Writers feel rejection in numerous ways. We submit manuscripts that aren’t accepted by publishers. Our published work doesn’t sell. Our critique partners are lukewarm about our drafts.

In today’s lesson, Gay Hendrick shares an anecdote about a personnel executive who had fired thousands of people during his career. The executive said that getting fired was often the best thing that could happen to a person. Why? Because it served as a wake-up call. This alarm said that somewhere, somehow, these people had gotten on the wrong path and it prompted them to pursue a different career, go back to school, or start their own business.

For today, consider what rejection has taught you. What do you need to learn? Do you need better feedback or to master specific skills? Should you spend more time on market research to find publications suited for your work? Are you reaching the right readers?

You might also take an easier path. Instead of waiting for life to teach you something via rejection, ask yourself if you’re on the right path. Are there decisions you need to make? Do you have a dream or goal you’d like to pursue, but haven’t because you’re focused on other things?

Pretend you’ve been “fired” from your current writing work. What would you do instead? If something else is calling to you, take some time to consider if that’s what you should be working on instead.