!

  7. Sorry about the rejection. I know the feeling, a mental health website contacted me to write them two articles. The first was published, and the second one was rejected a week later in the rudest way I can imagine. I won’t name the site, I don’t want them to get any exposure from anything I post.

    Congratulations on the book! I remember how exciting it was when my wife’s book was published, I hope it’s as great for you as it was for her. I shared this post on Twitter with #buythisbook

  8. Your book coming out is very much like birth. It’s been a long painful process, right? But think of all the joy you’ll feel when you get to see and touch your new box of children. Don’t let the other stuff get to you! I am looking forward to your upcoming reading and celebration when I will buy one of those babies off of ya. In the meantime, many blessings!

  9. I need a better reason to like this post: OK I just came up with one or two…the books are coming and yes holding or cradling them feels like your baby ( u sure know I know that feeling right lady?)
    Now, I totally agree with you that rejection should have stopped after the first paragraph. I will be candid, I find so much erk with the way many Americans are politely rude and snobbish and rejectfull or whatever. “Please Mam but no mam you can’t use that… Excuse us mam but you have to come with us because we will need to keep you for a few hours while we process this file blablabla”
    OK, enough with that. I hate that attire be it Halloween or Hell’s Angels, but I definitely agree you take the rejection in strides and feel it all the way to flushing it out with some extra hot coffee if it helps.
    Can’t wait for October 10th to promote Birth of A New Brain with all the pomp and pageantry it deserves. I will be on national radio and maybe TV on that day too and trust me to talk about it. Loads of love

  10. Oh good Lordy, that costume is precious! But I can see why any dog would hate wearing it. Don’t do that to Lucy! We never got costumes for our dogs growing up–they would have chewed them right off. My mom commented that one of her co-teachers had bought a shark costume for their dog, and their daughter was going as a scuba diver, and I thought “okay, now THAT is precious.” 🙂

    As for the rejection, that is one poopy bummer, and know what? I got rejected from that collection, too. You’re so right about the rejection. Just cut the syrup, you know? Unless you’re going to give specific feedback, then keep it short, sweet, and polite. Don’t go on and on about how lovely all entries were, because clearly, they all WEREN’T, or you’d have accepted everything, so nyeh.

    But hey, tomorrow is HUGE, so you just focus on that awesomeness, okay? All Hail Empress Percolatia! xxxxxxxxxx

  11. Dear Dyane, I remember we spoke a long time ago (virtually) when I was pregnant with my daughter back in 2014. I have not kept up with my demonicdivas WordPress blog because of having severe mental health trouble after the birth of my daughter. Now I am in a better place (she’s three already!) and am establishing my own organisation to support mothers globally with mental health issues return to work. Very early days, we don’t have a name yet! but the concept is in place and taking off. I came across a post of yours here http://postpartum.org/2015/05/postpartum-depression-and-anxiety-a-global-perspective/ and thought wow! I remember her writing her book! So it’s amazing to see that it’s finally published! Many congratulations and it is well deserved. I’m so pleased to have rediscovered your work. You’re an inspiration 🙂

  12. A BIG congratulations on publishing your book today Dyane!!!! I bought a copy this morning and once I started reading, I had trouble putting it down. I enjoy your easy-to-read and personable story-telling style. Your content is interesting and your presentation really flows! Looking forward to reading it more tonight! No worries about rejection. Your writing looks great, and I can’t wait to read more!!! 🙂 Enjoy this exciting day and if you start to worry about anything unrelated, you should spoil yourself without shame. I give you permission to eat all the chocolate you want. 😉

Comments are closed.