The “You Don’t Suck” File

I’m going to recycle an old post today because I’m a complete and utter slacker I’ve got a busy week ahead. I hope you enjoy this one…it’s one of my favorites :).  ******************************************************************


Every writer fears it. Every published author knows it intimately. Most writers/authors even keep these rejections all together in a file folder or a box.

To combat the overwhelming feeling of Look at all these people who think you’re a horrible writer. You should just give up NOW! that occurs when opening my rejection file, I’ve created a “I Don’t Suck” file.

What is an “I Don’t Suck” file?

It’s antivenom to the sting of rejection.

Mine is a file folder stuffed (well, not stuffed, but it does have some weight to it) with positive things people–especially other writers–have said about my writing.

Why do writers need an “I Don’t Suck” file?

Simple. When you are mired in despair, or looking at a fresh rejection, or thinking about giving up, you can pull out this file you’ve created for just such an occasion, open it up, and read all the good things people have said about your work.

In mine, I have various critiques of my first paragraphs, pages, chapters, and even the whole thing, encouraging email exchanges from published authors, and several of the comments from the “My Novel” section on my blog.

Most recently, I opened it to insert the judges feedback from the first writing contest I ever entered (The Heart of the West RWA contest…my score was 194 out of 200, which is cool, but the judge’s comments were worth their weight in gold for my writing self-esteem–especially since two of them were published authors.).

Why bother creating such a file?

Because rejection, if you let it, can lead you down the path of Maybe I shouldn’t be doing this. Maybe I’m wasting my time. (Insert your favorite “mired in despair” comment here). 

Cure the sting and make a “I Don’t Suck” file of your own.

And finally, can rejection ever be funny? 


Literary Rejections on Display. Funny letters, funnier comments, and by reading other writer’s rejections you’ll know you’re not alone.

10 Funniest Rejection Letters. Actual rejection letters from Mad Magazine, Disney Productions, and many more. Hilarious!


8 thoughts on “The “You Don’t Suck” File

  1. Ah yes, Christi. I loved this the first time and love it again. No, no, I do not suck … I am just a misunderstood, undiscovered genius waiting for that magic moment 🙂 And BTW, I had one funny rejection that changed the entire focus of the novel I am currently submitting 🙂

    • Florence,

      Thanks so much! Now you’ve piqued my interest about this funny rejection…do tell 🙂


  2. This is an absolutely brilliant idea. Every time I receive praise on my writing, I feel much more motivated to write – so what better than a ‘collection’ to help you keep on going, especially after rejection. Wonderful!

    ~ JLT

    • J,

      I’m glad you enjoyed this post. It’s an older one, but still one of my favorites.


    • Kate,

      I can’t tell you how helpful it is to have one in place BEFORE you go out and start doing things that will get you rejections (aka–sending out queries)

      I’m glad you liked the post!


        • With your “I Don’t Suck” file in place you can have no fear 🙂

          Ok, you’ll still have fear, but at least you’ll have something to read while you’re waiting for the query responses to roll in.

          Thanks for visiting!


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